As a sports photographers, I need a big, fast zoom lens to keep up with the action. The new Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 | Sports lens is just about perfect for the sidelines. With the performance customization available with the USB Dock, it is perhaps the ultimate field sports telephoto zoom. Right out of the box, this lens is one of the sharpest pieces of glass I have ever used, so I was a little hesitant to play with the settings using the USB Dock. However after exploring the options with the easy to use Sigma Optimizer Pro software, I was comforted knowing the Restore to Defaults option was always just a mouse click away.
Welcome to my new, bi-weekly photo “dog blog” celebrating canines and cameras. Here I plan to write about dogs, photography, and life. Specifically, I hope over time that this column accomplishes three things:
Shares ideas about way to photograph your pet
Documents the growth of our new Labrador retriever puppy from the first week at home onward, as well as showcasing other dogs
Reflects on how photography of our “best friends” can teach us about life, particularly examining how dogs influence our lives and, recursively, how we affect theirs.
Earlier this year I took an expedition into the giant sand dunes outside of Dubai to shoot a fashion editorial for Zink Magazine. This was a shoot I had been anticipating for quite sometime, as it was the type of work I always dreamed of shooting. I would be in an exotic location with an incredible team on my side, beautiful model, and freedom to create striking images. It truly was a dream shoot made into a reality.
On the first day of shooting we took the vehicles deep into the dunes, passing camels and leaving the nearest town and signs of life far behind. As we approach the gathering of dunes I was amazed as they towered like mountains above the SUVs. Seeing the model first stand into front of the dunes, she appeared like a speck before their grand size.
In part one we discussed the use of polarizers and solid neutral density filters. So what other filter should you have in your bag? The answer is: the graduated split neutral density (ND) filter. What do they do? They allow you to balance the light on the foreground with the tonality and brightness of the sky. How? The filter is split in half with the top being much darker and the bottom half clear. The dark area is graduated down towards the middle, which allows you to darken the sky and better match it up with the tonality of the foreground.
They generally come in 2 styles; one with a hard edge and the other is often referred to a soft edge. The hard edge has a clearly defined line where the soft edge is more graduated. This is the one I prefer and use most of the time. A variety I also have is called a reverse graduated neutral density filter (both made by Singh Ray) where the darkest area is towards the middle which makes it particularly useful as the sun comes up or is about to set. It is best suited for situations where you have a pretty level horizon without many protrusions into the sky. Below is an example of both and they typically come in increments from 1stop all the way up to 5 or more. Most practical are the 2 and 3 stop versions from numerous manufacturers. Notice that I am not recommending any screw in type as what you want to darken is seldom in the middle of the frame.
This simple answer is absolutely yes!!! While they may not be as important as they were in the film days, […]
Almost everything we do in life is a choice. How we express ourselves, how we see objects, how we create art, all of these elements, although may be intuitive to our nature, are also choices we make.
In regards to photography, we may choose a certain kind of subject to photograph. Some of us prefer to photograph landscapes or children or weddings. Whatever the subject, it’s a choice we make, and in making those choices, we are creating a style and a look to our work.
There are several other style choices that I want to talk about in this article. They include lighting, lenses, angles, locations, props and camera settings.
My annual trip to Alaska in late July to early August usually means big skies and great light, schools of salmon in the rivers and creeks and coastal brown bears, lots of cubs, and almost unlimited photo opportunities. This year we were treated to two full weeks of sun and clouds without a single rain shower. These are some of my favorite moments of the trip with some technical notes and stories behind the images.
For many natural light photographers, photographing in the “Sweet Light” is the highlight of what we do. This light happens around an hour before sunset and an hour around sunrise. It’s the most beautiful, sweet and natural light of all. Timing it can sometimes be difficult, but if you allow yourself to set up your subject and get ready for the sun to start it’s decline, you will be rewarded with the prettiest of all light. It only lasts for about 20 minutes and then turns into a different kind of light, twilight, which can also be beautiful to capture. In the following images, my beautiful subject Zoe is dancing in the sweet light in Ocean Beach, California. This session was timed to capture this gorgeous light as she moved to the music in her head. Photographing with Sigma’s 24-105mm F4.0 DG (OS) HSM | A lens, I was able to create these very sharp and beautiful images. I choose to photograph wide open, at f 4.0 and use a fast shutter speed, s 1/400 to keep my images sharp, as Zoe was consistently moving. My ISO was adjusted as the light changed.