The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

11.18.2014

Rowan’s first visit to a dog park was great fun, both for our pup as well as her owners. While a number of big dogs trotted all around the fenced-in park, Rowan found a more quiet spot of grass where she quickly engaged in wrestling Bear, another Lab pup better matched in size. They nipped, chased, rolled, pounced, paused, and then went at it again, seemingly with limitless energy and enthusiasm.

Rowan, twelve weeks-old, plays with Bear, a black Lab puppy she met at Wheeler Dog Park, Columbus, Ohio. Photographing your pet with another dog with contrasting colors helps to define both subjects and emphasizes the back and forth of their play. Nikon D800E. Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro at 170mm. 1/1000 sec., f/8, ISO 800. Wheeler Dog Park, Columbus, Ohio USA. Photo © 2014 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

Rowan, twelve weeks-old, plays with Bear, a black Lab puppy she met at Wheeler Dog Park, Columbus, Ohio. Photographing your pet with another dog with contrasting colors helps to define both subjects and emphasizes the back and forth of their play. Nikon D800E. Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro at 170mm. 1/1000 sec., f/8, ISO 800. Wheeler Dog Park, Columbus, Ohio USA. Photo © 2014 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

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11.13.2014

Whether you are shooting boudoir photography in a big city, or a small town, you must know how to make the most of shooting in small spaces. Whether it’s a studio, hotel room, or a clients home, being creative in a small space can sometimes be a challenge.

I would know. I started shooting boudoir 6 years ago out of the bedroom in my home. I moved about three years later to a studio in NYC (Long Island City to be exact) . The studio is 10’ wide by 20’ long. I used the space in many ways. Yes, of course I use it to shoot in.  I’m also storing my equipment such as lighting, fabrics and reflectors there as well. Between the storage and the makeup/hair area I would say about 1/3 of the studio is off limits to shooting.

How’s that for small? 200 square feet knocked down to about 130-150 square feet left to shoot in. In addition to being small, my studio is also boring. 4 white walls and window is pretty much all I am working with.  I do have a bed in the studio. Even that is simple with a small backboard and a frame on wheels for easy movement.

I have been shooting there for three years now. Yes, it gets boring at time and redundant – so I have to be creative in order to get some new looks and please my clients.

Here are 5 ways to get creative in a small, boring space.

1. Fabric

© 2014 Jennifer Rozenbaum

© 2014 Jennifer Rozenbaum

I have fabric stapled to one corner of my studio. I can use it in many different ways. I use it as something for my clients to play with, I can shoot through it, you can even use it as a background! I use a neutral color. Don’t be afraid of trying something different though. Red, black, blue – any of those will give your studio an entirely different look.

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11.05.2014

What I’m hearing from readers is this: In your dog blog, don’t tell us how to take professional pet portraits; rather, tell us how to take pictures of family pets doing what they do day-in and day-out. Give us real, practical advice on how to use what equipment we have to capture the fun, energetic, and loving things our dogs do.

Our ten week-old fox red yellow Lab, Rowan, paused briefly during an impromptu photo session. None of the pictures were perfect, but this one is certainly “good enough” to please viewers. Nikon D800E. Sigma 35mm f/1.4mm lens. 1/250 sec., f/1.4, ISO 800. Malabar Farm State Park, Richland County, Ohio, USA. Photo © 2014 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

Our ten week-old fox red yellow Lab, Rowan, paused briefly during an impromptu photo session. None of the pictures were perfect, but this one is certainly “good enough” to please viewers. Nikon D800E. Sigma 35mm f/1.4mm lens. 1/250 sec., f/1.4, ISO 800. Malabar Farm State Park, Richland County, Ohio, USA. Photo © 2014 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

That’s precisely what this week’s column is about. It’s a lesson from an impromptu five-minute photo session of our ten week-old puppy, Rowan, just after a hike in a local state park. The resulting image (above) captures a fun expression, but it is not the perfect pic.

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11.04.2014
© 2014 Roman Kurywczak | Lens: Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro lens | Aperture: f/16 | Shutter speed: 1/160 sec. | ISO 800 with the Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Flash at +1

© 2014 Roman Kurywczak | Lens: Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro lens | Aperture: f/16 | Shutter speed: 1/160 sec. | ISO 800 with the Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Flash at +1

OK, it is no secret that I have used some sort of flash in almost every macro photography image I have ever taken.  Why?  I love maximum depth of field and while I love natural light photography, the 3 days of the year it is calm enough to photograph outside just weren’t enough!  All kidding aside, most “natural light” macro photography with maximum depth of field is done inside where everything is controlled and you have to be on a tripod.  I am guilty of resorting to this technique often myself but I do love being out in the field.  The wind is generally too strong on most day and many locations do not allow you to bring a tripod. That is why I embraced the power of flash.  I have used many varieties of flash for my macro work including a Speedlights, twin lights, and old ring lights so I jumped at the chance to try out my Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Flash to see how it stacked up to those flashes. The image at top is one of the first I took and you can see just how close to the flower I got and the macro flash illuminated the bloom very nicely at that close range.

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11.02.2014
© 2014 Lindsay Adler | This image utilize Sigma’s stunning 50mm 1.4 Art lens and High Speed Sync to achieve narrow depth of field and ideal exposure. I’ve allowed the sun to peek in through the top of the frame to give me a golden glow and purposeful lensflare. Settings: Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art, ISO 500, 1/2000 sec, f/2.8. Flash at 0 compensation.

© 2014 Lindsay Adler | This image utilize Sigma’s stunning 50mm 1.4 Art lens and High Speed Sync to achieve narrow depth of field and ideal exposure. I’ve allowed the sun to peek in through the top of the frame to give me a golden glow and purposeful lensflare. Settings: Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art, ISO 500, 1/2000 sec, f/2.8. Flash at 0 compensation.

When shooting on location, I often enjoy shooting at very wide apertures to give me a painterly blur in the background behind my subjects. When shooting in Central Park I frequently grab my new Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art lens. It is tack-sharp and its wide aperture capabilities allow me to melt the background away, allowing me to create dreamy and romantic imagery with its stunning bokeh. When shooting natural light portraits I’ll shoot at f/2.0 or even f/1.8 for a dramatic shallow depth-of-field effect that I LOVE.

As you may have found that shooting extremely wide apertures even at low ISO can result exceedingly fast shutter speeds. For example, when shooting midday at  f/2.0 at ISO 100, regularly my shutter speeds hits 1/2000 or faster. No big deal… until you want to add flash.

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10.31.2014

The Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports has been generating a ton of buzz since its announcement at photokina in September 2014. This Sports update of the 150-500mm supertelephoto zoom lens is one of two 150-600mm zoom lenses announced at the show, along with the 150-600mm DG OS HSM | Contemporary.

Turkey Vulture on wing as seen through the Sigma150-600mm F5-6.3 Sports lens.

Turkey Vulture on wing as seen through the Sigma150-600mm F5-6.3 Sports lens. 1/1600 F6.3 at 600mm at ISO 500 on a Canon 6D. Focus limiter set to 10m-Infinity

With a significantly updated optical design and feature set over the earlier lens, this Sports lens is designed for capturing images in even extreme real-world conditions that wildlife and outdoor photographers often encounter. Splash-proof and dust-proof design, along with two Optical Stabilizer modes, focus limiter and a newly designed tripod collar are just a few of the upgrades to this new superstar in the Sports line-up.

The 4x zoom range offers a lot of versatility.

The 4x zoom range offers a lot of versatility. Here’sthe view of the heavy duty dump truck at 600mm.

IMG_0038Blog sized

And here is the same scene, at 150mm, with focus shifted to the foreground rock formation above the quarry.

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10.31.2014

The Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Macro | Contemporary is the newest all-in-one camera lens in the Sigma lineup, and offers a high 16.6x zoom ratio, 1:3 macro magnification, Optical Stabilizer, in a lens that covers wide angle to supertelephoto in a single, lightweight lens.

Fall Foliage from a moving hayride as seen by the Sigma 18-300mm

Fall Foliage as from a moving hayride as seen by the Sigma 18-300mm. 1/500 at F3.5 at 18mm ISO 200 on a Rebel T31.

Designed specifically for APS-C cameras, this lens equates to approximately a 27-450mm range, perfect for a one-lens solution for everyday adventures, weekend escapes and beyond. The hypersonic motor is fast, and accurate, Optical Stabilizer keeps the camera steady at slower shutter speeds, and the optional close-up lens increases the maximum magnification to 1:2 at 300mm, for even more detailed close-ups.

Designed for real life, this lens zooms in and out easily.

Designed for real life, this lens zooms in and out easily for framing scenes. Here we’re at 85mm to tighten the composition and create background separation.

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10.28.2014

Tout_LensExploration_10-20

Intro

The Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM zoom is the ideal ultra-wide lens. Sharp, compact, lightweight, able to take front-mounted filters, and, affordable, it’s the super-wide zoom for all types of photographers.

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10.28.2014
©  2014 Steve Chesler |

© 2014 Steve Chesler |

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.

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10.23.2014
©  2014 Melanie Myhre

© 2014 Melanie Myhre

By Melanie Myhre

Photography for me is more than creating a pretty picture. It’s about telling a story and transporting the viewer to another time and place. The idea that anything is possible if you can dream it is a re-occurring inspiration in my work.  If I can create and capture a fantastical scene in our own reality without compositing in Photoshop, I feel that I have succeeded in preserving a little wonder and hope in our world, even if that scene existed for just a brief moment.

I wanted to create something surreal, haunting and mysterious.  A forest at twilight seemed like the perfect setting for a dark fairytale. A friend had just given me 30 white feather boas to make a perfect fairytale dress.  I sewed them into an elastic waistband for an overskirt. The underskirt was made from white satin sewn into elastic and cut into 3 inch strips to allow for more freedom of movement.  I created the bodice from a plain white corset found at a thrift store.  A hot glue gun was used to attach beads, paper flowers, and jewels.  By the time the dress was finished, it looked like a flock of chickens had exploded in my studio!

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