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03.23.2015

Sigma Pro Judy Host offers great tips for photographing children, from Maternity through teen years in this new video series.

This episode covers maternity sessions, for making photos before the baby arrives.

Watch the series

Introduction

Episode 1: Maternity Sessions (this video)

Episode 2: Babies and Toddlers

 

Check back each month for a new episode!

 

Judy

03.17.2015

Winter in Ohio has been splendid this year…if, of course, you like cold weather and snow. Rowan, our fox red Labrador Retriever loves it, as does our sled-riding family! On a recent wintry afternoon, my wife and I, along with our kids, headed over to a nearby hillside, where we enjoyed the season’s best conditions for gliding downhill. All the while, I snapped away, frame after frame.

Using a medium telephoto zoom—in this case, a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM—I captured pictures of our kids racing pell-mell through the snow with Rowan alongside. I aimed to capture our children and their canine companion in all kinds of energetic and fun poses. On this brightly overcast day, I dialed up the ISO to 800 for some shots, and ISO 1600 for others. And I set the aperture fairly wide at f/5.6 so that I could shoot at super-fast shutter speeds. These ranged from 1/2000 second to 1/4000 second—high enough to fully freeze the action (as if things needed any more freezing!).

Rowan, our ‘fox red’ Labrador retriever, races ahead of our daughter Phoebe. Notice the asymmetry of this composition, which helps convey the chaos of sledding. Nikon D800E, Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens at 95mm. f/5.6, 1/2000 sec., ISO 800. Photo © 2015 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

Rowan, our ‘fox red’ Labrador retriever, races ahead of our daughter Phoebe. Notice the asymmetry of this composition, which helps convey the chaos of sledding. Nikon D800E, Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens at 95mm. f/5.6, 1/2000 sec., ISO 800. Photo © 2015 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

The results were all kinds of fun and interesting action shots. As I picked out some of my favorites, I noticed symmetry and/or asymmetry were influencing how viewers would interpret the images.

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03.02.2015

Patrick Santucci and I had a few days to check out the first sample of the new 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens to arrive in the US, right before it was shipped off to WPPI for the big show.

Along the Brooklyn waterfront. 30 second exposure at F11 at ISO 100 on the Canon 6D by Patrick Santucci.

Along the Brooklyn waterfront. 30 second exposure at F11 at ISO 100 on the Canon 6D by Patrick Santucci.

The widest full-frame Art lens released to date, this lens takes in 84 degrees for sweeping views.

100% detail of the frame above.

100% detail of the frame above.

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03.02.2015

Introducing Sigma Vision magazine!

Welcome to the premiere issue of Sigma Vision, the new biannual magazine from Sigma Corporation of America, featuring inspiring imagery and great technical advice!

We’ve got great advice for adventure sports photography from Liam Doran, birding tips from Lisa Franceski, art show tips from Walter Arnold, and much more! You can read the magazine online in the embedded viewer, or click on the Share icon from the reader to download as a PDF (screenshot below).

 


Please share with your friends, and please share your feedback and thoughts on the first issue of our new magazine!

© 2015 Liam Doran This morning sun rises over the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado bathing the deep snow on Coal Bank Pass in low angle light. I spent two days skiing and shooting with local pro skier Sven Brunso. His knowledge of the area is extensive and was critical in helping us capture some amazing shots. Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens on a Canon

© 2015 Liam Doran
This morning sun rises over the San Juan Mountains
of southwest Colorado bathing the deep snow on Coal Bank Pass in low angle light. I spent two days
skiing and shooting with local pro skier Sven Brunso. His knowledge of the area is extensive and was
critical in helping us capture some amazing shots.
Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens on a Canon

 

Like what you see? Fill out our quick survey for a chance to win a Weather-Resistant Circular Polarizer!

You can download the PDF for offline viewing.

You can download the PDF for offline viewing.

02.18.2015

After a brisk cross-country ski with our fox red Lab pup Rowan, I decided to take a few snowy mug shots her under a brilliant blue sky. With snow sticking to her whiskers, she was sure to produce a few good head shots.

Portrait of Rowan with a Sigma polarizer filter at maximum effect. Nikon D800E, Sigma 24- 105mm F4 DG (OS) HSM | A lens at 105mm. f/8, 1/60 sec., ISO 50. This RAW image was processed in Adobe Camera RAW to be as close to identical in terms of luminosity as the minimum polarizer photo directly below. All processing besides exposure was the same. Photo © 2015 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

Portrait of Rowan with a Sigma polarizer filter at maximum effect. Nikon D800E, Sigma 24- 105mm F4 DG (OS) HSM | A lens at 105mm. f/8, 1/60 sec., ISO 50. This RAW image was processed in Adobe Camera RAW to be as close to identical in terms of luminosity as the minimum polarizer photo directly below. All processing besides exposure was the same. Photo © 2015 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

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02.17.2015

Tout_LensExploration-105mm   

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02.03.2015

With deep snow covering the hills here in Ohio, I couldn’t resist taking Rowan out for a romp in the white and fluffy. Grabbing a rope toy for Rowan to retrieve, we headed out to a nearby field.

Rowan, our ‘fox red’ Labrador pup, retrieves a rope toy in the snow. In comparing two similar images here, I refer to this photo as the “level-rope” image. Canon EOS 7D. Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | C. at 90mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec., ISO 800. Processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5. Photo © 2014 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

Rowan, our ‘fox red’ Labrador pup, retrieves a rope toy in the snow. In comparing two similar images here, I refer to this photo as the “level-rope” image. Canon EOS 7D. Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | C. at 90mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec., ISO 800. Processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5. Photo © 2014 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

My goal was to take action photos, high speed images of Rowan racing through the snow. Rowan’s ‘fox red’ coat looks especially good in early- or late-day sun, so, I took her out to a hilltop where the last golden rays were lighting things up. Generally speaking, dog action shots require shutter speeds of at least, say, 1/1000 second. That means that strong sun, medium to wide apertures, and medium to high ISO settings are often best. 

I shot at 1/2000 to make sure I stopped the action. I changed the aperture slightly as I shot but generally kept it around f/5.6. Given the late light in the day and the high shutter speed, I set the ISO at 800.

Repeatedly tossing the colorful rope away from the sun, I zoomed in on the toy with my 70-300mm f4-5.6 lens, tracking Rowan as she ran back toward me. She looked beautiful front lit by the golden-hued sun. I took about 100 shots, of which a handful were good: eyes visible and in focus; head, ears, legs, and tail in pleasing positions; and good backgrounds. 

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02.02.2015

A high quality circular polarizer is still one of the most important accessories for any photographer’s bag. And the new Sigma Weather-Resistant Circular Polarizers offer incredible performance, weather-tough design, and a fantastically upgraded case with grip arcs that keep the filters from rattling around in the bag. wr-cpl-58mm_01 The advances in digital capture and advanced RAW processing have rendered many classic filter types less crucial, if not outright obselete; the look and feel of warming filters, and graduated density filters, for example, are easily and quickly replicated—and in many cases bested—by what is now available during RAW processing and image toning.

An afternoon sunshower created a lot of glare on the surface of the pedestrian mall in Somerville, NJ. Adding a circular polarizer (right), and adjusting the angle helped to tame the harsh surface glare.  1/320 F9 ISO 320, Canon Rebel T3i and Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.0 Contemporary with Sigma 72mm Weather Resistant Circular Polarizer added for right image. Exposures balanced in Adobe Camera RAW from CR2 files.

An afternoon sunshower created a lot of glare on the surface of the pedestrian mall in Somerville, NJ. Adding a circular polarizer (right), and adjusting the angle helped to tame the harsh surface glare. 1/320 F9 ISO 320, Canon Rebel T3i and Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.0 Contemporary with Sigma 72mm Weather Resistant Circular Polarizer added for right image. Exposures balanced in Adobe Camera RAW from CR2 files.

But the same can not be said of circular polarizers, which limit and constrict the angles of light reaching the image sensor. This filter can minimize unwanted reflections on shiny surfaces, make skies more rich in color and give clouds greater presence, and in general make many images in many different situations pop from the screen or page in more dramatic fashion.  And of course, the better the image quality of the RAW file to start with, the better the tonal adjustments made during toning and processing will be. This is why circular polarizers still matter.

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01.23.2015

Sigma Pro explores the possibilities with the Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG HSM lens

What’s bright, gives wonderful, round bokeh and is perfect for portraits, sports, street and product photography? Give up? It’s Sigma’s 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM lens. This beauty fits on both full frame and cropped sensor cameras.

The ideal portrait focal length is said to be twice to two and a half times the normal focal length. So before diving into the 85 let’s take a look at focal length and what it means in regards to sensor size. First, here’s a definition or two.

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01.20.2015

The temps here in Ohio have dropped to below freezing, and a beautiful blanket of snow covers the ground—the perfect conditions for some winter dog photography!

Many challenges face cold-weather photographers—from batteries to keeping yourself warm—but here I want to offer advice on getting the proper exposure in the snow. This will be the first of a periodic series on improving exposure settings for dog photography.

Rowan, our ‘fox red’ Labrador retriever, poses in the early morning sun, looking across a snow-covered field. One of the biggest challenges of photographing in wintry conditions is getting the exposure right. Here, I metered off the snow and then opened up about 1.5 stops. Nikon D800E. Sigma's APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens at 200mm. f/8, 1/500 sec., ISO 1000. Processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5, Nik Sharpener Pro plug-in applied. Photo © 2015 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

Rowan, our ‘fox red’ Labrador retriever, poses in the early morning sun, looking across a snow-covered field. One of the biggest challenges of photographing in wintry conditions is getting the exposure right. Here, I metered off the snow and then opened up about 1.5 stops. Nikon D800E. Sigma’s APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens at 200mm. f/8, 1/500 sec., ISO 1000. Processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5, Nik Sharpener Pro plug-in applied. Photo © 2015 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

The biggest technical challenge of shooting snowy scenes is determining the best settings for exposure. The meter in your camera is programmed to give you proper exposure for approximately 18% gray. In other words, when your camera is pointed at a subject that reflects something around 18% of the visible light, you will have spot-on exposure.

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