Exactly what makes Katmai Alaska such a special place for wildlife photographers? After all huge storms routinely sweep in from the gulf of Alaska with little warning and the animals, from the tinniest of insects to the largest bear, are in charge and humans are not at the top of the food chain. Getting around by air or sea is the only way to go and its expensive and unreliable. With the weather issues, dangerous inhabitants and difficulties getting around why do I keep going back for ten years straight? The photographic opportunities of course!
Our first look at the 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art, the world’s first full-frame F2 zoom lens, was the most popular blog posting of the year!
Our hands-on with the world’s first F2 full-frame zoom lens was far and away the most popular posting of the year!
Helen Chandler is owner of Whistling Wolf Farm, a transitional organic farm in Pittstown, NJ. She was kind enough to pose for an environmental portrait at a local farmer’s market. (www.whistlingwolffarm.com) 1/180 F2 ISO 100 at 35mm with Canon 580EX flash with diffuser down, -1 1/3 FEC.
The 20mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art, the world’s first F1.4 20mm ultrawide prime was the most recently published article in this list, but quickly rose in the rankings!
Hotel Room 2717 at the Courtyard Marriott Times Square West offers a fantastic view of the Empire State Building. I squeezed the camera and lens out the tiny window opening, braced it against the window frame, and fired several variations on this shot showing the street, the buildings, and the moon. I had a camera strap around my neck as well, just in case! 1/2000 F3.5 ISO 2000.
Here is a bonus sampling of great blog postings you may have missed this year, hand-selected by the editors of the Sigma blog.
I have just returned from leading workshops at the 2015 Festival of the Cranes and I realized that it has been about a year now that I have used the Sigma 150-600mm Sport. It is also approximately 8 & 1/2 months that I have been photographing with the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary and I must say I am very impressed with the performance, sharpness, and versatility of both of these lenses and wanted to provide you with a long-term use update.
We’ve completely updated our Holiday Season Lens Chart for 2015! Here, at a glance, is the current Sigma lens catalog for easy reference to each other and several wintry touchstones, like penguins, a cardinal and a 16 ounce cup of coffee! Click on the image to view it and download it in its full 7575 x 4200 pixels glory!
Click the poster to view and download at full 7575 x 4200 resolution!
We’ll also be posting this image to our Facebook Page, Instagram and Twitter. Feel free to reshare it, and be sure to tell us what’s on your #SigmaLensWishlist between now and 11:59 PM EST on December 20th, 2015. We’ll be picking five winners to receive a Weather-Resistant Sigma Circular Polarizer (choice of filter size up to 86mm) and Sigma goody bag across all social channels from postings using the #SigmaWishlist hashtag!
As a member of the Sigma Pro Team, it’s always Christmas with new lenses arriving for me to play with. When the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens showed up at the door like a baby being delivered by a stork, I couldn’t get it on my camera fast enough. My son had a little league game later in the afternoon, so I was very eager to give the lens a work out of it’s own. As with many things in life, like ice cream, you can have too much of a good thing. With such a small field, I was right on top of the action which was too much for such a strong lens. Instead of switching to a shorter lens, I decided to switch to a bigger field, so I contacted the Rochester Red Wings, the Triple A farm team of the Minnesota Twins.
I was about to leave on assignment shooting ski areas in New Mexico and Arizona for Powder Magazine and I was worried. It had not snowed for weeks and conditions were far from ideal. The editor and I had talked about it and we decided to go through with the shoot regardless . While I would still have to come back with solid ski action photography we would also lean heavily on the travel and story telling imagery to round out the package. Looking at the maps I realized that on my way to Arizona Snowbowl from Summit County, Colorado, I would have to pass through Monument Valley. I wanted to improve upon the ultra cliché shot (standard view down the road to Monument Valley) with a fresh perspective. I knew exactly the shot I would create to make it my own. To put my own stamp as a skier and ski photographer on this scene.
Here is the shot of the approach to Monument Valley that has been made thousands upon thousands of times.
Once I got to the top of the Monument Valley Road I pulled over and got set up. I mounted my Canon 5DMKII and Sigma 12-24 4.5-5.6 lens on top of my car. I used a Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod and 055 Magnesium ball head to keep my gear safe and steady. I composed the frame so that I would see the skis on top of my car and also the surrounding landscape. Finally I attached my wireless remote trigger to the camera and began driving through the desert landscape.
Canon 5D Mark II and Sigma 12-24mm lens mounted atop my Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod and secured to the rack.
I wanted the roadside to be blurred to show movement into the scene but I also wanted the background landscape and ski tips to be sharp. Using the ultrawide 12-24 lens focused at the ski tips and a shutterspeed of 1/30 sec allowed me to do this. ISO was at 100 and aperture at f/14 to maximize depth of field and total image sharpness.
The view from behind the camera.
Testing the wireless remote and depth of field with me in the frame.
Then it was time to make the shot. Rolling down the road at about 50 MPH, I triggered the camera with the remote several times and nailed the shot I was hoping for.
It’s a bit risky for the world’s top ski magazine to run a shot of skis travelling through the desert as the opener, but I’m glad they did…and it’s great to see a previsualized shot come to life just as you imagined it!