Whether unwrapped as a surprise under the Christmas tree, or purchased with gift cards to take advantage of the great seasonal pricing on all sorts of photo-related gear and gadgetry this time of year, it’s a known fact that many photographers will be finding themselves the proud owners of new lenses, cameras, bags and accessories right around now. And whatever piece of new gear it is, it’s always important to check it out and run it through its paces before heading out to make a once-in-a-lifetime photo, to make sure you, the proud new owner, are both familiar with the gear, and ensure everything is working as it should.
The holiday season is a great time to make photos with gorgeously softened backgrounds and shallow depth of field for painterly, creative, and festive results. Indoors and out, the Christmas trees bedecked with tiny lights, Menorahs, and decidedly secular seasonal displays that brighten the world each December present the perfect opportunity to experiment, explore and create. While we’ll obviously be featuring a number of Sigma lenses in this how-to, much of the information here is universal.