Many people often ask me how I travel to my Roamin’ with Roman Photo Tours workshop locations with my camera […]
Editor’s Note: A few years back, we first came to notice the outstanding work Liam Doran was creating with the […]
I had the chance to explore the desert with the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art Series lens. About 30 miles outside of Las Vegas, Nevada lies a town that is not on any maps. Nelson, Nevada is a former gold mining town in Eldorado Canyon. Filled with old cars, trucks, gas pumps, and barns, this was the perfect place to give the new 35mm lens a workout.
Why circular polarizers still matter: 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.
As a Sigma Pro team member I had the privilege of being invited to give lectures and workshops at the 2014 Festival of Cranes out at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. I have visited the refuge many times before, and, while I was excited about being able to photograph the birds again, I was most excited about my two nighttime lectures and workshops at the Very Large Array (VLA). These giant radio telescopes would make a great foreground subject for a star filled sky. Nobody has been allowed on the property at night since 2009, so I was very excited about taking a group out to the location. Sigma Photo would sponsor the event, and I agreed with the organizers of the festival to take out 40 participants each night. With a group that size, I knew I wouldn’t get much of a chance to take pictures myself, but it would be a great learning opportunity for the class. The image at top is one of the few I was able to take during a break in the instruction.
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.
Landscape photographers day-in and day-out want to include as much of their scenic views as possible. The Sigma 10-20mm allows photographers to take in the grand vistas in open country, as well as much of much of what’s deep inside canyons and caves. Shooters focusing on architecture will find that the 10-w0mm’s extra-wide reach, equivalent to 15mm on a full-frame camera, takes in lots of real estate, whether indoor spaces or exterior views. Sports fans can drop this diminutive lens in their bags, allowing pulled-back images depicting field, fans, and sky. And macro enthusiasts will find joy in exploring all kinds of creative close-up work with this super-wide glass focusing on subjects less than five inches from the lens front!
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.