When Sigma offered me the chance to shoot with the flagship SD1 Merrill DSLR, I jumped on the opportunity to extensively explore the abilities of the Foveon X3 censor at the heart of the camera. Knowing that my plans involved photographing the natural beauty of the mountainous American West allowed for the selection of several lenses from Sigma’s fine catalog most suited for that purpose – the 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM wide angle, the 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM mid range zoom and the 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM telephoto.
I have been looking for an intermediate telephoto zoom lens to add to my lens arsenal. I have owned the Canon 100-400mm lens for a while now but I have never been happy with its sharpness or overall performance and the push pull mechanism for zooming was not very smooth and made tracking while zooming difficult. I was looking at 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses but I felt that I wanted a bit more reach for an intermediate telephoto zoom lens. Someone suggested that I try out the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 and it looked to be a great idea as it fit nicely in my lens lineup between my wide angle lenses that ranged up to 128mm and my super telephoto Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 lens.
Eight years ago, the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) designated June 15th as Nature Photography Day. This year, it will be observed on Saturday, June 15th. This day was created by NANPA to promote the enjoyment of nature photography, and to explain how images have been used to advance the cause of conservation and protect plants, wildlife, and landscapes locally and worldwide.
My father started taking pictures when he was in the army. He rediscovered his love of photography when I was around 11 years old, and he gave me my first camera as a gift and sat me down in a friend’s backyard bird garden with a Sigma 170-500mm. The first time I looked through that lens I was hooked on photography. A blue jay alighted on the stick that the camera was focused on and I snapped the shutter at my father’s urging. When we got home, my father enlarged that image and printed it for me. The image was tack sharp, the colors vibrant and the blue jay looked alive!
I never imagined that choosing the “right” ISO for wildlife photography would be the most controversial subject that I would teach. If you ask many pros about which ISO you should use, the most frequent response you will get is: “Choose an ISO based on what you are shooting”. If you are shooting a portrait of a bird or animal, choose a low ISO and when shooting action, select a higher ISO.
This week’s Fan Photo of the Week was made by Alex McClure of Tempe, Arizona.
Brazil’s Pantanal is one of earth’s most biologically rich areas and truly spectacular photography destination. Last month I took a scouting trip to the Pantanal for wildlife with with special emphasis on the jaguar. It was my first trip here and I have to say the photographic opportunities in the Pantanal were even better than I expected. Jaguar was the main target of the trip and I would have been happy just to see a single one but as it turns out we had the chance to photograph them each day and every day I was there. This is one of the best locations if not the best location on earth to photograph jaguar.
Photographers have been excited about the possibilities of the new Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens since it was announced at Photokina. The first of the Art line in the new Sigma Global Vision, this lens is finally here. And being one of the first photographers in North America to shoot with this lens, I can tell you, it is flat-out amazing.