As the new year draw closer, many people begin looking for new calendars for the home and office. With many fine photographs of your own on-hand, have you considered creating your own calendar?
Well, now’s the time! Below is advice from pros who have worked on calendars for years, useful links to calendar printers, and a host of options to consider as you create your first masterpiece.
Walter Arnold uses a variety of Sigma lenses to produce the texture-rich images of deserted places and objects. These form the basis for his annual self-published calendar, “The Art of Abandonment.” Photos © 2018 Walter Arnold. All rights reserved.
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Jared Ivy at PhotoPlus 2018
Trade Shows and Dealer Events are a great resource for photographers. Not only do they get a chance to demo gear from multiple manufacturers under one roof, but they get to pick the brains of factory representatives. There are three common questions that I get asked at every trade show I work:
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I have tested the Sigma 60-600mm Sports lens out on my Roamin’ with Roman workshop in the Grand Tetons for three days and wanted to share with you my initial thoughts on the sharpness, performance, as well as build quality and compare it to the Sigma 150-600mm Sports lens.
Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 Sport on a Canon 1Dx body at 600mm and f/6.3 for 1/160th of a sec. at ISO 2500 handheld and OS1
Upon opening the box, I immediately noticed a few distinct differences. The first was the hood. The Sigma 150-600mm Sports (bottom lens in image above) has an all-metal hood while the new Sigma 60-600 Sports has a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) which is very strong but lighter weight. As you can see in the iPhone image above, the new Sigma 60-600mm lens comes with an Arca-Swiss style foot built in. My Sigma 150-600 has the TS-81 tripod foot accessory added. The length of the Sigma 60-600mm Sports was also about an inch shorter, which was surprising. Most other physical differences were less apparent but worth mentioning.
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We sat down with Timur Civan, Sigma Corporation of America’s first Cine Pro, to learn more about his career, what inspires him and what things he’s looking forward to working with Sigma.
Born and raised in New York City, Timur Civan has always seen the world through the eyes of an artist. He began pursuing his creative passion as a contemporary sculptor, incorporating video images into some of his works and exploring a variety of innovative art forms, including photography. Becoming a Director of Photography was therefore a natural progression.
After much experimentation with moving images during his brief professional art career, Civan came to the realization that painting an image with light to tell a story was the medium that best expressed his artistic vision. His techniques in cinematography are at the cutting edge of creative imaging, bolstered by his explorations with new and classic lenses, innovative lighting styles, and a deep dive into the latest technologies. Given his naturally inquisitive nature, fascination with science, and acute artistic sensibilities, he is drawn to technically complex commercial and experimental shooting assignments and is highly adept at in-camera special effects, high speed, tabletop, motion control, and macro work.
Sigma: How long have you been working as a cinematographer?
Timur: 12 amazing years.
What inspired you to pursue a career in cinematography?
I was initially a working sculptor. Through some very fortunate and somewhat unusual circumstances, I wound up somehow the “DP” of a commercial project I had no business shooting. I had never been on a professional set before, and I got through the day because of the kindness of the gaffer and director, who thought it better, to just help the severely green kid get through the day, than to try to find a replacement. By the end of the day, I was asked back the next week for a different project. As I learned and trained under other DP’s, along the way, I developed an affinity for the challenging balance of creativity, practicality, problem solving and leadership. After a year or two, I stopped making art, and pursued cinematography full time.
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The announcement by Sigma that the Art series of prime lenses would be offered in Sony E mount definitely put a smile on the face of this user of Sony cameras. While I tend to use camera bodies from several manufacturers, I have been finding several aspects of the Sony system are better fitting the needs of my current clients. And while my Sigma lenses perform great using the Sigma MC-11 Adapter, offering lenses in Sony E mount, to me, means recognition as well as commitment by Sigma for the growing number of Sony shooters. To put an even bigger smile on my face, I had the privilege to use four of the E mount Art primes this summer.
While zoom lenses tend to get the most use in my newspaper and aviation work, a prime lens just seems to scream “creativity” to me. A prime lens slows me down a bit so I can feel the photograph I see coming together in front of me. It feels more deliberate. To many, a prime lens might relate to extreme sharpness, shallow depth of field when shot wide open and beautiful bokeh- but to me it also means I don’t just stand in one spot and zoom, but have to physically move in or out to align the image in my imagination with the reality in front of me.
I found that especially true when asked to take some outdoor portraits of my friend Anneliese. With the new E mount Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art lens on a Sony A9 camera, I set out to photograph her with the concept of shallow depth of field so the concentration went to her sharply focused eyes. To do that, I used not only continuous AF, but also eye-AF on the camera. I like that continuous AF is always compensating for little movements by the subject. And eye-AF is a Sony setting that allows the camera to lock in on Anneliese’s eye and stay in focus despite the movements of her head or my movements to reframe the composition. One of the advantages of the new Sigma E mount primes is they officially support continuous Auto-focus as well as quicker eye-AF. I like shoot in silent mode and with the new lenses, there is no searching noise.
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens- ISO 500; f1.4 at 1/2000 second.
Putting these attributes to work on a real newspaper assignment, I took the 85mm Art lens on a Sony A9 to photograph a local music festival. I chose the 85mm again because I prefer staying tight on the action or subject. I was amazed at the fast continuous auto focus under extreme lighting conditions. And the sharpness blew me away.
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The Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens is the newest high-zoom ratio standard-to-supertelephoto zoom lens in the Sigma Global Vision lineup. Replacing the venerable 50-500mm EX lens, which was nicknamed by fans the “Bigma”, this new superzoom lens is completely redesigned while maintaining the mind-blowing 10x zoom ratio of its lineage. As a Sports lens, the weather-sealing is first-rate, ready and raring for the roughest conditions; while the Multi-Material Construction shaves weight, pairing Magnesium and Thermally Stable Composite along with Carbon Fiber reinforced plastic to make it durable while staying portable. Packing 25 elements into 19 groups, and weighing under six pounds, this lens packs a lot of punch! From standard to supertele with either a push-pull on the barrel or the wide grippy zoom ring, it also manages to close focus to under a foot from the front elements at 200mm with 1:3.3 magnification.
The Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens offers an amazing 10X zoom ratio; making in the perfect walking-around lens for hikes and nature exploration. Here we are at 600mm, paired with a 6D. 1/1000 F6.3 ISO 500.
Actual pixel crop of the center of the last frame. This lens is super-sharp at 600mm, even wide open!
The three-zone focus limiter switch and Autofocus, Manual Focus, and Manual Override switch have been added, along with a slew of Sigma’s exclusive Global Vision features and functionalities have also been added: Custom Functions Switch to deploy Lens Customization settings via the USB Dock and Sigma Optimization Pro, Zoom lock at all marked focal lengths—a feature introduced to the photography world with the pair of Sigma 150-600mm lenses—and 100% testing for optical performance at our Aizu, Japan factory.
A sailboat heads into the ocean at the meeting of the bays near the tip of Sandy Hook, NJ. This is at 60mm, and takes in the beach, the sea, and the sun rising behind the clouds. 1/1600 F4.5 ISO 1600.
And here we are moments later zoomed all the way to 600mm. This lens is sharp and versatile! 1/1600 F6.3 ISO 1600
I had a few days to get familiar with the lens in the leadup to PhotoPlus 2018, and I am very, very impressed. Wide open at 600mm it is super-sharp on the focal plane, and the near-to-far zoom comparisons to show total reach and range are simply stunning! Straight out of the box, autofocus speed is super-fast, and faster still when focus limiters are employed. AF was quick as…well…let’s just say tracking birds in the sky, even in dusky predawn light, was no problem at all.
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I recently returned from a few days on the road chasing fall colors around Colorado. One of the great aspects about mini adventures like this is the panoply of people I meet out there. Of course, there are the requisite landscape shooters to be found at every overlook, but somewhat surprisingly were all the other photographers. Wedding, architectural, food, portrait, action sports (yours truly) and everyone that wields a camera was to be found extending tripods on cold mornings or late afternoons looking for autumn magic.
Sigma 24-70 f2.8 S lens 1/160 sec. f/10 ISO 400. I love the old fence lines found in Colorado’s cattle country. Here I wet my tripod in a low position and looked up to the aspens and sun. I used two stops split ND filter to help blend the light of the sky and trees with the shadow of the fence.
What is it that we adore so much about fall? And for my part what else can be written about the love affair that so many outdoor photographers have with this vibrant season. Well I’ll take a shot at it. But first let’s talk about what you’ll need!
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This is one of the more frequent themes of conversations I find myself in with photographers who are trying to make their way through the incredible range of equipment available to image makers today. As common a concern as it is I have yet to come up with a more satisfying answer than “it depends.” With the inherently technical nature of photographic equipment its natural to expect that one could simply compare specifications and determine an objective best. In my experience however, the subjective preferences of the practitioner and their requirements for the final image make it impractical to give a universal recommendation for which camera may be best suited to your endeavors.
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As a pro adventure sports photographer, it might come as a surprise to many, but I don’t shoot organized sports events and competitions very often. In fact, one of the only events that I do shoot is a six-day mountain bike stage race called the Breck Epic. Why do I choose to shoot this race? The easy answer is because it’s in my home town and I like showing off our fantastic trail system. But it goes deeper than that. I really enjoy shooting the Breck Epic because it’s a great challenge and digging deep in the tips and tricks tool bag.
In this shot I used the 100-400 C lens to capture a rider just as he crests a huge climb…at 12,508 ft.
© 2018 Liam Doran | Wheeler Pass | Sigma 100-400 C lens on Canon 7DMKII. 1/1250 sec. f/8 ISO 800
With 600 racers riding around on some of Colorado’s best trails you would think it’s a cinch to capture great images. And it is…kind of. The height of the action typically takes place in the middle of the day and often times in deep forest making for intense contrast that can be hard to deal with photographically.
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This has been a summer of fun and exploration. Going to different places, and seeing things with new eyes makes me feel alive. I was lucky enough to have a Sigma 24-35mm F2 Art lens along for the ride. This lens is so versatile, I was able to shoot beautiful landscapes at the beach and close-ups of flowers.
© Danielle Rischawy 2018 | Sigma 24-35mm F2 Art Lens | 29mm | 3 photos combined into 1 using Photoshop | Tripod | Lake Ronkonkoma, NY
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