Sigma Shares

Kathy Wall: June’s Sigma SuperFan

Our Sigma SuperFan for June is Kathy Wall, of White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Kathy became a Sigma SuperFan a few years ago during the NC4 Convention in Creston, Iowa, after trying out the 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Art lens. Here’s a part of her essay that really stood out:

 Approximately 1  1/2 years ago, I attended a convention named N4C held in Creston, IA. I had never purchased a Sigma lens prior to the convention. I had several questions so the Rep spent time educating me on the Sigma products. He was very professional and knowledgeable. I could tell he felt Sigma was top of the line equipment.

Kathy Wall of White Bear Lake, MN is our Sigma SuperFan for June!
Kathy Wall of White Bear Lake, MN is our Sigma SuperFan for June!

 Tell us about yourself

I have lived most of my life in Minnesota. I love the four seasons and the opportunities they bring for photography. I have been married to my husband for 35 years and we have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and a handsome 5 year old grandson. I worked at a large retailer for 26 years in the Finance Dept. I retired 9 years ago and bought my first DSLR camera with the money I received as a retirement gift.

I have always enjoyed taking pictures. I remember being the person taking pictures when my parents would take us on vacation. That was a long time ago! So I have always enjoyed photography. About 8 years ago I became active in a photography club, North Metro Photo Club, and the Twin Cities Area Council of Camera Clubs (TCACCC). I have learned a vast amount over those years. I also started attending workshops and going on photography tours. I have met so many people willing to share information and techniques.

Is photography a passion or a hobby?

Photography is a hobby for me but I am very passionate about it. I strive to get that perfect image but I also had the opportunities to make many new friends.

Balloon Fiesta in Albequerque, NM. 24-105mm F4 at 24mm.
Balloon Fiesta in Albequerque, NM. 24-105mm F4 at 24mm.

What kind of images do you shoot?

I enjoy nature and sports the most, but I love photographing just about anything.

Tell us about your first Sigma lens

My fist Sigma lens was the 24-105. I love that lens and take with me always. It is so convenient to take with me and the quality of images it takes is unbelievable. This is the lens that got me hooked on Sigma. I was at a convention and met the Sigma tech rep. I told him I was thinking about buying a 24-105 lens. He and I spent quite a bit of time discussing Sigma (the company), how they make their lenses and the quality of their lenses. He then loaned me one of his lenses. I took it out on a day tour and fell in love with it. I was also impressed to see the Sigma rep on a short field trip taking pictures with his Sigma equipment. Sigma seems to hire the right people to represent their products. I have talked to two reps and both times have purchased a lens shortly after.

Bobcat Kittens. 70-300mm at 300mm.
Bobcat Kittens. 70-300mm at 300mm.

Was it a discovery or a research project or a recommendation?

Finding Sigma was a discovery, but since than I have talked to numerous people and I have not met one person that dislikes Sigma. I am confident I made the right choice to buy lenses from Sigma.

When was the moment you realized that Sigma products were special to you?

I fell in love with the 24-105 when I borrowed one from the Sigma Rep. It felt so comfortable to hold and I love the sharpness of my images. Recently I purchased the 150-600 Sports lens. I took it to a baseball game to take pictures of a friend’s grandson playing ball. I hand-held the camera the whole time and most of my images came out sharp. Keep in mind I am a 64 year old woman. I was extremely pleased.

Bosque del Apache Nat'l Widlif Refuge New Mexico. 24-105mm at 62mm.
Bosque del Apache Nat’l Widlif Refuge New Mexico. 24-105mm at 62mm.

What differentiates Sigma from other manufacturers that you’ve used/worked with?

I do like the quality of the lenses; they are well built. But, I also like seeing the Sigma reps out in the field shooting with Sigma products. Having good employees that believe in the product they are selling says a lot, also.

What is your most memorable day as a photographer?

I was taking pictures of my grandson last year and he asked me if he could use my camera to take some pictures. He was 4 years old at the time. I bought him a camera a short time later and he has been taking pictures since. I am a proud grand mother.

Top fuel cars NHRA races in Las Vegas. 70-300mm at 95mm.
Top fuel cars NHRA races in Las Vegas. 70-300mm at 95mm.

Dream shoot/dream equipment/dream photo expedition?

An African photo safari, with a Sigma 300-800 F5.6 EX DG, of any animal. Life could not get much better!

Can you tell us one atypical thing in your camera bag?

Besides the typical stuff like batteries, memory cards, lenses, etc., I care a pocket knife and a compact Gerber multi tool that folds up. It even has a bottle opener.

Who is your photo inspiration? Why?

I actual have two main mentors/friends. The first one is John Gregor from Two Harbors, MN. He does a lot of landscape around the North Shore, plus does a wide variety of tours and workshops. The first Photography workshop I took was his. He knows how to challenge a person and encourages you to get to know your camera. He is very knowledgeable, a great photographer, and willing to share that knowledge.

My other mentor is Alec Johnson from the St Paul, MN. One of his talents is black and white photography. He also does a lot of landscapes and ice formations. He does remarkable work.  I was in a slump a few months back. I attended one of his lectures and was so energized. The way he sees photography and explains it is so unique. Both John and Alec are always challenging their talents and trying new avenues in the photography world.

What inspires you?

I love the thought of capturing images of my family for history purposes. I also like to challenge myself and try new techniques. Right now I am doing more work on night photography including star trails.

Ghost Ranch Santa Fe, New Mexico with the 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Art at 32mm.
Ghost Ranch Santa Fe, New Mexico with the 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Art at 32mm.

What do you know for sure about Sigma?

They have high quality product and very capable and dedicated employees.

What is your prize lens choice?

I think the 18-300mm would be a nice addition with all of its flexibility.

 

Are You a Sigma SuperFan, too? Let us know here!

Comments (2)
  1. Mitch Wasserman says:

    Great images, especially the bobcats.

  2. Kishore Jothady says:

    Just before my second trip to US in May 2015, I purchased a Sigma 18-250mm/3.5-6.3 lens for my Nikon. In fact, this particular lens was not available in Mumbai (India) at that time and I had to wait for more than three weeks for it although a lens with similar specs from a competitor was available immediately and that too at a terrific discount because I was a winner in their 2013 All India Photographic Competition and was sort of their brand ambassador. I must say all the wait for my Sigma lens was worth it. I am still in US and have tried it for macro shots, architecture, landscapes, street photography sunsets etc etc. You name it and Sigma delivers to you. All the images are tack sharp with on the dot exposure, saturated colors and no ghost image/flare at all. All that I had heard about Sigma lenses has turned out to be more than true. Kudos to Sigma for giving us such a top quality lens which has saved (at least for me) the all time hassel of changing lenses with two 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses especially during travel with camera risking creeping in of dust during the process.

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