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04.05.2017

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This past weekend I had the chance to take the Sigma 135 f/1.8 DG HSM | Art Series lens on a test-drive in Texas.  I was at Precision Camera’s event called “Precision Camera University”.  This event, held in Bastrop, was a great chance to take some models out to truly test the performance of this highly-anticipated new Sigma portrait lens. The images shown were photographed with the 50-megapixel Canon 5DSr camera.

My first thought after taking it out of the box was about the size.  The 135mm Art lens is smaller in both length and diameter than the 85mm Art lens.  With a filter size of 82mm compared the 85mm Art lens filter size of 86mm, this lens is sure a nice alternative if you are looking for something a bit smaller in physical size.  As for weight, the 135mm is slightly heavier coming at 40.9oz. vs. 39.9oz on the 85mm.

The 135mm Art series lens is a popular focal length for portrait photographers focusing on individuals and couples.  When you start photographing families and groups, the distance you need to capture everyone starts to hinder your abilities to be effective in posing.

© 2017 Ryan Brown | Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG Art | Aperture: F2.5 | Shutter speed: 1/1000 sec | ISO 250

I had the chance to photograph two different models with the 135mm Art series lens.  One of my favorite ways to photograph a model is to keep the camera level while lowering the entire camera.  This gives the appearance of more power to the model.  When looking at the portraits, you will notice that the 135mm focal length creates a great amount of compression with the subject to the background.  The bokeh of this focal length with its wide f/1.8 aperture creates a stunning, almost surreal quality to the background.  In addition to the background, I photographed the female model with flowers in the foreground.  With the thin depth of field at f/2.5 this image shows the blurred foreground and background that draws your eye into the subject.

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05.01.2015

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.

© 2015 Ryan Brown

© 2015 Ryan Brown

Making a commitment to a prime (fixed focal length) lens, requires dedication to the art of seeing and creating with what is in front of you at one focal length.  The slightly wider than normal 35mm F1.4 lens is a great length to capture the personality of an area while still having the ability to walk in to get details.

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04.24.2015

Inspiration is everything in photography.  Most photographers didn’t get into photography because we loved sitting behind a computer or because we loved sitting in a darkroom.  We got into photography because we saw something that inspired us.  Whether that was a National Geographic Magazine article that took us first-hand into some remote part of the world or because we grew up next to a father or grandfather that taught us about the craft, there was something that inspired us.

© 2015 Ryan Brown

© 2015 Ryan Brown

As a portrait photographer I find it particularly important to find something that balances work with pleasure.   After day-in-day-out photographing for clients, it is important to re-ignite our inner passion for photography.  I remember as a child looking at the National Geographic Magazine and wondering what it would be like to travel the world and interact with these different cultures that they document.   This was the inner fire that drove me to become a photographer.

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04.17.2015

In the last few weeks I have had the chance to travel with Sigma’s 18-35mm F1.8 lens to New Jersey, Las Vegas and Chicago.  The lens was put through the tests on a Canon 7D, 50D, and 60D.  I was so intrigued by the lens that as a full-frame shooter, I went and found a cropped sensor camera just to use it.  It was well worth it.

While in Las Vegas, I made a point to only use this lens on the Canon 50D.  The results were amazing!  Here you can see two black and white images made with the combination.  The first is a portrait of Danny, a shop worker in Nevada.  This image was photographed at 18mm at 1/200sec at f/1.8 and ISO 800.  This image shows incredibly crisp detail and textures at the lenses widest aperture.  The next image is of an old desk in a barn in Nevada.  This image was photographed at 23mm 1/30sec at f/1.8 and ISO100.  This image shows details so crisp that the fine texts in various parts of the image are readable.

© 2015 Ryan Brown

© 2015 Ryan Brown

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04.15.2015

The Sigma team was in Pasadena, California for the annual Professional Photographers of California for their Pro Photo Expo.  The weather was great and the temperature was hot both outside and on the trade show floor in the 30-foot Sigma booth.  The wonderful model Jennie was on-site for the 3-day show for photographers to try out any of the Sigma lenses or the Sigma dp Quattro cameras.

© 2015 Ryan Brown

© 2015 Ryan Brown

As a Sigma Technical Representative, I was able to get my hands on the brand-new Sigma dp3 Quattro camera and photograph in the booth with it.  If you have followed my first Sigma blog over the Quattro series, you will know that the topic was on aspect ratios and in-camera black and white.  Just like the dp3’s siblings, the body is the same, just a different lens.  This camera includes a 50mm lens to photograph to it’s APS-C size Foveon sensor.  This means that what you have here is really the perfect portrait lens with its 35mm equivalent being 75mm.

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03.31.2015

Part I: Aspect Ratios and In-Camera Black and White

© 2015 Ryan Brown

© 2015 Ryan Brown

The Sigma dp Quattro series of cameras is a great camera for a number of reasons.  Not only is the camera one of the sharpest digital cameras on the market, but also purists will love it for its true film like qualities.

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12.13.2013

The holiday season is upon us.  In Arlington, Texas the beginning of the holiday season is marked in the photography industry by an all-out public photographic event called the DFW Expo.  Held at the Arlington Convention Center, the event is coordinated and created by Bill Porter and Arlington Camera.

Marked by well-known photographic speakers, the event covers every aspect and specialty of photography including Landscape, Nature, Portraits, Studio, and Weddings.  If you are new to photography or a veteran, there was a workshop for everyone.  Sigma sponsored well-known wildlife photographer Robert O’Toole.

In addition to checking out a wildlife workshop by O’Toole, Sigma fans could also come by the 30-foot Sigma booth to try any lens in the wide range that Sigma offers.  In our booth we had a full studio setup with Westcott constant lights.  I was in the studio mentoring photographers on lighting technique and choosing a lens to best suit our beautiful model Hannah.

© 2013 Ryan Brown

© 2013 Ryan Brown

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08.06.2013

Just four short weeks ago Fedex showed up at my door with a shiny new Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 Art lens.  To my surprise, it is actually smaller and lighter than I would have expected!  In the last few weeks I have had the chance to travel with that lens to New Jersey, Las Vegas and Chicago.  The lens was put through the tests on a Canon 7D, 50D, and 60D.  I was so intrigued by the lens that as a full-frame shooter, I went and found a cropped sensor camera just to use it.  It was well worth it.

Danny © 2013 Ryan Brown | Lens: 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art

Danny © 2013 Ryan Brown

While in Las Vegas, I made a point to only use this lens on the Canon 50D.  The results were amazing!  Here you can see two black and white images made with the combination.  The first is a portrait of Danny, a shop worker in Nevada.  This image was photographed at 18mm at 1/200sec at f/1.8 and ISO 800.  This image shows incredibly crisp detail and textures at the lenses widest aperture. 

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06.05.2013
© 2013 Ryan Brown |

© 2013 Ryan Brown |

This past December I had the chance to explore the desert with the New 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 El Dorado Canyon.  Filled with old cars, trucks, gas pumps, and barns, this was the perfect place to give the new 35mm lens a workout.

Read More >>