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05.24.2018

My ongoing journey towards perfecting my skill is fueled by the passion of dance. Capturing these exquisite bodies in motion while expressing their art becomes an exchange of energy where an instant of beauty is held in time. The opportunity to capture these images with the latest array of amazing Sigma lenses makes this all possible. Many of the images you will see here are just a small part of a body of work that I have created over the last few years while using a variety of Sigma lenses.

©Judy Host 2018 | Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art | F/5.6 | 1/500 sec | ISO 1000 | Focal length 24mm. Manual mode. Natural light. The beautiful Emi Arata brilliantly demonstrating the art of the dance on a small balcony at the Signature Hotel. This image would not have been possible without the wide- angle perspective of Sigma’s 24-35mm F2 DG HSM.

In 2017, the Director of the Interior Design Center for MGM Resorts Int’l searched the internet for ballet images created specifically outside using architecture as an element. She found a group of images I had created and liked what she saw. I was contacted by her office and asked to submit about 30 more images. Several months went by and I continued to submit more images and then started to create images to their specifications. After months of customizing a selection of 20 images, we finally narrowed them down to nine. The entire process took about 6 months.

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05.11.2018

By Walter Arnold

For the last nine years, I have spent much of my time poking around the darkened nooks and crannies of abandoned buildings. Not because I like the smell of mold and mildew or enjoy using my face as a spider web clearing tool, but because I LOVE searching for beauty in unexpected places. Since 2009 I have been creating a fine art photographic series called The Art of Abandonment. My travels take me all over, searching out historic and endangered locations, and creating scenes that tell a story.

Sloss Furnaces. ISO 100 F/11 @ 14mm. © Walter Arnold

Since day one, Sigma lenses have always been in my bag alongside a few pro-level Nikon lenses as well. In fact, my first ultrawide lens was the Sigma 10-20mm which I used for years on a Nikon D300. When I upgraded to the full-frame Nikon D800 however, I went with a different ultrawide bread and butter lens for the last five years with the same focal range and aperture. So, when Sigma contacted me and told me they had a 14-24mm F2.8 ART lens that was potentially “breadier and butterier” than the killer one in my bag, I HAD to try it out on one of my abandonment shoots.

Sloss Furnace. ISO 100 F/11 @ 14mm. © Walter Arnold

 

When the lens came in the mail, I opened it like a long-awaited Christmas present. Pulling it out of the padded case, I could tell that the lens had a solid build. The focus and zoom rings are smooth with the right amount of resistance. Bear in mind the zoom ring is reversed from the house brand, so it took a little brain training for me to remember that zooming out is now a RIGHT turn instead of left! The lens cap has a padded ring which is very nice for sliding over the lens petals without scuffing or scratching them.  All this is to say, I liked the lens even before I put it on my camera.

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04.26.2018

By Avery Howard

This is a special guest blog post written and photographed by Avery Howard, 2nd grade daughter of Sigma’s chief blogger/tech editor, Jack Howard, for “National Take Your Child to Work Day”

Yellow and White Daffodils. Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art lens on Olympus OMD-E5 Photo © Avery Howard

The first concept we got to explore for Take Your Child to Work Day was to take photos of flowers and especially red tulips, yellow daffodils, dandelions, yellow tulips, and bicolored daffodils.

We experimented with different in-camera Art Filters to see how effects change the feel of a picture. This is Soft-focus.  Photo © Avery Howard

This is a black and white film grain effect! Photo © Avery Howard

And here is the non-filtered version. Photo © Avery Howard

The second concept was to take other nature photos, including a leaning tree, riverbank, three pine cones &  two big sticks. My dad and I identified great photos and the angles to shoot with the two lenses. I also learned how to take photos of landscapes and great shots of people today! (And by “people” I really mean Pato the duck!).

Looking at trees through a hole in fence post. We also tried the 16mm F1.4 DC DN | C lens as well for this picture. Photo © Avery Howard

A portrait of my duck, Pato, taking field notes under the daffodils.

After we got back to my dad’s home office we picked out our favorite photos and prepared them for the website using Photoshop. Some of the photos were better than others and these were the ones we picked. We looked at the framing, if it was blurry or sharp, and the colors, to decide which we liked best.

A picture of me taking a picture of my dad! Photo © Avery Howard

A picture I took of my dad taking a picture of me! Photo © Avery Howard

I also learned a close-up photo is called a “macro”. This little flower is smaller than a quarter. It was helpful to use a tripod to frame this picture! (We used a Sigma 18-300mm C on a Reb T3i) Photo © Avery Howard

Then we wrote the blog in Google Docs (and I showed my dad how to use Google Voice typing, too!) and uploaded it into a program called WordPress and then we published it. You are reading it now. I hope you enjoyed it!

03.28.2018

Photographing the aurora can be one of the most exciting opportunities a landscape photographer can come across. People most commonly travel to Northern locations from all over for a chance to see them in what can often be a once in a life time experience. Even if you’ve traveled to the far North, it’s never a guarantee you’ll see them. That just makes it all the more important that you’re ready to shoot them when you do.  It’s worth noting that if you’re planning a trip in the Southern Hemisphere, all of these tips below will also be applicable if you’re fortunate enough to see the Southern Lights, the “Aurora Australis.”

02-Jack-Fusco---Kirkjufell---Iceland

Another example of catching the aurora in between the infamously unpredictable Iceland weather. This time, I was already at my location and just waiting for a clearing. It never totally cleared up, but there was just enough of a break to capture this panoramic image at this iconic location. Sony A7RII | Sigma 24mm | f/1.8 | ISO 3200 | 5 sec x10

I’ve been fortunate enough to photograph the Northern lights a good number of times and recently contributed an entire section of a book focused on shooting them. I wanted to share some of my favorite tips here today.

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03.21.2018

For many, the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas strip make it the perfect destination. On the other end, many landscape travelers go to Vegas because it’s the nearest airport to Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and many well-knows national parks. Many photographers overlook the great landscapes Red Rock Canyon offers just outside of Vegas, perfect for a day trip.

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14mm | 1/160 sec, f/11, ISO 100 | © Danielle Rischawy 2018
This image is shot with a Sigma 14mm Art lens. It was shot handheld while I was hiking through Red Rock Canyon. This vast landscape is captured beautifully with a wide-angle lens. I love the little burst of sun.

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03.14.2018

There are many awards and praises that can be given to an outstanding lens. The biggest one I can give is keep that lens mounted on my camera and use it every day. The new Sigma 16mm F1.4 Contemporary DC DN E mount lens is that outstanding of a lens to me.

I’m not a photographer that is as interested in minute technical details of lens testing as I am a photographer that wants results in the real world. And the Sigma 16mm has not disappointed me with each new day and each new assignment.

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03.01.2018

Fonts Point provides an incredible view of the Borrego Badlands and an immense view of the stars. Shooting with the Moon still in the sky here creates a lot interesting textures nearly 1300ft below. Sony A7RII – Sigma 14-24 f2.8 | 14mm | f2.8 | ISO1600 | 8 sec. All photos © 2018 Jack Fusco


Sigma Ambassador Jack Fusco had the chance to be one of the first photographers in North America to test-drive the new Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art lens. Its edge to edge performance and zoom versatility has earned it a place in his bag for dark sky photography.

Before heading out for a shoot, I open my bag to make sure I have everything I need and also remove anything I won’t be needing. I think it’s safe to say every photographer wants to be selective about what goes in to their camera bag. If I’m not going to use it, why carry the extra weight? Why not replace it with something I might actually use? This is an even more important process if I’ll be traveling.

The amount of light given off from the Moon can certainly be surprising at times and even make some longer exposures appear to be taken in full day light. While exploring the park and waiting for Moonset, I found myself turning my headlamp off and letting my eyes adjust to the available light. Sony A7RII – Sigma 14-24 f2.8 | 14mm | f4 | ISO1600 | 6 sec

Consisting of 6 vertical images, this image captures the Milky Way stretching all the way across the sky above the arch rock. I took each image consecutively and without the same settings throughout. Sony A7RII – Sigma 14-24 f2.8 | 14mm | f2.8 | ISO3200 | 15 sec x 6

Although lens selection can vary with astrophotography, there are almost zero circumstances that I won’t be needing a wide-angle lens. All these are just the starting reasons I was incredibly excited about the new Sigma 14-24 f2.8 DG HSM | A lens. It’s the perfect combination of focal length range and aperture for capturing a huge landscape while pulling detail from the Milky Way as it stretches across the sky above.

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02.23.2018

THe Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art lens is $1,299 through Authorized US retailers.

The Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art lens is an outstanding fast-aperture, constant aperture ultra wide to wide angle full-frame zoom lens. Designed for today’s super-high resolution megapixel DSLRs, this new 1.7x zoom ratio Art lens is designed for edge to edge sharpness for 8K monitors, and large-format prints.

A horse in a paddock as seen through the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art lens at 24mm. 1/500 F8.0 ISO 100 on the Canon EOS 6D.

This is simply a fantastic lens. It is razor-sharp on the focal plane at all focal lengths, and from edge to edge. And the rectilinear correction is simply outstanding—straight lines stay straight—from 14mm to 24mm, from sweeping fields of view covering 114.2º to 84.1º, the lens exemplifies pro-caliber wide angle imaging.

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02.16.2018

With a little practice and some practical guidance, it is easy to make amazing food photographs of your own culinary creations. Whether you are a beginning food blogger, or an experienced chef who’s ready to move beyond the smartphone snap, making Insta—worthy shots has never been easier with a beginner’s DSLR and a sharp zoom lens. The ability to zoom in close for details and that amazing background blur will really set your photos apart in a sea of snack and cake shots.

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17-70mm | 70mm | 1/125 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1250 | © Danielle Rischawy 2018

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02.14.2018

Introduction

Sigma Pro Judy Host is known for her incredibly touching, one-of-a-kind work as a portrait photographer. One of her most recent projects shied away from her typical portrait work, as she traveled through the Middle East, documenting several landscapes and the overwhelming history and emotions that they are filled with. Accompanied by Sigma’s SD Quattro H Mirrorless Camera, Judy captured breathtaking views, allowing us to feel like we were with her on her trip even from thousands of miles away.

Judy toured through several of her “bucket list locations” on this 12-day excursion, including Israel, Malta, and several Greek Islands. Knowing that she would be doing a lot of traveling in areas with warm sunny weather, Judy said bringing the SD Quattro was the perfect choice. “Given that I was shooting outside in areas with tons of light, I wasn’t concerned about having to use high ISOs. The SD Quattro H Mirrorless Camera is small, light, and easy to use and really a great camera for the conditions I was shooting in” Judy notes.

A main goal of Judy’s was to document her trip in a way in which she could share a bit of history about each of the areas she visited. She wanted people viewing her images to see what it was actually like to be there; the size of the buildings and the overall perspective. Though this was a huge challenge, using wide-angle lenses was extremely helpful and necessary for these significant shots.

Bits of History Captured by Judy

One particular scene Judy captured took place in Lindos, a city on the Island of Rhodes in Greece. Filled with tons of beautiful white buildings, the city was built at the base of a mountain. The mountain comes out of the modern city and on top of it lays ancient ruins. Most of the shooting Judy did took place on top of this mountain, known as the Acropolis of Lindos. Judy emphasizes the incredible history that is visible on this authentic site of remains. “Through different drawings they show you what it the Acropolis of Lindos looked like years and years ago, compared to what it looks like now” Judy says. Of course over the past 2000 years parts of the land was greatly destroyed through wars, so you are able to see a genuine transformation from the “then drawings” to Judy’s current shots.

© Judy Host | 2017

Though much of the Acropolis of Lindos is now dirt and rock, the land yields an extremely informative part of Greek history. The images captured here were some of Judy’s favorites. She says, “The light was perfect and with the Sigma camera, the colors were so vibrant. The sky looked so blue against the ancient white stones.”

© Judy Host | 2017

© Judy Host | 2017

© Judy Host | 2017

She had a similar, touching experience at one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus of Rhodes. Located on the Island of Rhodes, a great statue of the Greek God Helios once stood. It had been constructed to celebrate Rhodes’ victory in a war almost 2000 years ago, but experienced destruction by natural causes years later. Now, all that remains are pieces of the pillars that once held this statue up. “There wasn’t anything left to photograph, but hearing the history behind it creates an even bigger connection to the island,” Judy says.

Another one of Judy’s favorite scenes took place in Mykonos, Greece. The SD Quattro excelled in Mykonos specifically, as the white buildings and blue roofs popped in each photo. She recalls walking around the city, looking for the perfect shot. Given that she visited at the end of their main touring season, it was easy to take photos without having tons of people to edit out in the background. “There was one building that I captured that was really special because of how beautiful it was. It was very quiet- just me – and such perfect lighting. The memory of the whole experience was incredible.” Judy notes that this building is likely just an average home to many, but the connection she made in this spot was unforgettable.

© Judy Host | 2017

© Judy Host | 2017

Another major highlight of Judy’s trip included a Game of Thrones tour in Malta, a city packed with magnificent buildings where the first season of the show was shot. Judy recalls entering a famous landmark in the show; The Red Keep located within King’s Landing. Visiting at a rather quiet time, Judy says the scene was simply amazing.

© Judy Host | 2017

Conclusion

Judy’s recent excursion highlighted the essence of traveling and exploring new places. With a great deal of authenticity, history and emotions, her shots truly allow us to feel like we traveled with her. Judy’s immense talent and unique style combined with the high quality equipment that she used, enabled her to beautifully capture the trip of a lifetime.