Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘denise ippolito’

Sigma 180 Macro_4363

In 2012 Sigma released the Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens. In July of this year I had the opportunity to spend about a week with the lens, to give a thorough workout, as it was on loan to me from Gentec International, the Canadian distributor for Sigma lenses. The Sigma 180mm Macro lens is physically a large lens yet does handle very nicely. It is equipped with Sigma’s Optical Stabilization feature, which will compensate for about 4 stops. At the time of this lens’ release it was the only 180mm Macro lens to offer such superb stabilization. It is also a fast lens with a maximum aperture of f2.8 therefore the viewfinder is bright making manual focus easy (should you prefer to manually focus your macro lenses – I generally do). Since my main objective was to use this lens handheld from the canoe for frog photography and wetland details too, I was very eager to put the Optical Stabilizer to the test. Some other features that are noteworthy to mention for this high-performance lens are:

  • Three low dispersion glass elements for excellent correction of both axial chromatic aberration and lateral chromatic aberration.
  • Hyper Sonic Motor delivers auto-focusing that is quiet, fast, and accurate.
  • Multi-layer coatings to minimize flare and ghosting.
  • Accepts 86mm size filters.
  • Tripod collar to easily switch from horizontal to vertical orientations.
  • Minimum focusing distance of 18.5 inches.
  • Magnification ratio of 1:1 at the minimum focusing distance.

Let’s head out into the Horseshoe Lake wetland in the canoe and see what we can find. Do note additional info that is provided in the image captions.

Bullfrog Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO EX DG HSM OS Lens ISO 800, f11 @ 1/160 sec.

Bullfrog
Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens
ISO 800, f11 @ 1/160 sec.

 

Bullfrog Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens ISO 800, f11 @ 1/100 sec.

Bullfrog
Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens
ISO 800, f11 @ 1/100 sec.

One of the first things that did take some getting used to on my part was working with the greater minimum focusing distance. Since I am most accustomed to using my Nikon 105mm Micro Lens which has a minimum focusing distance of 12 inches I often found that I was getting in too close with the Sigma 180mm Macro lens and would have to adjust my positioning to accommodate for the greater minimum focusing distance. This is by no means a hindrance though, in fact the greater minimum focusing distance has many benefits to it. If you enjoy photographing butterflies, small lizards, snakes or other often difficult to approach subjects, the Sigma lens will permit photographing from a greater distance which in-turn will lessen the chance of entering the animals comfort zone causing them to take flight.

Hand-holding the Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens in the Horseshoe Lake wetland was a very enjoyable experience and allowed me to create numerous images that would have been difficult to do otherwise, as it would have been impossible to set-up a tripod in the soft mucky bottom. Do note that macro lenses as a rule are some of the best optics available and I will often use them for landscape imagery as well, including some of the intimate wetland scenes below.

Fragrant White Water Lily Blossom Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens ISO 200, f16 @ 1/80 sec.  Hand-Held

Fragrant White Water Lily Blossom
Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens
ISO 200, f16 @ 1/80 sec.
Hand-Held

 

Spatulate Leaved Sundew Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens ISO 800, f11 @ 1/50 sec. Hand-Held

Spatulate Leaved Sundews at the Edge of the Wetland
Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens
ISO 800, f11 @ 1/50 sec.
Hand-Held

 

Wetland Details Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens ISO 800, f8 @ 1/250 sec Hand-Held

Wetland Details
Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens
ISO 800, f8 @ 1/250 sec
Hand-Held

 

Arrowheads at Edge of Wetland Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens ISO 800, f11 @ 1/80 sec. Hand-Held

Arrowheads at Edge of Wetland
Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens
ISO 800, f11 @ 1/80 sec.
Hand-Held

After photographing several different scenarios in the wetland environment I decided to head into the woods with my tripod and photograph some woodland details. Many years ago I used spend much of my time in woodlands photographing woodland plants, tree bark details and any bugs that I could find. It was a ton of fun to take the Sigma 180mm Macro lens into the woods to re-visit my photographic roots.

Staghorn Sumac Leaves Close-up Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens ISO 400, f16 @ 0.6 sec Tripod Mounted with OS off

Staghorn Sumac Leaves Close-up
Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens
ISO 400, f16 @ 0.6 sec
Tripod Mounted with OS turned off

 

Silver Birch Tree Bark Detail Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens ISO 200, f29 @ 6 seconds Tripod Mounted with OS turned off

Silver Birch Tree Bark Detail
Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens
ISO 200, f29 @ 6 seconds
Tripod Mounted with OS turned off

 

Daddy Long-Legs on White Birch Tree Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens ISO 200, f32 @ 8 seconds Tripod Mounted with OS turned off

Daddy Long-Legs on White Birch Tree
Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens
ISO 200, f32 @ 8 seconds
Tripod Mounted with OS turned off

And last but not least, I could not resist the temptation to create a pleasing blur of a lovely cluster of ferns growing alongside of the cottage road. To create the blurred effect I simply stood at the edge of the road, looking down upon the ferns and using an in-camera sideways motion with a shutter speed of 1/15 created an image that revealed the subject matter, yet had a pleasing amount of blur to it as well. This is a technique that I learned from colleague, mentor and friend Denise Ippolito.

Pleasing Fern Blur Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens ISO 800, f8 @ 1/15 sec Hand-Held with a Sideways Movement

Pleasing Fern Blur
Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens
ISO 800, f8 @ 1/15 sec
Hand-Held In-camera Blur with a Sideways Movement

Conclusion: The Sigma 180mm f2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS Lens was an absolute joy to use. The 18.5 inch minimum working distance took some getting used to on my part, but is very beneficial to photographing subjects that are prone to spook very easily. The Optical Stabilization feature’s performance is superb offering a stable solution to creating hand-held imagery in often difficult situations. While I mainly used the lens hand-held, the tripod collar did make switching from horizontal to vertical orientations effortless when a tripod was in use. Alternately, the tripod collar would offer an excellent and very simple solution to mounting an off-camera flash for night-time macro photography, much like I do for my night-time frog imagery whereby I use flash 100% of the time. I would highly recommend this lens to anyone looking for a macro lens, or looking to upgrade to a longer focal length macro lens. It is a large, sturdy, and well built lens that delivers superb image results. I only wish that I had more time to fully explore the capabilities this lens has to offer.

Please do click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper versions.

Read Full Post »

 

 

The Art of Flower Photography

On August 13th Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris released their latest eBook ‘The Art of Flower Photography.’  As I read my way through the pages of this wonderful new eBook the imagery within has been filling me with the inspiration to get out and start photographing flowers again. When I first became interested in photography I began by photographing wildflowers and accumulated thousands of 35mm slides before switching to digital, and subsequently stopped photographing flowers as often.

Throughout the eBook Denise and Arthur explain how they approach flower photography, which is interesting as they each have different methods of doing so. Denise will often handhold a 100mm macro lens with impressive results, while Arthur won’t shy away from using a 600mm or 800mm lens to create stunning portraits. This eBook contains 203 pages and discusses various topics including; composition, lighting, selective focus, high key imagery, flower-scapes, light pads, pleasing blurs, multiple exposures, and lens / gear choices. There are also various ideas for creating artistic renderings with Photoshop plug-ins like Topaz Labs Simplify and Fractalius. And let’s not forget Denise’s signature flowers with texture overlays and how to apply these texture overlays to your own photos.

This is a must have eBook for anyone who enjoys flower photography. You will be inspired to take your own photography to the next level as you explore these creative ideas with your own imagery. For further inspiration from Denise and Arthur be sure to follow along on their respective blogs, which can be found by clicking on their names in the side-bar under the Blogroll section.

The Art of Flower Photography can be purchased by clicking here.

 

Read Full Post »

Sigma Fisheye_1952

The newest member of my tool kit arrived yesterday and will find a permanent home in my gear bag and will likely spend a lot of time affixed to my Nikon D800. For those folks who have been following along here for a while and for those who may have recently subscribed Gentec International the Canadian Distributor for Sigma lenses was kind enough to loan me the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens for a frog project I am working on and for my trip to Lake Superior Provincial Park in September 2013. You can read my review of this amazing lens here. Yours truly was also featured on the Sigma promotional card for this lens which can be seen here. In short, I have been so impressed with this lens and its versatility, not too mention how it expands one’s creativity, that I purchased this lens with my own hard earned money. I did not hesitate to get out today for a couple of quick images of a lovely field of rudbeckia flowers while I was in the town of Orillia visiting with my parents this afternoon.

Rudbeckia Flowers in Field, Orillia, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens, ISO 400, f11 @ 1/640

Rudbeckia Flowers in Field, Orillia, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens, ISO 400, f11 @ 1/640

 

Something Cool About Flowers

For those folks who love to photograph flowers and who like to create artistic renditions of their flower photos as well, be sure to check out the latest eBook by Denise Ippolito and Arthur MorrisThe Art of Flower Photography.” Based on my initial browse through of the eBook’s pages, I have to say WOW!!!

I will be away for the next week but promise to do a full review upon my return. Stay tuned for the complete review.

 

Please do click on the images above to see the larger, sharper versions of each.

 

Read Full Post »

A Waterfall Along the Nottawasaga River, Organgeville, Ontario

Secluded Woodland Waterfall on the Nottawasaga River near Orangeville, Ontario

The above artistic rendering of a small waterfall located along the Nottawasaga River near Orangeville, Ontario was created using the Photoshop plug-in Topaz Simplify, which is available from Topaz Labs. I visited this waterfall a few years ago and have had the image sitting on the back-burner ever since. This evening I decided it was time to optimize the image file and play around with creating a painterly-like version of it as well. Below you will see the original version of this lovely, secluded waterfall.

Secluded Woodland Waterfall on the Nottawasaga River. Orangeville, Ontario.

Secluded Woodland Waterfall on the Nottawasaga River near Orangeville, Ontario.

In other news: the May issue of the Creative Photography E-Mini-Magazine (The Mini-Mag) is now available on-line here. This wonderful, absolutely free, on-line creative photography magazine is published monthly by Denise Ippolito. Do check out this magazine that is full of useful and creative tips and to see the latest froggie article by yours truly click here.

Read Full Post »

Cuban Treefrog, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Cuban Treefrog (adult), Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

For those folks who missed the quiz please read the early blog post here. So what lens did I use? Edith Levy was closest with her answer of the 70-200mm lens. I actually used my Nikon 80-400mm VR lens to created all of my Cuban Treefrog photos that were created on the island of Cayman Brac in the Cayman Islands. Do note that this is the earlier version of the Nikon 80-400mm VR lens (yes the lens that folks like to trash in their on-line reviews). This lens has a minimum focusing distance of roughly 7 feet, so how was I able to create close-up images of adult and juvenile Cuban Treefrogs? To find out how please follow this link to my most recent article in  the Creative Photography e-mini Magazine, which is published and available for free each month by friend, colleague, and highly talented Denise Ippolito. I have learned a ton of creative stuff from Denise, and you can too by simply following along on her blog and the articles that are feature in the eMini Magazine every month by many creative and talented folks.

Read Full Post »

6 Image Multiple Exposure of Aspen Trees and Autumn Colour

6 Image Multiple Exposure of Aspen Trees and Autumn Color

On Tuesday, October 8th I spent the day with Denise Ippolito photographing in the Coldwater area just north of Toronto. We were in search of some lovely autumn scenery however, with the prolonged heavy rains that we endured on the past weekend much of the autumn foliage had fallen. As we drove around we did come across some lovely stands of Aspen trees that were set among a mix of yellows and reds, following Denise’s lead I set my my Nikon D800 to it’s multiple exposure setting, dialing in a total of 6 images for this technique. The results we achieved by doing so quite lovely and the images photographed using Denise’s multiple exposure technique turned out to be my favorites of the season. To learn more about this technique for photographing such scenes head over to Denise’s blog here where she explains how she created this killer effect.

I am off to the Parry Sound region to close the cottage for the coming winter, so the blog will be quiet for the next few days.

Please remember to click on each of the images to view the larger, sharper versions.

6 Image Multiple Exposure of Aspen Trees and Autumn Color

6 Image Multiple Exposure of Aspen Trees and Autumn Color

 

6 Image Multiple Exposure of Aspen Trees and Autumn Color

6 Image Multiple Exposure of Aspen Trees and Autumn Color

 

6 Image Multiple Exposure of Aspen Trees and Autumn Color

6 Image Multiple Exposure of Aspen Trees and Autumn Color

 

 

Read Full Post »

Rusty Old Wreck - Original Capture

Rusty Old Wreck – Original Capture

Above you will see the original version of a lovely, rusty old wreck that was photographed today during one of Denise Ippolito’s numerous workshops that are planned during her visit to the Toronto area. This morning the weather conditions could not have been better as we were presented with lots of fog and some rain and drizzle to help saturate the colors of the rusted old wrecks we were photographing. Denise will also be presenting her “A Blend of Art & Nature Photography” lecture for the Toronto Digital Photography Club on Tuesday evening at 7:30 pm at the Edithvale Community Centre in North York. To find out more about how to sign up for the lecture, please click here.

Below you will see the various creative renditions I conjured up using various photoshop plug-ins. Each of the image captions will inform you of the software used to create the effect as presented. Please remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper versions. Also, please take a moment to let us know which is your favorite of these renditions.

Rusty Old Wreck - Topaz Black & White Effects 2

Rusty Old Wreck – Topaz Black & White Effects 2

 

Rusty Old Wreck - Silver Efex Pro 2

Rusty Old Wreck – Silver Efex Pro 2

 

Rusty Old Wreck - Nik HDR Efex

Rusty Old Wreck – Nik HDR Efex

 

Rusty Old Wreck - Fractalius

Rusty Old Wreck – Fractalius

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 845 other followers

%d bloggers like this: