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Featured, Gear, Photography

A day out with the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 HSM Art Lens

January 7, 2017
Sigma 12-24mm f/4 HSM Art

I got my hands on the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 HSM Art, and what better way to bring it out in the real world and just shoot with it. Just for your info, this is the first time I’m using a Sigma lens on my Nikon body so I have no opinions what so ever prior to using this lens. One thing for sure is that I’ve heard many raving reviews regarding the Art lens from Sigma. Also, I would like to add a disclaimer that this post is not a lens vs lens nor is it a review, but rather, my honest thoughts of using this lens and shooting with it.

First impression

First thing I saw when I picked it up at the store was how slick the lens bag was. I’m always appreciative when care has been taken to package and store any lens properly. Inside, there’s foam where the lens seats nicely and a zipper cover. The lens though was something else, when I lifted it up it was heavy. One thing comes to mind when it’s this heavy is – it must have lot’s of glass or it must be really good as with most top of the line lenses. The built quality was really good, I mean visually looking at it, touching and feeling it in my hands felt good. The next surprise came when I opened the lens cover; the most bulbous front element I’ve ever seen. This thing was like one fine piece of beautiful glass staring at me and mine you, the Nikon 14-24mm is wide and I can’t wait to see how wide 12mm would be.

A little research

Prior to me trying out this lens, my knowledge was practically zero. So knowing me, I googled to find out more about what makes this lens pretty amazing. This is what I found out and these interests me – minimal distortion in its wide angle imagery, largest aspherical element which controls distortion, ghosting and flaring, an emphasis on edge to edge performance to bring out sharp and contrasty image and also, hyper sonic motor, FLD glass with performance equal to fluorite, blah blah blah.

Time to bring it out for a spin

Here are some photos taken with the Sigma. All was captured in raw. Everything was post-processed. The only thing I left out was sharpening. Trust me when I say, you don’t need the additional sharpening.

SIGMA 12-24MM F/4 HSM ART

I left home early to get this sunrise. Info: 12mm f/8 3.0s

 

Singapore skyline at sunset. Info: 16mm f/22 1/40s

 

This is where the 12-24mm would excel, getting this whole shot in a single frame. Info: 12mm, f/8 2.0s, multiple image blending for light trails

 

12mm is power at your disposal when you need it. I got down low to get this single shot of the Marina Bay Sands in between this huge canopy. Info: 12mm f/9 1/640s

Final verdict

The Sigma 12-24mm f/4 HSM Art Lens is an impressive lens. Twelve mm is an extremely large wide focal length. Image wise, all came out with good contrast and sharpness from edge to edge. Where this lens would excel, is to use it as a landscape lens more than anything else. One downside is that it is a heavy lens. It would be good to add this lens as part of your workout regime. With that said, it would always be used with a tripod anyway. One advantage compared to the AF-S NIKKOR 14– 24mm f/2.8G ED or the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM is the price. This lens is a bargain for its price point.

Thank you TKFoto for this lens. If you’re in Singapore, head over there to find a variety of camera products and photography equipment.

Outdoor, Photography

Frozen Grace – New series featuring a ballerina and long exposure photography

May 19, 2015
Frozen Grace

Frozen Grace

Frozen Grace

I found photos on my phone which I took in 2013 of this location. Pre-visualization came instantly like a flash – I wanted to added a human element within my long exposure photography. I figured what better way to portray a ballerina and then encapsulate all her gracefulness and motion in a long exposure – forever sealed in a moment where time stood still for that brief period. Through my tries and failures to get a suitable candidate, it took me another two years to finally achieve what I wanted.

Success takes time and not an overnight endeavour. To share your ideas and have somebody agree with your ideas is the beginning. To make a connection and then immortalize it in a photograph is priceless. I’m grateful for the opportunity and it was truly a pleasure to work with Sanna.

If you wish to see my series on ballerina Sanna Kaapola, head over here.

Design Stack recently did a short write-up and showcased some of my works soon after I finished this series. Thank you for the feature.

 

Outdoor, Photography

I AM – Ballerina Sanna Kaappola

May 19, 2015
Sanna Kaappola

“Dancing is creating a sculpture that is visible only for a moment.”
― Erol Ozan

Sanna Kaappola

Sanna Kaappola

Sanna Kaappola

Sanna Kaappola

Sanna Kaappola

I am a fan of many art discipline. It has always been in me – my fascination with the creative world; be it in design, photography, dance, visual arts, etc. My fascination would be bring me to countless hours of in depth research – searching for information and history of the art form. This “habit” of mine would lead to this post and my latest photography project with ballerina Sanna Kaappola.

It all began in early 2013 when I visited this location for a casual stroll, which in turn, lead to me to create my long exposure “Life of Pier” series in 2014. Back then, I realised the potential of adding a human element to my long exposure photography. The question though was who would make a great subject. It took another two years for the idea to become reality.

As a professional ballerina, Sanna has graced some of the finest stages in the world. It was by chance that I stumbled upon her Facebook and found that she was currently based in Singapore. I jumped at the opportunity by sharing with her my concept and was delighted when she said she was interested in working with me. This is an introduction to ballerina Sanna Kaapola and her dedication to her art. My series titled “Frozen Grace” will be my next post. Keep you posted.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Photography, Studio

Vitalina Zagryva

May 16, 2015

Vitalina Zagryva

Vitalina Zagryva

Vitalina Zagryva

Vitalina Zagryva

Vitalina Zagryva

Vitalina Zagryva

Model – Vitalina Zagryva
Location – MacPherson studio
Stylist & HMUA – Beautyworks by Pippin Emerald
Camera – Nikon D700, 24-120mm f4
Equipment – Macbook Pro, Wacom tablet

Photography, Studio

Yana Chepurna

May 13, 2015
Yana Chepurna

Yana Chepurna

Yana Chepurna

Yana Chepurna

 Model – Yana Chepurna
Location – Roy Chuang Production
Stylist & HMUA – Beautyworks by Pippin Emerald
Camera – Nikon D750, 24-120mm f4
Equipment – Macbook Pro, Wacom tablet

I was surfing the Net and Facebook a few weeks ago– looking for inspiration and passing time. Man, not sure why but my newsfeed was filled with fashion and portraiture. I told myself, wouldn’t it be nice to do portraiture for a change – black and white, yes that would be nice.

Scrolled a little more and started reading a particular shoot. Hmm, interesting words; HMUA, MUA, stylist, manicurist, and wardrobe. Nah! Probably not! No contacts, no models, fashion label/ clothes and accessories. Spotted a nice black and white profile picture (probably that’s why it caught my eye, heh!). She goes by, Beautyworks by Pippin Emerald; Tina. Told myself, I’m going to compliment her for her beautiful work. We chatted for a while then I asked her about working together. Paused and I was hoping for a No. Jumped out of my chair when the answer was Yes! Surfed her timeline a few days later to find out she was MUA for Emily Soto workshops on two occasions. So it was a honour to work with her – which is great but added some pressure on me to perform.

So yeah, I got Tina from Beautyworks by Pippin Emerald to work together with me.Time to get to work now. Contacted a few models. Most were agreeable and liked the ideas but I had to choose one. Yana was the perfect choice; dark/ femme fatale look which fitted the concept. She’s totally the opposite in person once you get into conversation with her.

Day of the shoot. Got moral support from wifey. Asked her along to help pick some flowers. What do I know about flowers, models and makeup. Deep inside, I laughed and broke a sweat. The night before MUA surprised me with 3 outfits. Yay!

Lighting

I lit Yana with a beauty dish. Just one light for the entire shoot. I just moved her front, back and turned her away to get between loop, rembrandt and split lighting. I’m a visual person who goes by feel rather than technicality but that’s the only way to describe the lighting I was aiming for.

I’m so impressed working with Yana. I really love her look and her ability to emote. Truly, I would love to work with her once again.

Post processing

The entire shoot was done with black seamless paper. I added textures in post. You can do pretty much any style once you have the pictures.

Finally, here are the photos. 3 looks in one session. Thank you so much to Tina, Yana and my supportive wife for the shoot.