Northern Lights over Southern Iceland

I'm very excited to announce that I have officially become an Ambassador for the Sigma Lens Corporation.

For the past year and two months, I've been exclusively shooting my images with lenses made by Sigma. I can say without hesitation that their ART series has made a huge impact on the quality of my night photography images. 

At the time of writing this, the Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM A lens has just been announced. With how much I've loved using the lenses below, I'm already excited to add that to my lineup.

With that said, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few of my favorite images that I've taken with the lenses that have become a staple in my gear bag. 

20mm F1.4 DG HSM | A

The 20mm has been a more recent addition to my bag, but it's been a go to when I know the I'll need a bit of extra space in the frame. I normally carry two camera bodies in my bag with the 24mm on one and the 20mm on the other.  As with the other ART series lenses, that f/1.4 aperture  can be an absolute game changer for your night photography. Here are three recent images I've taken with the 20mm f/1.4 ART lens.

Volcanoes National Park -  After capturing all of the time-lapse sequences for my recent video, I knew I couldn't leave without at least one shot like this. I used a small travel tripod to get my camera low to the ground, ran up a pile of hardened lava and set off a few quick exposures. 

Southern Iceland - While racing to make it to the glacier lagoon, I just couldn't drive any further without stopping to grab a few photos. That quickly turned in to 45 minutes of time lapsing of which this is a single frame from one of those sequences.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon - An hour or so of driving later and I finally made it to the glacier lagoon. I had been running around like crazy and finally had to throw my arms up in excitement. What an incredible first night in Iceland. 

24mm F1.4 DG HSM | A

The 24mm was the first Sigma ART lens I used and since then it hasn't left my bag. Some of my favorite photos that I've taken of the past year, or at any point for that matter, have been taken with the 24mm

Eternal - Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest - Sitting around 11,000ft elevation, the sky near these 4000+ year old trees is pretty incredible. After having this area on my list for over three years, being able to pull so much detail out of the sky in a single exposure was really an incredible feeling.

McWay Falls - This was another location I had been wanting to visit for quite some time. This is a two row panoramic image that I later cropped to a 4x5 ratio. Without any Moon light, I knew I would have to shoot at 1.4 and crank my ISO pretty high to pull detail from the beach below. I fired off 5 exposures, with all the same settings, for the FG area and then 5 more for the sky.

 Mobius Arch - This is a three frame vertical panorama. If you look closely, toward the top of the frame, you can spot the comet 252p/Linear. I was pretty excited at the amount of detail from the Milky Way I was able to capture. Although I had been using the 24mm for a few months at this point, this was probably the most impressive sky I had shot with it to date. 

50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A

The 50mm doesn't make it out of my camera bag every night, but when it does it produces some pretty killer results. Traditionally, I only used to carry wide or ultra-wide angle lenses in my bag. I had a few ideas for shots that I would need some additional reach, but I never really got around to picking up a lens for those handful of ideas that I had. Now that the 50mm has become a permanent addition to my bag, I've been able to capture a few shots that I've had in mind for a long time and also expand the way I look at scenes at night. A longer focal length at night means a shorter exposure, but again, being able to shoot with an aperture of f/1.4 really has a huge impact. 

Anza-Borrego Stargazer - This was one of the primary shots I had in mind for a longer focal length. I shot this when the Milky Way was still pretty low to the horizon and the light pollution provided a dramatic gradient to the scene. Shooting the Milky Way with the 50mm meant it would fill more of the frame and help fulfill the idea I had in mind for so long.

Borrego Springs Star Trails - While star trails are generally shot with a wider focal length, I loved the way these mountains were framed with the 50mm. A longer focal length for the star trails also meant that the frame would be filled quicker by the trails when shooting. I took around 300 exposures for this image and stacked them in post to create the trails.

Lone Pine Stargazer - This is exactly the type of scene I may have overlooked at night before shooting with the 50mm more often. Still under a bit of Moon light, I was able to capture the silhouette of my friend a few hundred feet away with Mt. Whitney fully lit up in the background. 


In addition to capturing single frames on my trips, I teamed up with Sigma and Macphun this past December to capture the night sky above the active lava flow in Hawaii. You can read more about the timelapse here.

Here's a list of lenses I used to capture the timelapse:

Lenses: Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens, 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens, 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art Lens, 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM

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