Inspiration

Merging Light and Shadow - SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art

Merging Light and Shadow - SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art

- Xiao Ting Wu (Tina)

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 100, F1.2, 1/200s

The SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens boasts an F1.2 large aperture, which enhances the bokeh effect in portrait photography and effortlessly handles low-light environments. Despite its F1.2 ultra-large aperture, the lens is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around during prolonged shooting sessions. The lens body features an independent aperture ring, which can be switched between clicked and clickless modes, offering more convenience during shooting. The image quality of the lens is exceptional, thanks to its floating focus, which maintains high image quality even during close-up shots, making it an indispensable tool throughout my entire shooting process.

* The images without photograph data have been created with lenses other than 
SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art

Has the technological improvement of the camera and lens provided you with new perspectives in photography?

The F1.2 large aperture of the SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens has given me tremendous creative freedom. The large aperture allows me to effortlessly navigate low-light environments while creating soft, artistic background blur in compositions. This allows my subjects to stand out amidst rich backgrounds. When the focus is on the model's eyes or face, the large aperture aids in cutting through the subject, helping me capture every subtle expression and emotion, creating drama and mystery. As you can see, I enjoy finding foreground elements in front of the model, whether it's a lamp, a pillar, or even holding a potted plant or a bunch of flowers. Throughout the shoot, the model exhibits no exaggerated body movements or expressions; rather, it's all about enriching the narrative and depth of the image through the large aperture and composition, creating unique visual effects.

When shooting in low-light environments, the image quality of the lens becomes extremely important, and focusing may become more challenging. The SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens performs admirably even wide open at F1.2, delivering clear, detailed photos. In environments where light levels are generally low, the contrast becomes greater, making handheld 'pixel shift multi-shooting' more challenging. This requires the lens to control highlights effectively while also capturing details in the shadows, providing ample room for post-processing. From the resulting images, it's evident that this lens is up to the task, with each photo brimming with detail and texture, making the photos more lifelike and vivid. Due to shooting handheld throughout, in extremely dim shooting environments, I would use a low-speed shutter of around 1/60, combining high image quality with a fast autofocus system, allowing me to focus rapidly and accurately in such shooting conditions, ensuring sharp and solid images, capturing every splendid expression and action.

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 200, F1.2, 1/50s

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 320, F1.2, 1/50s

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 160, F1.2, 1/60s

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 4000, F1.2, 1/60s

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 640, F1.2, 1/60s

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 800, F1.2, 1/160s

How did the SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens assist in this photography project?

In this photography project, I used the SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens, focusing on night portraits and low-light environments, invited a Ukrainian model dressed in traditional Chinese clothing, complemented by Chinese architecture and interior décor as the backdrop. The model's fusion with the background creates a unique blend and contrast. Throughout the entire handheld shooting process, with the outstanding characteristics and performance of this lens, I captured numerous unique and exquisite moments.

Compared to lenses of similar specifications, the SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens is also one of the lightest choices available. This allows me to hold the camera for extended periods, reducing fatigue, particularly in situations where slower shutter speeds require steadier handling. Enhancing shooting stability and flexibility, both indoors and outdoors, allows for more fluid adjustments to composition and angles, and capturing the best moments.

In scene shooting, you can see that the lens's bokeh is very natural, with round, smooth and silky edges. In the process of trying various post-processing effects, whether significantly reducing highlights or sharpening, the bokeh remains beautiful. Overall, the SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens demonstrated excellent expressive power and performance in capturing night portraits. Its focal length, large aperture, high image quality, and lightweight design allow me to easily handle low-light environments, shaping the atmosphere and style I prefer.

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 160, F1.2, 1/100s

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 400, F1.2, 1/60s

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 320, F1.2, 1/60s

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 100, F1.2, 1/100s

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 800, F1.2, 1/20s

Why and how is photography crucial to your life and work?

For many photographers, the journey of photography often begins with a passion and interest. It may be a fascination with beautiful landscapes, a desire to express oneself through portraits, or a longing to capture fleeting moments. Photography provides a way to record, express, and share the world as we see and feel it. Each photographer has their own unique visual style and expression; it can be purely an art form, conveying emotions through composition, light, and color. Photography can also be a means of exploring and discovering the beauty and intricacies of the world. In the past, my love for photography was more about a passion for life, used to document travels and daily life. Now, it's more about using photography as a medium for expression and creation. As a photographer, if I can not only produce beautiful images but also convey a message or an idea through photography, and perhaps positively influence people's behavior, the significance would be extraordinary. Therefore, I have been using photography to participate in, discuss, and support environmental protection, women's issues, and other topics.

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 160, F1.2, 1/50s

SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art, SONY α7R III, ISO 160, F1.2, 1/60s

Where do you draw inspiration for your photography?

My photography inspiration comes from life itself. Whether it's an individual story, a social event, a documentary, a conversation, a painting, or a tiny moment, it can all be a source of inspiration for creation. For example, the initial "inspiration" for my "Reshape" environmental project was a plastic bag floating in the sea while playing with my child by the beach.

What does photography mean to you?

Photography is now indispensable in my life, both as a source of income and as a source of vitality, challenge, and motivation. While exploring different categories and methods of photography, it has also allowed me to experience a broader, more complex, diverse, and exciting world.

What advice do you have for those who want to try photography?

If you want to pursue photography as a career, after weighing time, effort, preferences, and strengths, choose a direction first. Next, learning the basics of photography is undoubtedly essential - basic principles, equipment, and techniques, mastering exposure, focusing, composition, and other basic knowledge, learning to use image processing software such as Lightroom, Photoshop, etc., to enhance the quality and expression of photos. Then, continue to practice and explore to find your own style. Watching other photographers' works, reading photography books and magazines, and visiting photography exhibitions and galleries are all excellent ways to gain inspiration. At the same time, keep an open mind and find inspiration and materials for creation from daily life. Interact more with other photography enthusiasts, join photography communities, forums, or participate in photography activities, share experiences with other photography enthusiasts, learn from each other, and encourage each other. If you're just an amateur hobbyist, just observe, explore, and have fun, whether it's the flowers at home or the sea outside, just take pictures!

What challenges do you currently face in life or in general?

If there are challenges, it's probably that I want to try too many things and get overwhelmed.

Xiao Ting Wu (Tina)
Portrait Photographer

SIGMA (China) Signed Photographer
Chairwoman of the Portrait Branch, Shanghai Art Photography Association
Invited Artist for the Climate-themed Art Exhibition at the U.S. Consulate General's Residence, Space 33

Graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and obtained a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Sydney. Transitioned into photography from capturing newborns, pregnant women, and families, establishing a successful portrait studio in Sydney and winning multiple international awards. Returned to China in 2020 and integrated women and environmental themes into portrait creation, collaborating with NGOs, corporations, and scholars to explore the intersection of photography and humanitarian causes. Skilled in blending oil painting techniques with contemporary expression, conveying avant-garde concepts through classical art styles. Works exhibited at prestigious venues including the Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum, M50, the U.S. Consulate General's Residence, and the Shanghai International Photography Art Exhibition. Recent focus on environmental and sustainable photography, promoting sustainable development through storytelling.

Partial Award Achievements:
Gold and Silver Awards at the WPPI Competition
Silver Award at RISE International
Third place in the Portrait category at the IPA International Photography Awards

Exhibitions:
March 2021: "Her Choice" Women's Growth Lecture and Exhibition at the Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum

January 2022: "Reshape" Environmental Theme Series at Shanghai M50, First Solo Photography Exhibition
September 2022: Participated as one of the invited artists in the Climate-themed Art 

Exhibition "Symbiosis" at the U.S. Consulate General's Residence, Space 33
November 2022: Participated in the Shanghai International Photography Art Exhibition.

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