Easter, according to a recent newspaper report, is supposed to be the best season to visit Venice and its little nearby islands. “Venice… First time here?” somebody asked me. No. For another time. But this time only beautiful Venezia wasn’t enough – after the gray winter I was longing for as many colors as possible. That’s why I took the ferryboat to Burano. This island can already be seen from far away. The leaning clock tower and the colorful houses of the tiny village on the island spread their colors into the distance.
It was time for me again to leave home for exploring unknown, faraway places. As you already know me, my camera and me are used to simply hop on the next train, bus or plane in order to travel to other countries.
This time, through mere coincidence than big considerations, we travelled to China. (I would like to thank at this point all the travel websites that enabled me to find very easily the best offers in such a short time).
For a couple of years now I’ve been living in the city. And it’s always a great surprise for me when from one day to another spring expels winter. A day earlier everything was still completely gray – the houses, the streets, the sky, and the clothes of the people who rush to make their errands in order to get back into their warm and cozy apartments again. And on the next morning the sun is shining, wearing your winter coat another day isn’t an option any longer and like a fairytale colorful flourishing bushes and trees shine through the window, encouraging us even more to take your jeans jacket and sun glasses out of your closet.
Today I decided not to look for unusual subjects but to take pictures of totally typical everyday things. You can normally find me kneeling or lying in front of some little blossoms or tiptoeing behind some trees, breathing silently and waiting tensely for the right moment to capture a bird. Today I was on eye-level in a little village near my home town. I scrutinized the apartment blocks, looked at the driveways more carefully and enjoyed the atmosphere of the coming spring.
Today’s photo walk also takes us to the red city or the Pearl of the South – better known as Marrakech. I don’t get tired of repeating how spellbound I was by this city. I don’t know if you know this feeling but some places simply are different. They have their charm and without realizing you get spellbound.
So far not many cities have delighted me as much as that one. Besides Istanbul and Hanoi, Marrakech definitely belongs to my favorite photo cities.
Despite the ongoing rainfall and a cloudy, permanently gray sky I decided not to wait much longer for a more varied lighting mood but to grab my camera and get going. After a long break I also took my reliable SIGMA 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HS lens along, which is perfect for such excursions in particular.
After the first long-awaited snowfall I didn’t want to stay in my apartment any longer last weekend. In order to have light and flexible baggage to carry this time I decided once again after a long time for my compact all-round lens, the SIGMA 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM. With this lens I had a wonderful range of fixed focal lengths suitable for every subject. The intense consistent open aperture of 2.8 allows nice bokeh and a great depth of field even though it’s an APSC camera.
Who doesn’t know him? Pippi Longstocking’s Mr. Nilsson. Mr. Nilsson was played by a squirrel monkey, a tender little primate you can normally find in large groups in the warm regions of Central and South America. Well – my present financial situation doesn’t allow me to travel to a Latin American summer but it was good enough to visit the zoo in town.
During the day there aren’t many hours left where you can sit in the sun and enjoy the daylight. At the beginning of this week, however, while strolling around Kreuzberg I found some time to shoot some photos in the evening atmosphere with my camera which was equipped with the SIGMA Art 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM on that day.
Last weekend I decided to relax and forget about my daily stress and walked out in Vienna with my camera. The Sunday in particular welcomed me early in the morning with its warm sunlight and turned out perfect to move on right away and enjoy the day outside to the full. Ranging from taking pictures in an old abandoned house and a sunset above the vineyards in the city in autumn to the light show at night, which has taken place for the second time at the Natural History and Fine Arts museums, all was included. Beyond this, there were also a lot of warm sunbeams and in the evening I enjoyed my first “Punsch” (mulled wine) for this season. From a photographer’s point of view this Sunday was very exciting since I got confronted with many different light conditions. A true challenge for the camera I’d taken along, the Canon EOS 600D, and the SIGMA 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens.
1. Location: The abandoned house
The abandoned house where I took my pictures is a dream. It’s a wonderful three-story villa with a lot more to discover, ranging from old wallpaper to rusty keys and special furniture. The lighting mood was fantastic, however it was also rather dark – despite the sunlight outside. The SIGMA 35mm f/1.4 did not let me down, though. Thanks to the perfectly working wide-open aperture I was able to keep the ISO value very low and still I took top-quality pictures reflecting the atmosphere.
2. Location: Sunset above Vienna
I always become happy when I see cities from above. The hustle, the many impressions, the noise, everything seems to dissolve all at once in this wonderful panorama Vienna offers when seen from the vineyards. Enjoying the last sunbeams for today I captured the surroundings with my camera and the lens. As you can see in the close-up picture of a withering scrub the SIGMA 35mm f/1.4 delivers a really amazing depth of field and fantastic bokeh with a fully open aperture.
3. Location: The light show on the museum facades
For the second time the facades of the two famous museums, the Natural History and the Fine Arts museums, have been turned into a huge screen where diverse light effects are displayed. And I was looking forward a lot to seeing this live this year. Accompanied by harmonic sounds, the walls of the buildings turn into colorful images every other second. Once Archimboldo’s “Four Seasons” were projected while in the next moment small figures rushed across the museums. This was an impressive show, which is why I wanted to try to capture it with my camera right away. This time I took my pictures with a higher ISO value, again with an open aperture and short shutter speed. You can see the results below.
For a couple of months now the SIGMA 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM has become one of my favorite lenses that keeps fascinating me over and over again. Especially after today I was very convinced once again by its performance.