Wedding photographer Andrew Morgan: Shooting with the Sigma 18-35mm Art and Sigma 70-200mm in Zanzibar

This shoot was on a beautiful little island called Mnemba off the coast of Zanzibar. I really like to shoot environmental portraits when I can and this island has so many beautiful scenes to photograph in. Because the couple wanted a sunset wedding, we decided to get a few shots of them before they started getting ready, unfortunately that meant dealing with bright sun, hence the sunglasses! People often think that you have to take photos in the “golden hour” but being a wedding photographer you learn that there is no such thing as bad light, you just adapt to what the conditions are. I always shoot weddings with two cameras on a harness so that I don’t have to worry about changing lenses during the ceremony or any important bits. Unfortunately for this wedding my main full frame camera was in for repairs so I brought out my old Nikon D7000 and I got first hand proof that it is the lenses and not the camera that make great pictures.


This shot was taken with the Nikon D7000 and the epic Sigma 18-35 f1.8 Art at shutter speed of 1/1600 and  f4.

I generally like to keep my aperture around f3.5 or f4 with this lens as it gives incredibly sharp results, giving enough blur in the out of focus areas and bringing the subject to life.


Nikon D7100 and Sigma 70-200 f2.8 at 1/1250 and f4.

Being a heavier lens, it’s a good idea to try and keep the shutter speed up when you can. I usually don’t go lower than 1/200 unless I need to. I almost always shoot this lens at f4 because I find that to be it’s sweet spot, where the subject is sharp and in focus and the background blurs so nicely. My general rule is to push the iso up first, then drop the aperture and only after that will I look at dropping the shutter speed.



Shot with the Nikon D7000 and Sigma 18-35 f1.8 Art at 1/100 and f3.2

This is a great example of the beautiful bokeh (patterns in the out of focus areas) that this lens produces and how sharp it can be at large apertures.



Shot with Nikon D7000 and Sigma 18-35 f1.8 Art at f6.3 and 1/200th with off camera flashes.

I often like to use off camera flashes to balance the natural light and remove the shadows from the peoples faces. In this shot the sun was setting camera left so I had a couple of flashes camera right to counteract that and one camera left to fill in the shadows on the guys camera right from the setting sun. Although most flashes these days can use high speed sync where you can push your shutter speed higher, it is usually best to shoot at the cameras sync speed, which is one reason I’ve pushed the aperture to f6.3, the other is of course to allow a bit more depth of field for this shot.



Nikon D7000 and 18-35f1.8 at 1/250th and f6.3

I’ve included this shot to show how nice things can look when your off camera flash is balanced right with the natural light. I had one flash on either side of the camera shooting towards the sun.