The next travel adventure for London photographer Holly Marie Cato includes a trip to Asia visiting Seoul and Hong Kong. This time she is equipped with the new ultra-wide SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art lens and she shares how this high-speed large diameter lens delivered amazing images in her second #SIGMAUK lounge article.
My first opportunity to flex out the SIGMA 14mm | Art capabilities was at the Seoul City Hall on a private tour of this beautiful space which provides an overhead view of the longest vertical garden in the world. This space holds a myriad of light and dark pockets which you must compensate for when photographing. Having the SIGMA 14mm | Art lens with me was ideal to be able to capture the expansive size of the space.
The next visit in Seoul was to the Zaha Hadid’s Dongdaemun Design Plaza which is as much a metal sculpture as it is a building and cultural space. Dongdaemun (DDP) is almost as visually interesting inside as it is outside. With curvy irregular staircases that demand you stop, notice and stare at them; to outdoor spaces that continually draw you further around the building with its endless leading lines and vanishing points. This building is spectacular and something you have to experience if you’re ever in Seoul. I’ve been waiting to see this neo-futuristic building since it opened in 2014 and was overjoyed to finally be able to photograph it. Having the SIGMA 14mm | Art lens with me on this trip helped to fulfill my dreams of capturing images of this amazing structure. What I like most about the DDP is the way its metal cladding reflects, distorts and diffuses both light and colours on its surface. It sometimes feels like a moving fish and other times like a shipping container yard, forever evolving as the sun moves across the sky.
From Seoul I traveled to Hong Kong to visit the one place on my list that I knew would be a perfect opportunity to fully test the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art lens. Lovingly known as “The Transformer Building”, because it was made famous by Michael Bay’s “Age of Extinction” transformer movie, the Yick Cheong Estate was the perfect place to take advantage of this super wide lens. The lens did not disappoint as it was able to capture all three sides of the estate and the neighbouring building with ease.
I’ve always been fascinated with buildings that it influenced me to gain a degree in Architecture. Having this lens with me for two weeks made me engage more with architecture, capturing unique perspectives of the build environment and views of the cityscape. The SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art is unlike any wide lens I’ve ever used. Its aperture range is far superior, the glass is sharp, the focus fast and it allows me to see beyond my eye range and re-imagine the world around me. It’s been a pleasure to use on this trip and a lens I would add to my arsenal.