Photographer Tom Adamson continues his photographic explorations with his third contribution to the SIGMA Blog covering his home town of Hull, “the City of Culture 2017”. Tom’s previous contributions included his derelict images of the Chernobyl disaster and his experimentation with Astro-photography. His latest article discusses his use of his favourite SIGMA Art lenses to document this vibrant city.
My home town of Hull received the great honour of being named the City of Culture 2017. A fantastic opportunity for Hull to celebrate its rich and diverse culture, both past and present with a year-long series of amazing art and cultural events. The people of Hull have always known how special our little city is, and in 2017 we are on a mission to display it to the world.
The city made famous by its fishing heritage, as well as some famous historical figures such as Amy Johnson, Philip Larkin and William Wilberforce to name but a few. It has a rich cultural background as well as once being known as one of the UKs leading shipping ports due to its geographical location. Hull has endured some hard times in the past with the collapse of the fishing industry but in true Yorkshire fashion this little city is made of tough stuff and now Hull is on the up. Large amounts of investment, new business and an impressive renovation scheme giving the town centre and some key landmarks a fresh new look, Hull is looking bigger and better than ever.
The celebrations to this amazing year started on the first of January with an outstanding fireworks display to mark the opening ceremony of Hull City of Culture 2017. With a fantastic line up of art and cultural programmes in place throughout the year there is an electric atmosphere in the air, and as a photographer and a member of the local arts community it’s very hard not to feel inspired by what is going on around me.
As a photographer the opportunities to capture a huge variety of images seem to be never ending this year. With every event, art installation and community projects happening the chance to capture an image that gives a feeling of pride in my hometown is one not to be missed.
The scale of photography challenges during this time have ranged widely from capturing huge firework displays and light projection shows to the buzzing crowds of onlookers and of course some beautiful architecture and landscape shots. So heading out to capture these never to be repeated moments I have got to have a lot of faith and confidence in my kit. To pull off these challenging and varying shots a versatile and high quality lens is a must for me, and of course what better way to capture some art work in the City of Culture than with the Sigma series of Art lenses.
I have always used Sigma lenses and have always been blown away with the results and especially with the newly introduced lines of Sigma lenses. These lenses are really proving to be world class and market-leading optics and extremely reliable in any given situation. The two main lenses I carry with me are the 24-35mm F2 DG art lens and the 20mm F1.4 DG art lens.
The speed and pin sharp accuracy of these lenses seem to know no limits in delivering excellent images, even in the most challenging conditions. These lenses excel in difficult low light situations even to the extent of giving me the ability to capture the light projection shows of ‘Made in Hull’ in the crowded city centre shooting hand held with great image quality and accuracy. The 20mm F1.4 lens was a dream for taking images of the fireworks and light displays in the night sky producing rich and vibrant images that really captured impact of the shows. The 24-35mm F2 lens has been amazing for taking in the local landmarks in all sorts of varied conditions. The ability to keep this large aperture throughout the wide angle zoom range of this lens has been a major benefit while shooting some of Hull’s famous landmarks from the newly refurbished Hull Trinity Church to The Marina and of course our famous Humber Bridge and The Deep . Be it night or day wet or dry this lens will deliver beautiful images without fail.
Working between these two lenses allowed me to capture some truly magical and stunning moments which for me are a once in a life time opportunity to witness and I’m sure they will never be repeated.
I have felt extremely proud to be a photographer in this city at such an exciting time. The first few months of Hull City of Culture 2017 have been a real photography inspiration. I cannot wait to see what else this year brings our city and what images are yet to be produced with the help of my Sigma lenses.
Tom’s previous articles on the SIGMA Blog:
SIGMA Art lenses in the Chernobyl Disaster Zone by photographer Tom Adamson
Astro Photography with the SIGMA Art lenses by Tom Adamson
To learn more about Tom Adamson, visit his website: