My year with the SIGMA fp Camera [May 2020] by photographer Stuart Pitkin

My year with the SIGMA fp Camera [May 2020] by photographer Stuart Pitkin

With the situation in May involving long periods of time spent at home I decided there was an opportunity to produce a series of images with the SIGMA fp Camera  that conveyed the feeling of sanctuary as well as the disruption to our everyday routines.


I have been exploring the low light ability of the camera, venturing out after 10pm when the streets are even quieter, occasionally startling a loan dog walker. Using only the light from street lamps I started looking for interesting compositions, the shadows of leaves, the way the light spills out of windows and doors. I quickly found that the shutter speed was very important, otherwise the imperceptible flicker of the street lighting would cause banding on the image.  I realised the best option was a shutter speed of 100th/sec.


This month I have the LCD LVF-11 viewfinder on the camera, this gives you an almost IMAX cinema vision of the screen, an added bonus is the increased hand held stability. I found I could hold the camera much steadier with this combination. Sometimes though some blur and movement add to the mystery of an image, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to make everything look perfect. This is sometimes a negative aspect of digital photography, there are too many opportunities to study the image and correct, where as with the analogue photographic process there were more opportunities for mistakes and quite often these were the most interesting images.


The Sigma fp to me feels similar to an analogue camera in that it’s an adaptable tool that lends itself to experimentation, it’s a starting point for whatever inspires you.


The night-time images produced for this month’s blog where shot at ISO 12800 which is enough to open up possibilities but at the same time still produce usable photographs. The images have noise but it looks very granular, similar to analogue film. This could be smoothed out in post-production but I like to retain as much as possible, it feels more honest to me, I also like the way it looks.


I have also been experimenting with distortion, possibly a result of the times we are living in at the moment. I wanted to use the camera to capture objects and people around me in a more impressionistic way. I am now looking forward to a more positive month of June.


You can view more images by Stuart Pitkin on the following links: