Holly-Marie Cato is a freelance photographer from London who travels for work and fun, sharing stories of the human experience, extraordinary people and forming collaborations along the way. She contacted us about her amazing adventure to Kenya and needed an amazing telephoto lens to accompany her on the journey. Luckily #SIGMAUK had just the right travel companion to offer!
I’m not a wildlife photographer, or at least I wasn’t. One trip to Kenya armed with the SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary lens had me reevaluating everything. Kenya is incredible and there are no words to do it justice. Sweeping mountains with low hanging clouds, ripe avocados the size of my stretched out hands and wildlife. Wildlife like all your David Attenborough dreams came true but in glorious 4D, served with a gin and tonic and accompanied with earthy zebra carcass smells and animal sounds.
Kenyans are by far the most welcoming and gracious people I’ve ever met and if you’re blessed enough to experience it, a Maasai welcome (which normally involves harmonious singing and dance) feels like a warm hug from your from all your closest friends and family. They want you to feel at home and I appreciated that the most. So when I found out the Safari we were going to was not only an eco-friendly camp but also hired local Maasai I was ecstatic. Neilson, like James and Jackson and the other safari guides at Porini Lion Camps, were so knowledgeable about the land, animals, the migration season and lining up our vehicle to make sure we were in the perfect angle to watch and capture all the animal action. I cannot thank them enough for this unforgettable experience.
Portrait of Nelson, Porini Camp, Maasai Mara captured with the SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary lens by Holly Marie Cato (settings 202mm, 1/250, F5.3 ISO 500)
The SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 Contemporary lens is a beast. When choosing multiple lenses, bodies and sound equipment to pack, the last thing I need is heavy equipment. Thankfully this lens is light, it’s fast and insanely sharp too. So sharp in fact that even when I was shooting at the maximum focal length of 400mm, I was still able to crop in significantly in post production and without compromising on image quality.
This lens has so much versatility and what I love is that even for a safari first-timer like me, it’s not intimidating. Anything that brings me steps closer to my favourite animal is a winner for me and if ever I make the move from commercial and street photographer to wildlife expert, this is the lens I’m carrying.
Images captured with the SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary lens by Holly Marie Cato. (Settings Image 1: 100mm 1/500 F7.1 ISO 500, Image 2: 400mm, 1/500, F7.1, ISO 500 )