Travel around the Arctic Circle with the 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art

Travel around the Arctic Circle with the 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art

- SIGMA France

Article translated from French, originally created by photographer Pierre Destribats for SIGMA France for


Lapland, this mythical region that I´ve been traveling to every winter for 5 years now.

It all started with an exploration trip, a 3 week long road trip in a pick-up truck, autonomous and free, to survey the roads of Finland and Sweden, before ending in the Lofoten Islands in Norway. Five years later, we still return every winter, accompanied by passionate customers, as part of our photo travel agency, created last year.


Last winter (2019-2020), I stayed for 7 weeks up there without interruption. We had a lot of work planned, between two photo trips to Lapland and a honeymoon in the Vesteralen islands, finishing off with two weeks of scouting between Vesteralen and Senja islands to explore new places, but especially to have fun with friends. 


This winter, I also acquired the last ultra wide angle SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM |Art, mounted on my Nikon D800, just before my departure. I was looking for a new qualitative lens for landscape and night photography, especially for aurora borealis. So I decided to go for this wide angle lens with just exceptional optical qualities!


In Finland, with temperatures sometimes approaching -30°C, the grazing lights gave us unique colors in the landscape, for my greatest pleasure. As every time, to try to highlight these scenes, one must first of all be curious and therefore observe, walk and look for interesting first shots. The advantage of the 14-24mm is its range, with a 14mm allowing to make unique shots with very close foregrounds. When one shot was not enough, I would then take the liberty of making a panorama to try to render the beauty and grandeur of the place.


In Sweden, the cold was just as biting as in Finland and often accompanied by wind. Every year we return to our icy lake and every year it is different. In 5 years, we have seen it covered with ice with incredible bluish tints, similar to what we can see in Baikal, or all covered with snow. Often a clever mix of both but always with shapes and graphics created by the elements, sometimes related to sculpture. Mother Nature is the artist, we cannot deny it, and only remain humble in front of so many natural beauties. 


In Norway, near the coast, the climate is very different. Less cold but more humid, which does not necessarily change the cold feeling. These changes did not alter the optical performance of the SIGMA lens, which amazed me from the first day with its stunning sharpness, from center to the edges of every picture I shot. Associated with the 36MP of my camera, it's a pleasure to be able to zoom in the pictures, to enjoy fine details, and being able to crop when it was worth it.


Norway this year has also resulted in new spots for us, between the Vesteralen and the Senja, with two archipelagos north of the popular Lofoten. Results: much less people encountered, but amazing spots. I was not wasy with the lens and it handled it without any flaw. Note that the flare effects are well managed and did not slow me down in my post-treatments.


Using the tone and color setting available through the menus of the SIGMA fp left just small adjustments to be made as can be seen in this side-by-side comparison.


Another first this year as well, the organization of a honeymoon trip whose ultimate goal was for the bride and groom to be photographed in their outfits under the aurora. Wish wished, wish granted...


"Pierre Destribats is a professional photographer, who specializes in landscape photography and aerial shots."

- SIGMA France