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Father’s Day Gift Ideas for All Types of Dad’s

Father’s Day Gift Ideas for All Types of Dad’s

With Father’s Day coming up I threw together a little list of gift ideas for the good ol’ pops. Dads come in many different shapes and styles. This list hopefully fits to most of the styles out there. But we all know our Dad’s are…

Hen House Photography Series: All About ISO

Hen House Photography Series: All About ISO

Hello and welcome (back) to the Hen House Photography Series. Today we begin part 4 of the series, all about ISO. Now if you are new to this we have been discussing the means behind becoming a photographer. Part one of the series revolved around…

Hen House Photography Series: Aperture

Hen House Photography Series: Aperture

Here we meet again to talk about all things photography. Today’s topic is aperture. Our first side of the”exposure triangle”.  We are currently three weeks into the Hen House Photography series where we are talking about learning the basics of photography. To look back at what we have already covered on shooting manually click here. Photography is a magical thing. It represents people through other subjects and gives viewers the opportunity to see the emotion and thought process of the photographer through the shot. Here we will learn how to produce the best photograph to represent those thoughts to their fullest potential.

Just to know a little about me

I have been shooting with a DSLR since 2011 and recently switched over to a full frame last year. This  was a GREAT DECISION. However, if you are just starting out I suggest going with a low end DSLR until you get the hang of things.

In 2016 I began shooting professionally and started my own photography business, Hen House Photography. If you have been paying attention note that I started shooting in 2011 and didn’t begin charging clients until 2016. I chose to do this out of respect to other artists, I did not buy a camera and call myself a photographer the next day. It was a goal for me to master the ins and outs of how to shoot and how to properly use the equipment on hand.

Again, if you are reading this I commend you for taking the time to educate yourself! In 2012 I studied photography and graphic design  at a local community college. This helped an incredible amount, especially taking a film class. Film is absolutely amazing, and a good dark room session does amazing things for the soul! We are now going to jump into a quick crash course on all things aperture. Grab a notebook and write down the key points!

(Disclosure: There are affiliate links through out this post. At no cost to you, if clicked upon it is possible I may make a small compensation.)

All About Aperture:

Whenever you see portraits with an in focus subject and the background is completely out of focus this is due to the aperture setting. Aperture represents how open the camera lens is. Meaning how much light is being let into the camera. The higher aperture the greater depth of field you will have in an image. And vice versa for lower aperture.

Think of it like this:

Hold a tight fist in front of one of your eyes and the other eye. Almost like you are making a telescope out of your hand. Look through a tight-gripped fist. The closer you clinch the fist the less light comes through. The more relaxed your fist is the more light you are able to see.

Light is what makes more of a shallow depth of field. This means there is more ability to blur the background and keep the foreground in focus. The lower number the blurrier background, where one object will be in focus. The higher aperture the more objects will be in focus and less light will be let in.

If you are looking to shoot more distinguished portraits look for a prime lens that has a lower aperture setting. My favorite is the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens.  This lens is my personal go-to for almost all portrait shoots. Notice in the link it says 50mm f/1.8G. The f/ is the aperture. Aperture is also referred as the f-stop. The lowest you will normally see is f/1.2. A low aperture is nice when shooting ONE individual. However, if you are hoping/wanting to shoot more then one subject you will not need the aperture to be set this low. That is why the stock lens is awesome to start out with. It will do everything you want it to do.

Here is a quick cheat sheet for aperture settings:

How to Set Aperture on A Nikon

If you are working with a Nikon D750 the F stop setting is so very convenient. It is a small dial located on the front-right-side of the camera body.Perfect for your pointer finger to scroll quickly if wanting to switch up the depth in-between shots.

It is important while you are messing with the dial you pay close attention to the light/exposure meter you can see if you look through the viewfinder. The meter will be at the bottom of the view finder. Visually it almost looks like a ruler with a 0 in the center.

We all form a personal preference 

Personally I like my photos to be slightly underexposed. So whenever I play with the aperture dial I also make sure that the shutter speed is correct. When all the “stars” align, meaning the aperture agrees with your shutter speed and ISO.  The light meter should be directly at zero (or in the middle). But like I said I like to keep mine around -1, just for editing purposes! Play around with it and see what works best!!

This dial location will differ with different cameras. Some only have a dial on the backside of the camera body. Those normally require having to hold down the FN button while scrolling the dial in order to change the aperture.

That was the way my first DSLR was set up. Back in 2011 where the Nikon D3100 was just about to go out of style and we got a great deal. This camera was my baby and came with a guide setting that actually taught me a lot. I highly recommend playing around with the guide setting if there is one. Today I would not recommend buying the D3100 because much better versions came out.

For a beginner camera that won’t break the bank check out the Nikon D3500 (that comes with a built in wifi adapter making it so easy to transfer pictures to your phone). It is a small bodied DLSR that has all the bells and whistles.

This concludes the aperture part of the Hen House Photography series. I hope there is some useful information and that it was presented in an easy-to-understand way. Stay tuned and subscribe below for the next part of the series all about ISO!

Here are some shots I took with different aperture settings!

Thanks for the read! Feel free to share inspiration and ideas in the comment section below, I would love to hear from other artists!

-KEHENNE

Veggie Inspired 7-Day Meal Plan

Veggie Inspired 7-Day Meal Plan

Dubbing 2020 the year of eating at home so why not have weekly meal ideas for anyone looking? Meal plans are mystical things. Without them we can get lost with thinking of what to cook and it saves from all that fresh produce going to…

Mother’s Day Cocktails (and Mocktails): Because Mama Deserves It

Mother’s Day Cocktails (and Mocktails): Because Mama Deserves It

With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend it seems like the perfect time to post some yummy cocktails. Becoming a mom has definitely gave me an entirely new perspective on the female population. Parenting is no easy task by any means but it comes with…

Hen House Photography Series: Why Manual Mode is A MUST

Hen House Photography Series: Why Manual Mode is A MUST

Photography Can be For Everyone

One of the best ways to hold onto moments in time is through photography. We all know how to take a picture. Whether it is with a phone, DSLR, or even a Polaroid, all of us have taken a picture at some point in time. If you are reading this post, chances are you are wanting to become more developed in shooting photography. Good for you! If you are just starting out with a DLSR as a hobby or you are hoping to start your own photography business, this post on shooting in manual will help you immensely.

Shooting in manual will drastically change the way your photos will come out. This post is the second post of a new photography series I am starting.

I have decided to break this series into several parts. This decision was made because too much information at one time can become overwhelming. I hope this process can be enjoyable for you and that you can take the time to really learn your camera and how to shoot it.

A Little Info on The One Writing this post..

I have been shooting with a DSLR since 2011 and recently switched over to a full frame last year. This  was a GREAT DECISION. However, if you are just starting out I suggest going with a low end DSLR until you get the hang of things.

In 2016 I began shooting professionally and started my own photography business, Hen House Photography. In 2012 I studied photography and graphic design  at a local community college. This helped a lot, especially taking a film class. Film is absolutely amazing, and a good dark room session does amazing things for the soul! If you have been paying attention note that I started shooting in 2011 and didn’t begin charging clients until 2016. I chose to do this out of respect to other artists. I did not buy a camera and call myself a photographer the next day. I learned the ins and outs of how to shoot and how to properly use the equipment on hand.

The past year my business has sky rocketed as I closed down on finding my niche. There will never be a day I turn down a shoot to which I feel I can fulfill the clients request. Portraits will always be something near and dear to my heart. However for business purposes I needed to find my strengths and put most of my focus towards them. 

 I am now going to give you a quick crash course on all that I learned and hope this information makes good use to you! So grab a notebook and write down the key points!

Now Here are some Manual Basics

First of all what does it mean to shoot in manual? Shooting in manual simply means you are in full control of your camera settings. To set your camera to manual mode look at the settings dial and scroll it to the M.

There are 3 major settings, often referred to as the exposure triangle, to pay close attention to when shooting in manual.

  1. Aperture
  2. ISO
  3. Shutter Speed

It is no use learning only one side of the triangle because all three work together in unity. The one connecting factor for all three settings is LIGHT. Within the next three parts of this series we will dive into a deeper look on each side of the exposure triangle. But to get an idea we will touch base on what each side consists of.

To start we will look at aperture.

Aperture is the amount of focus in an image based on the depth of field. By adjusting the aperture setting it allows for a “blurred” background with a detailed foreground. It can also make for every little detail in an image be completely in focus. When first shooting it is common to want to try the “boca” effect, where light looks like small circles in the background. Well we can look to aperture for that too!

Now onto ISO.

ISO, to simply put it, is the camera’s sensitivity towards light. The setting or time of day drastically effects how an image will turn out while shooting in manual mode. By setting the ISO correctly it removed the imperfections that over or under exposure can cause. Such as noise. Noise is a grain like effect that sometimes occurs when the ISO setting is higher than the actual amount of light the camera is taking in. It may sound confusing right now but stick around for week 4 and ISO is extremely easy to understand.

The third and final side: Shutter Speed

This is the most self explanatory of the three sides. Shutter speed is exactly what it sounds like. The speed at which the shutter opens and closes. We adjust the speed depending on the movement we are trying to capture. If we are shooting a fast action sport we will want the fastest of the fast shutter speed to freeze the action in the moment. But if we want to shoot a long exposed shot of the ocean so they waves become soft with movement we will want to slow the speed down.

All together now

All three settings work together in unity to one another. When one setting is off it can throw off the whole shot. That is why it is so important to learn what setting works best in any given surrounding.

Coming up in the next three parts of the series I have provided cheat sheets for every “side” to screen shot. These are great guides to help learn each setting when first getting the hang of shooting in manual. Don’t be shy to enter your email and you will get these cheat sheets sent right to your inbox(saves the time of finding each post)!

Thanks for the read!

-KEHENNE

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The Quarantine Glow Up

The Quarantine Glow Up

Week one of quarantine was the week of overachieving and now here we are at week four not knowing when we we last showered let alone what day it is. At this point I think a lot of us have hit a funk. Everyday is…

Hen House Photography Series: Beginner’s Equipment

Hen House Photography Series: Beginner’s Equipment

So you have found yourself here researching beginners photography equipment? Good for you! Research is such a beautiful thing when it comes to finding success in new hobbies and interests. With the endless amount of photography equipment on the market it can begin to get confusing early on. I put together this list on everything I use for my current photography business. Becoming a photographer does not just happen by buying the right gear, it takes time, more research and A LOT of trial and error.

If you are serious about wanting to learn more about being a better photographer you have come to the right place! I, the owner and main photographer, of Hen House Photography have put together a photography series that I will be posting weekly (for weekly updates subscribe at the end of this post)! I have broken this series into several parts where we will cover:

  • Proper Equipment for Beginners
  • Shooting in Manual
    • Aperture
    • ISO
    • Shutter speed
  • Lighting
  • Posing
  • Editing

You have found yourself on the first page of the series: Beginner’s Equipment. I will let you know now that I shoot with Nikon, and all the equipment I recommend is from Nikon. Some prefer Canon, and I do not disagree that Canon is an amazing company, I just started shooting with Nikon in 2011 and haven’t gone to anything else since.

A Little About Me Before We Get Started

In 2016 I began shooting professionally and started my own photography business, Hen House Photography.  Note that I started shooting in 2011 and didn’t begin charging clients until 2016. I chose to do this out of respect to other artists. I did not buy a camera and call myself a photographer the next day. I learned the ins and outs of how to shoot and how to properly use the equipment on hand. Again, if you are reading this I commend you for taking the time to educate yourself! The following year I studied photography and graphic design  at a local community college. Taking courses in the subject helped a lot, especially taking a film photography class. Film is absolutely amazing, and a good dark room session does wondrous things for the soul! I am now going to give your guideline to purchasing your new camera equipment!

(Disclosure: There are affiliate links through out this post. At no cost to you, if clicked upon it is possible I may make a small compensation.)

What You Need in Your Camera Bag to Start Becoming a Photographer:

The Obvious: Camera
    • For someone having little to no experience with DSLR’s, I recommend starting out with the Nikon D3500.
    • This is the newest of Nikon’s D3000 series. I started with one of the first of the series and it taught me a lot.
    • It is smaller and more compact with the Nikon D3400, which mainly has great reviews excluding the uncomfortable size.
    • There is a built in Wifi adapter so you can transfer pictures from your camera to your phone almost instantly.
    • The camera comes with a guide setting. Do not sleep on the guide setting if you are just starting out. Go through the different settings the guide provides. Seriously.
    • This specific link is for the D3500 camera body itself and 2 lenses. The 18mm-55mm is a great lens to start out on. 
    • Best of all this camera goes for about $500 (including the lens).
    • I want to go ahead and say it, you don’t need the “bundle” package you see everywhere. Most of the equipment in the bundle is poorly made and won’t be of much use.
  • For those who already have the basic understanding of shooting with a DSLR and are ready to invest into the next level of cameras I highly recommend the Nikon D750. This is a full frame that has been around for some time now and still produces incredible images.
Lens
    • You can wait to purchase a separate lens. You will (typically) get a lens with the camera body when you buy it. The camera body normally comes with a 18mm-55mm. A great lens to start out on but it is also nice to have a prime lens on hand.
    • There are two prime lenses I highly recommend.
      • The Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Lens 
        • My personal favorite for portraits. It is fast and creates sharp images.
      • The Nikon 35 mm f/1.8 Lens
        • A close second. This lens is an amazing wide lens for the price. It steps up your portrait and landscape photography in all the ways you are hoping it t
SD Cards
    • Buy more than one SD card. It is not unheard of for an SD card to get lost or break. It actually happens fairly often. Invest in a high GB SD card this will allow you to shoot more pictures  (in RAW).
    • You are also going to need a way to transfer your images from an SD card to your computer. Some computers come with an SD slot if yours does not just get this adapter.
 Spare Battery
    • It is always good to have a back up. I REPEAT IT IS ALWAYS GOOD TO HAVE A BACK UP. Battery life on the Nikon D3500 is good for almost 1600 shots! Amazing. But still having a back up battery is important. You never know where you will go and what you will see.
Tripod
    • AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod
    • Tripods are a good tool to have on hand for any shooting occasion. They provide stability which is key for low lighting and long exposure situations.
    • If you are hoping to get pictures of yourself, the tripod will come in handy. You can download the Nikon WMU app which connects your phone to the camera or just use the self timer! To make taking self portraits so much easier!
Speedlight
    • Start with the Nikon SB-300 AF Speedlight Flash. It is at a low price point.
    • Speedlight Flashes are used for shooting in low lighting, It is pretty much a flash that attaches to your lens.  Yes, there is a flash attached to your camera body. That flash often leaves images washed out or over exposed, A speed light flash will balance the image and hold on to all the details. If you are shooting indoors or in the evening you will want to have a speed light, especially when photographing people.
Camera Bag

    • If you are wanting to be serious about photography, it is an investment. The equipment is not cheap, as you may have noticed. It is IMPORTANT to keep all your gear together in a safe place. This camera bag comes with all the right nooks for your gear. There is a secure place for the camera body and accessories, a spot for your tripod, and room for personal items and a laptop.
    • You want something you can easily travel with. This is why I recommend a backpack rather than over-the-shoulder messenger styled bag.
An Editing Program
    • Last but definitely not least you need a place to edit your photos! We will be going more in depth with editing later on in the series. For now I suggest purchasing Adobe Lightroom
    • Adobe Lightroom can be purchased for $10 a month and is bundled with Adobe Photoshop. 
    • Lightroom is an easy to use program to edit your images. It has the capability to create and download presets to use. A preset is saved editing settings. For similarly lit images you can edit all with the click of a button!

A good place to start

Photography is not a “cheap” hobby or profession what so ever. Once you have the necessary gear it can be very rewarding. Especially if you are looking to become a professional. Once you have all of the equipment it will take some time and practice to know how to use it. Stay tuned for a step by step guide on how to shoot manually! This will open the door for you to understand the technique and machinery of what you are holding in your hands!

Thanks for the read, and I hope this post is resourceful for you!

-KEHENNE

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Tropical Mermaid Smoothie

Tropical Mermaid Smoothie

The not-so-new mermaid smoothie has been out for quite some time now and I finally fell for it. I took one of my favorite smoothie recipes and played around with it to make it work with the “mermaid smoothie”. But what is it that makes…