Valerie Hayken, Author at Valerie Hayken Photography and Design

Blog Archives

How to Photograph Star Trails

Yosemite Chapel

On a recent trip to Yosemite, I had the opportunity to shoot star trails over the Yosemite Valley Chapel. Historically, to photograph star trails, you find a very dark area with minimal light pollution and create one single long exposure. In recent years, a number of programs have hit themarket that have revolutionized the way
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How to Read a Histogram - Rusted Jalopy with Histogram example

The Histogram is a bar graph that shows what tones are in your photograph. Learn how to read histograms and use them to improve your photography.

Angel Island State Park, San Francisco

North Ridge Trail on Angel Island in San Francisco

Last weekend, my wife and I took a short backpacking trip to Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay. The island is next to Alcatraz and often overlooked because, while it has a rich history, it doesn’t reach notorious status. We were there as a mini vacation and it’s one of the few times that I traveled without my camera. If we return, I probably will take my camera and tripod, as there was inspiration around every turn.

Control Depth of Field in Your Photographs

Control Depth of Field in Your Photographs

Depth of field is one of the most important aspects of creating fine art photographs. The exposure triangle teaches us that we can adjust our shutter speed and our ISO to balance any changes we make to our Aperture, enabling us to create our desired depth of field. There are times, though, when you’ll find
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How to Photograph in the Snow

How to Photograph in Snow

Snow is one of those situations where you can’t just grab your camera, set it to automatic and hit the ground running. Not to fear, with a few simple tips, you’ll be all set to photograph in the snow. How to Photograph in the Snow Overexpose Your Images The most important advice I can give
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What is the Difference Between Vibrance and Saturation?

What's the difference between vibrance and saturation?

Photoshop and Lightroom have settings for both Vibrance and Saturation. It may not be immediately obvious what the difference is between vibrance and saturation.   Vibrance Versus Saturation     What is Saturation? Saturation affects all the colors in your image, equally. You’ll have brighter blues, greens, oranges and yellows. If you’re photographing people, you
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Shutter Priority

What is Shutter Priority and How to Use Shutter Priority

Last week, we talked about Aperture Priority. Now, let’s look at Shutter Priority. Shutter Priority enables you to set your shutter speed while the in camera meter will continually change your aperture (f/stop) to achieve a good exposure. This setting could be helpful for a variety of reasons. Suppose you’re shooting sports, your kids playing,
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Aperture Priority

What is Aperture Priority and How Do You Use Aperture Priority?

Do you want to have more control over your exposures but are overwhelmed with shooting manually? The Aperture Priority setting is just what you need. Aperture Priority is the second most used camera setting on my Canon 5D Mark II. My usual setting is Manual, second choice is Aperture Priority and my third most frequently
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What is Image Stabilization?

What is Image Stabilization?

When hand holding a camera, you run the risk of blurry photographs if you shoot at a shutter speed that is less than half your focal length. For example, Hand holding an 85mm lens, shooting at 1/125 = no blur Hand holding an 85mm lens, shooting at 1/60 = potential for blur Hand holding an
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Camera Lens Basics – Numbers on a Camera Lens

What are the numbers on a camera lens?

Camera Lens Terms Standard: Focal length roughly equivalent to what the eye sees. Ex. Full Frame DSLR = 40mm; APS-C = 35mm. Film SLR = 50mm. Wide: Focal length under standard lens Ex. 24mm f/1.4 Telephoto: Focal length over standard lens. Ex. 100mm f/2.8 Prime: Fixed focal length, any mm. Ex. 14mm, 85mm, 100mm Zoom:
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