Photographer's Triangle - Secret to Mastering Your Camera

I think of photography as painting with light. When I taught art I probably said "It takes light to bring out dark" a million times! In photography, light is the key to everything else.
So how do we control light when we're outside? Ah... So many answers, all of them right. But let's just look at some basic rules. (And I also said a million times in my classroom "It's okay to break an art (principle) rule as long as you understand the rule, but are choosing to break it for creativity's sake."

Exposure Triangle. When we take a photo, the camera opens its shutter, lets in light through the lens, the light hits the camera sensor, and the image is captured. We have three ways to control that image.
  1. Aperture — The hole that opens and closes. We control the size of the aperture (lens opening) by choosing a wide open setting such as f/2, or a very small opening like f/11 or higher. It is a bit confusing. Higher f-stops are smaller, letting less light in. Smaller f-stops open the aperture wider, letting more light in. Another cool thing about aperture size is how it affects depth of field. Love the look of blurry backgrounds (bokeh)? We get that look by choosing a wide open aperture. Good lenses let you go down to f/1.4 or so, but you can get good bokeh with f/4 or higher too.
  2. Shutter Speed — It's just what it sounds like: how long the shutter stays open. It is usually stated in the form of 1/200 sec, 1/60 sec, 1/500 sec, etc. Shutter speed makes sense: slower speeds let more light in: 1/60 is slower, stays open longer, so it lets in more light than 1/1000. NOTE -  It's a good idea to find out how steady you are. My limit is 1/125. Anyhing longer than that and my handheld camera images are blurry. That's why I use a tripod. Another cool thing you control with shutter is action:  you can freeze motion with a fast speed, or capture motion blur with a slow speed.
  3. ISO — When you set aperture and shutter for the shot you want to capture, ISO is the third piece of the puzzle. Simply stated, ISO determines how sensitive to light your camera sensor is: 100 ISO is standard. Remember 400 or 800 ISO film? Not old enough? It's okay. Higher ISOs in the digital age do the same thing: let you take photos in darker situations. But like in the days of film, as ISO goes up, we introduce noise  or “grain”. It will appear as tiny spots in the final image. But that is manageable in post-production. To a point.
Before we move on to anything else, this lesson is foundational. Get your camera out and start playing with it. Be bold.
When you have a photo you're proud of, please post it to your Facebook or Instagram and tag me: #pbhensley on both. Use the hastag #learnphotography if you want to join a pretty cool community of artists.
 

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checkmark4website-10x14Canvas Gallery Wrap Wall Portraits - Turn your images into museum-quality displays with our canvas Gallery Wraps. Archival inks and heavyweight canvas ensure quality and longevity. Your image is printed directly to the canvas and sleekly wrapped around a thick wooden frame. With staple-free sides, tightly tucked corners, and metal hangers and bumpers attached to the back, your Gallery Wrap arrives ready to hang. A satin coating provides UV protection and prevents scratches due to normal handling.
checkmark4website-10x14Framed Wall Portraits - Choose from our assortment of frame corners. We have something to match every decor. Framed prints are finished with a black archival backing and hanging hardware already installed. You'll smile each time you walk by your images!
checkmark4website-10x14Metal Wall Portraits - Your images are permanently infused to specially prepared metal to ensure long lasting quality. Many sizes and shapes to choose from, including split images (metal murals). Metal portraits are ready to hang when you receive them. Choose from float blocks or holes in the corners. See both in the studio so you will know exactly what each looks like.
checkmark4website-10x14Albums and Art Books - Keep your beloved images on your coffe table... if you can. Everyone will want it in their hands so that they can enjoy it again and again.
checkmark4website-10x14Handmade Book Boxes - an exquisite way to present and store albums, books, prints. (Or a place to hide your favorite trinkets.) Wrap your box with your favorite image or choose a solid color fabric. The interior lining can be your choice of black or white with a matching pull-ribbon inside for easy access to the book. These boxes are a beautiful keepsake to be treasured for years to come.

Come See Where We Create Our Emotional Expressive Portraits

When you come see our space, we will set your mind at ease and make the process fun and stress-free.
checkmark4website-10x14We'll talk about what kind of portraits you want.
checkmark4website-10x14We'll discuss where you will display them.
checkmark4website-10x14We'll help you create your own customized package of products.
Our consultations, along with our expert photographic skill and attention to detail guarantee that we will create portraits that you will love. We really guarantee that if you don't LOVE them, you don't pay for them. We will re-shoot or refund, whichever you think is right for you.

Call to Schedule a Time to Drop in and Chat

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checkmark4website-10x14You will love your portraits or we will refund ALL your money.

Photogaphy Testimonials

Photo of Joe and Sara Baisden by Peggie B. Hensley of Chapmanville, WVLibby Joe Salyers - Logan, WV "I will be forever grateful my family was photographed to celebrate our parents 50th wedding Anniversary. The day was so very fun & the pictures turned out better than we could have ever imagined. Clearly, I am extremely satisfied customer. Peggie B Hensley rocked our socks off!'
]Austin Walters, LHS Senior 
Rene Walters, Stollings, WV "I just wanted to express my extreme satisfaction with Austin's senior portraits. Your patience and knowledge made us very comfortable making the session very easy and in turn, his portraits were the best I have ever seen!!!"
Engagement photo by Peggie B. Hensley
Crystal Howell, Chapmanville, WV- "Just thought that I would tell you how much everyone loved the photos that they received for Christmas. They're totally gorgeous. Thank you again for doing them; we love them."
Harrison by Peggie B. Hensley
Lisa Flowers, Stollings, WV - "Wonderful!! Peggie Hensley is a very talented artist!
"She captured our family perfectly. I honestly do not have one negative remark towards/about our photographs. Amazing talent and very caring and gentle with young kids. My son fell in love with her! She will be seeing us in the near future! Outstanding eye in her work. It shows she enjoys the work she does in the incredible photography. Once again, Wonderful talent!"
family portrait by Peggie B Hensley of pbh Art, Inc. in Chapmanville, WV
Linda Tomblin,  Chapmanville, WV - “Peggie, again a great big special thanks for the photo session. You made us all feel very comfortable and even made some realize we might not be so ugly after all. If you are looking for someone who takes professional photos, you need look no further than to Peggie at pbhArt. Our family just had a family photo taken at pbhArt. The pictures are wonderful. Our first family photo since our children were small. Go with Peggie, she really does a great job. Thanks again, you are a true blessing!”
Family photo by Peggie B. Hensley, Chapmanville Family Photographer 
Darlene Marcum, Logan, WV - “Thank you for patience with Eli and getting some really cute pictures. I appreciate your timely manner in getting our pictures processed and in our hands as quick as you did. I look forward to giving my mother-in-law a family portrait for Mother’s Day. It was nice to have someone in the Chapmanville area to take portraits rather than driving to Charleston. I wish you the best with your business!”
senior portrait by Peggie B Hensley of pbh Art, Inc. in Chapmanville, WV 
 
Grant Dunford, Logan, WV - “Peggie!” These are wonderful! Amazing! Beautiful! I can never thank you enough!”
 
Montage of a little boy by Peggie B. Hensley, pbh Art, Inc., Chapmanville, WV
Karen Thomas, Jasper, AL
- "PICTURE PERFECT!!!!!! Just the way I would describe the picture that I received that Peggie took of Baby Ian. I never have to worry about how they are going to turn out. Peggie does a great/wonderful job. Thank you for everything. You make my living room a happy one by the pictures of Ian."

Mason Family Storyboard - Extended Family Christmas Gift for Mimi
Jimmie Mazon, Chapmanville, WV - "I'm grateful to have what I consider my own personal photographer. - "I have an extremely large family who are spread out, all I have to do it call pbh Art, Inc. and Peggie works her schedule to fit ours, and I have called often. Within the last four years I have used her services for a wedding, 75th birthday party, Easter pictures, Christmas cards and yearly family portraits. In our last portrait we had 15 family members including 7 small children. The pictures were breathtaking.

I have and will continue to recommend pbh Art, Inc. Peggie is experienced, patient and so easy to work with, and the best part are the pictures, they are always beautiful!" 
Photo of Baby Boy, taken by Peggie B. Hensley, Chapmanville, WV Family Portrait Artist 
Heather Vance, Chapmanville, WV - “We LOVE LOVE LOVE our pictures! Peggie did such a great job and tried to make us as comfortable as possible. Looking forward to working with her in the future!!”

Diana Clay, Logan, WV - "You've heard that "small town living" can't provide you with the extras in life? Wrong!
"No need to travel to a city. Peggie's skills as an artist extraordinaire have been channeled into her photography. I have watched her for a number of years now through our teacher consultant relationship with National Writing Project. We have traveled together and she has an eye for the most amazing and unusual shots that stick in our minds like only great artwork can. On my shelf at school, I have a picture taken of me with one of NYC's policemen. St. Patrick's cathedral is in the background, and it's an amazingly realistic picture of a simple day in the life that is captured for the future.
Portrait of Diana Clay and Jaxson 2011 © Peggie B. Hensley
Also, she has a skill in the studio that I have not seen from other experiences. I took my aging dachshund, Hubert, to her facility for some pics to show the gray that happens with age and to have a memory of his later years. She was so patient with my fur kid and the results were so good that I could not stand for her to destroy any of the proofs. I took all of them, plus a few enlargements for my wall and my human kids. Many of my family friends got wallets also.
You will not regret your choice of pbh Art, Inc. to help you remember times in your life."
Paston and Mrs. Richard Tanner 2010 © Peggie B. Hensley 
Jennie Tanner - "Peggie is an artist and uses her artistry in her photos.
"My husband and I had our photo made recently. It was beautiful. Our session was relaxed and enjoyable. Peggy uses her skills to bring out the best in her clients, and her ability to use her artistry brings forth a beautiful portrait."
Halloween photo of Bronson as Superman by Peggie B. Hensley, Chapmanville, WV
 
Jessica Linville, Logan, WV - "My husband, Mitch, and I would recommend pbh Art, Inc. without hesitation.
"Peggie provided us with stunning maternity images, despite my hesitation to be photographed during a time in which the body changes so very much. The shoot was relaxed, the lighting was incredibly flattering, and as a result, we have two very special photographs hanging in our son's nursery which will always serve to remind us of that very special period in our lives. Someday, Bronson will look at those photographs and know he was growing inside my belly when they were taken. Just last night, Peggie photographed Bronson at nine days old. We are overjoyed with the results of the session and will have a difficult time trying to narrow down our selections! Of course, as proud, first-time parents, we believe our baby boy is breathtaking; now we have photographic proof! Peggie was wonderful with Bronson, ensuring he was comfortable and warm and even calming him into a peaceful sleep so that his pliable little body could be molded into classic newborn shapes. Like the maternity photographs, we will cherish these images for years to come, and while we are in no hurry for Bronson to grow, we look forward to future sessions with Peggie throughout his first year and beyond. Peggie is an artist who puts much thought and care into her work as a photographer. She is honest and open to ideas and suggestions, and her studio is welcoming, laid back and pressure-free."
Senior Photo by Peggie B. Hensley 
Jim Morrison, Chauncy, WV
- "Peggie, you were the perfect fit with my daughter. It couldn't have gone nearly as well with anyone else. Jessie loved working with you, and the beautiful scenery outside your studio was great for the outdoor and country themes that were so important to us. Thank you very much."
Photo Montage of a sax player by Peggie B. Hensley
Tyler Hensley, Danville, WV
- "She tries her hardest to make sure you are comfortable in her space and lets you jam to whatever music you want to.
"My senior pictures were amazing and hopefully we will have future appointments for family photos. My mother & son photos were also beautiful. Peggie, you are very creative and talented. I am hoping your business sets off and you will be the best photographer ever! :)"
Senior Picture taken by Peggie B. Hensley 
Marissa Johnson, Chapmanville, WV - “Peggy does an amazing job! She is truly a professional and I loved working with her! I would recommend her to anyone! Thank You so much Peggie!” – Marissa Johnson, Chapmanville, WV

Cindy Adams, Lake, WV - I had a wonderful portrait session with my two boys!! Everyone knows I hate to have my picture taken, but this time was different!! Peggie does a wonderful job!! She makes you feel so comfortable and so good about yourself!! If you are in the market to have portraits done, PLEASE give her a try!! I PROMISE you won’t be disappointed!!
 
Jacqui Baker, Ranger, WV  -  “The best picture experience I’ve ever had. It was fun & I got all the shots I wanted and more.” Jacqui Baker, Branchland, WV
 
Senior LHS photo by Peggie B. Hensley, Chapmanville, WV 
Kathy Kitchen, Logan, WV - “Thank you so much for everything. Olivia’s pics were so beautiful and we were thankful you were the one to do them. You made it all exciting and fun just to watch them being made! You are the best!!!”
Montage of Tasha Workman, Logan High School Class of 2011 by Peggie B. Hensley
Tasha Workman, Chauncey, WV
- "Mrs. Hensley is great at many things like being a teacher, creating art, and photography. This woman is the one that inspired me and taught me everything I know about Art. So, I was thrilled when I got her as my photographer. She did a wonderful job. She makes your personality come out in your photos, and that takes skill and talent. So, I highly recommend pbh Art Inc. for any of your photo taking needs. "
Donna Miller, Logan, WV - "Peggie, we've been showing our photos to everyone! We are so pleased with them!"
Leonnah Browning, Logan, WV
- "I got my senior photos done at pbh Art and I absolutely loved them! "Having someone with an artistic background brought out the natural being in my photos unlike other photographers. It looks like you in the photos rather than someone you don't recognize."
Paula Farnsworth, Hickory, NC
- "Thanks again for taking Trevor's senior pictures. "We have heard nothing but good things about them. You did an awesome job!!!!"
CMS teacher
- "These truly are the best pictures that I have seen of our ball teams. "I would like to schedule a shoot with my girls sometime at your studio..."
Julie Alderman, Chapmanville, WV
- "Thanks Peggie! You should see the big picture of the girls on my wall. It is my dream come true, I can just see myself still loving it when they are grown!"
Colin Crowley - I love them. You did a great job.
"I really like them! Would you mind if I posted a few of them on my myspace account?"
Dominique Morgan, Logan, WV
- "I absolutely love the montage. You did a fabulous job on it. "I greatly appreciate it. Thanks for your time and effort!"
[caption id="attachment_313" align="alignright" width="150"] (Mary & Hawk Hawkins) - Mary Hawkins, Sarah Ann, WV[/caption]
Mary Hawkins, Lake, WV- "Peggie, Thank you so much. You have been such a delight,as always, to work with. Thank you so much for doing this..."
Kelly Bennett, Logan, WV
- "So happy with your work!!!!!!!!!!!!! "You have taken so much pressure and work off of me!! Wonderful work!"

You Just NeverKnow

 When Mom was still living, but lost in the fog of Alzheimer's, occasionally someone from her past would come to visit. It was on one of those serendipitous visits that I photographed Elaine Freeman. She had come with a former pastor's daughter, in for a short visit, and I was showing them the studio. Of course I wanted to document the occasion with photos and they graciously agreed.  And because we were laughing, reminiscing, and having a wonderful time, Mom agreed to join in. I treasure the photos.

Mom passed away three years ago. It took me several months before I could return to our pew at Striker Bible Church. No, it wasn't ours. It was just where we always sat. But we hadn't occupied it for at least two years. Alzheimer's is a demon!

Anyway, after Mom passed, I found many things to do to occupy myself and stave off the grief... Except during church. I just sobbed. And I'm not a crier! I thought. I'd walk in with great intentions. Greet people like always. Hug and pass pleasantries, and sit down in our pew. The service would start and the eye faucet would get stuck on. At first I quietly went to the bathroom to get myself under control. Nothing doing! Sometimes I'd just sneak out the back and go back home.

Finally I switched pews AND the side of the church I sat on and was finally able to turn the faucet off. Elaine sat in the pew I had adopted as mine. She was a treasure. A fixture at SBC all my life. She loved on me and was exactly what I needed at that time.

Then our Pastor resigned and Jennie, his wife and our expert pianist, was no longer there. Guess who plays piano? Guess who by default became the pianist? Elaine would greet me each Sunday morning with, "Oh, I'm so glad you're here!" She made me feel adequate and loved and appreciated. I treasured her.
Not long ago Elaine's daughter asked me three questions:

  1. "Did you still have the photo of Elaine and in color? "
  2. "May we use it in her obituary?"
  3. And the one that sent terror to my soul, "Will you sing I Can Only Imagine at her funeral?"
The first two were easy. The third... I do like to sing, but not by myself and not the lead part. I like to harmonize, either tenor or alto.

But I loved Elaine. I love her family. I felt God nudge me with I'll be with you. I'll give your courage. This is a gift you can give Elaine.

What are the hard things you've had to do in the name of love?
 
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