Jeni Dieringer spent a night photographing the Milky Way between Bonney Lake and Buckley. The Milky Way is only visible from our hemisphere in the spring to late summer. Photo by Jeni Dieringer.

Buckley photographer gives tips on making photography simple, affordable

Photography isn't the easiest (or cheapest) hobby to get into, but Buckley resident Jeni Dieringer is already becoming a regular shutterbug.

Photography isn’t the easiest (or cheapest) hobby to get into, but Buckley resident Jeni Dieringer is already becoming a regular shutterbug.

The local bodybuilder started taking up photography when her mother bought her a camera for her last birthday.

“I always wanted to do a photoshoot, but I never had a chance to do that,” Dieringer said, adding that her mother and grandfather had some photography experience that she grew up with. “I’ve always wanted a professional camera – one that I can take good pictures with.”

Armed with a Nikon D-55 and a 55 millimeter lens, Dieringer has turned her attention toward nature photography, taking advantage of Buckley’s natural landscape and clear nights – a focus that fits well with her other hobby, hiking.

Many of the photos she’s taken are during the dead of night, when most amateur photographers would find it impossible to get a clear shot of their subject.

“I find something that I am interested in, and I do a bunch of research on it and figure out what settings are the best, and I play with the settings when I am out there,” she said. “So I’ve done a lot of research on night photography. Pretty much the galaxy and moon pictures.”

Dieringer recently took a photo of the Milky Way when it was visible in the Northern hemisphere, which is from May to September at various times during the night or early morning. One of the easiest time to take photos of the Milky Way is in June between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.

For the Milky Way shot, Dieringer said she kept her aperture as low as it can go (3.5) to limit how much light from the Milky Way reached the camera.

Dieringer also adjusted her camera’s ISO sensitivity all the way up at 6400 in order to make the camera sensor as sensitive as possible to the light it was receiving from the stars.

To compensate for the lack of light during this night shoot, Dieringer had to keep her camera shutter open for a long while – 25 to 30 seconds. To do this, she had to make sure her camera was secured on a tripod and wouldn’t be jostled in any way while taking the photo.

Dieringer’s camera settings and precision timing resulted in a clear photo of the Milky Way stretching over forest land. The best part is, she didn’t have to go far to take this photo – in fact, she took it outside her grandparent’s driveway between Buckley and Bonney Lake.

Among her other photos, Dieringer has taken advantage of the Plateau’s most famous landmark, Mount Rainier, and captured photos of the mountain in dramatic light, as well as more night photography with forests and horses.

Dieringer is on her way to making her own name in the photography business, but is open to what the future may hold in store for her and her new hobby.

“I’m going to see where this goes. It would be nice to open my own business and do photography for people,” she said. “I want to try interior photography for hotels and stuff – that would be really cool.”

More of Dieringer’s photos can be checked out on her Instagram under her username, “jeyjodee.”

Easy and affordable photography

One tip Dieringer offered to beginning photographers was researching the kind of camera you want and then trying to find a refurbished camera online. She said the camera she uses was previously owned and came at half off, perfect for an amateur who doesn’t have the money to buy a brand-new camera.

And when it comes to lessons and research, Dieringer said there’s no better place to go than online.

“Look on Youtube. That’s where I’ve learned a whole bunch of my stuff,” she said, specifically mentioning Serge Ramelli’s channel, which covers lessons in photography as well as Photoshop and Lightroom tutorials for photo editing.

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