After a one-day rain delay, I met Kevin with his new Canon 60D in downtown St. Petersburg for our first DSLR Photography Lesson, although again this morning there was some heavy mist in the air. The weather could not stop us from having a great, detailed lesson though. Kevin claimed to be only a beginner, but due to his initial in-depth reading about his 60D and digital photography in general, he was able to quickly learn how to change the basic settings on his camera, and more importantly knew enough to know which questions he needed to ask so that he could start making the kinds of photographs he wanted to.
I often here people say when they see a nice photograph, "that person must have a really nice camera," which always drives me crazy as the camera cannot take photographs on its own! As any first time DSLR owner will know, the illusion that just having an expensive camera means great photographs will start filling your flickr photostream, gets shattered pretty quickly. This was true for myself. My first day out with my first DSLR I could not even get a pigeon on the ground to come out in focus. Thousands of shots and a few weeks later, I had taught myself how to get those pigeon shots in focus by learning what I had been doing wrong. By taking practical photography lessons, especially 1-on-1 lessons, you can save yourself a lot of time in that initial major trial and error period.
Kevin is eager to learn even more than what we covered in our first two-hour lesson, so I look forward to having lessons in the near future focusing on just using his 50mm prime lens, and also on how to make great night shots using a tripod. Kevin also spent time in Korea and Japan, so in addition to photography we were able to swap Asia experiences stories. It's always an amazing thing that in a small Florida town you can meet someone who spent time in the same far-off cities on the other side of the world you did.