On a very sunny and crisp St. Petersburg mid-holiday week morning, I met Malissa (yes, spelled with an "a") and her new Canon 7D (present from her husband) for a from the very beginning DSLR Photography Lesson. Malissa had a point and shoot digital camera previous to her 7D, so after realizing it was quite a jump between cameras, her husband again found my lessons and there we were.
Malissa was not even familiar with basic photography terms like aperture, ISO, etc, but that was ok because it is much quicker to learn what these things mean from me, and see how they work in the field, than by only reading manuals and how-to books on those topics. I told Malissa that even though her 7D was covered in buttons, there are basically only four settings that need to be regularly changed, those being, along with the two mentioned above, white balance and focus mode as well.
Malissa has the Canon 70-300mm lens, which sounds like a long lens, but as I had her try to photograph a pelican in the water, she pointed out herself that the pelican still looked small in frame, despite our relatively close distance to her. Then I had to break the bad news to her that to get any longer lens would cost several thousands of dollars for a 500mm or 600mm lens! Hmm, at the time I did not think to mention teleconverters, but my limited experience with them has not impressed me.
I look forward to seeing what Malissa can now do with her Canon 7D and a lot more DSLR photography knowledge.