Melanie was a referral from another DSLR Photography student (Danielle, thanks!). We actually had to reschedule two times because of the unusually bad Florida winter weather. So we were both happy to finally have a lesson, and on a nice sunny day to boot. Like many of my students, she just very recently purchased her DSLR, a Nikon D90.
We covered the basic range of must know settings to get started making photographs with any DSLR, including aperture, ISO and shutter speed. We then applied these to making photographs with a shallow depth of focus (DoF) in order to make an image with nice bokeh. Getting the settings dialed in to freeze moving objects was another topic we covered, the key to that being putting your camera into its continuous focus mode, which on Nikon is AF-C and on Canon is AI-servo.
We ended with a brief introduction on using flash to create well exposed portraits. Melanie just used her on camera flash, then I showed her the portrait I made of her (see above) using off camera flash, and I think she may soon be the owner of a new Nikon SB-600 Speelight!
I look forward to our next lesson and helping Melanie build on the photography topics we touched on in our first lesson.