During our DSLR Photography Lesson, new student Pete asked the most questions of any student before. However, this only made my job easier as I like to be asked questions and this process also tells me exactly what the student needs to know. It was a very rare rain-free evening in St. Petersburg, virtually windless, and thus pretty steamy, but we had many shaded Q&A sessions over the two hours. Pete was very anxious to learn how to use his new Nikon D5000 better. He had photography experience, but modern DSLRs have quite a few more controls on them than cameras of yesteryear. The first thing we did was get him off of P mode and onto aperture priority mode. Then I taught him about aperture, and about how he really only needs to worry about using f/5.6, f/8 and f/11 for the type of photography he likes to do.
Basically I showed Pete a good default settings base that will suit him well for shooting still objects in many situations:
- ISO 200 (lowest on Nikons)
- aperture priority mode
- white balance = sunny
- focus mode = AF-S (one shot for Canon)
- one (centered) focus point
- use a tripod as much as possible
For sunny outdoor Florida weather, morning to evening, those settings will work well for most still subject matter.
Pete is traveling to beautiful Martha's Vineyard soon so I look forward to seeing his shots from there!