What a difference DSLR Photography Lessons have been this winter compared to last weather-wise. Here in a windless Vinoy Park I could very comfortably show Linda how to use her Nikon D3100 to take expansive landscape shots as well as landscape portraits. Last winter any trip here resulted in the student and I being pummeled by a strong, cold wind. This morning nothing but sunshine. However, Linda recently moved from Minnesota so even our worst winter days here are not likely to phase her.
It has been a long time coming for Linda wanting to learn more about photography. Thanks to her husband giving her the generous gift of a Nikon D3100 package, after our lesson she will have the tools, knowledge and most of all Florida's beautiful scenery with which to get busy pursuing photography more seriously.
Linda asked if the Nikon D3100 was a good first DSLR to get. It is Nikon's entry level DSLR, so for someone with no previous knowledge of manually controlling a camera, I think it is a good tool to start out with. It has a few useful dedicated buttons on its body, but not so many as to appear overwhelming. The rest of the settings are changed via a convenient one-touch-to-access info button. The menu system overall is greatly improved with helpful photo samples next to many of the settings giving an example of what they are for.
My first Nikon was the D80 which had no such fancy visual menus. Thus, it took me a week on my own just to figure out which autofocus mode was best to use in a given situation, even though it now is dead obvious to me. The current crop of entry level DSLR cameras make it possible to learn solid digital photography techniques even faster.
In between photography conversation Linda told me her first impressions of Florida, which were mostly good, save for the terrible drivers here, in particular how fast everyone drives. She said in Minnesota no one goes more than 5mph over the limit otherwise they would be liable to get a speeding ticket. Here, that number is more like 10mph.
Linda has already scheduled her second lesson for this Friday and she may have a new external flash by then!