I ventured out of St. Petersburg this morning for a DSLR Photography Lesson with new student Carie and her Canon 50D on the University of Tampa campus. I had not had a lesson there in almost a year. The campus was much busier than I expected for an early Saturday morning, but I was lucky and got the last parking space in front of the Plant Building.
Carie has had her 50D for some time and has done some studying of photography terms and techniques on her own. What my 1-on-1 in the field lessons offer is instruction on how to actually make photos in common situations with situation specific settings. One thing Carie wanted to be able to photograph better are her very active children who plays sports. The variable cloudiness allowed us to use sunny actions settings, and higher ISO settings for when the sky clouded over and available light dropped significantly. One important thing I told Carie to keep an eye on was shutter speed. For action the shutter speed should (usually) be at least 1/500th of a second and faster. When the clouds came and the shutter speed dipped below 1/500th, increasing to ISO 400 got shutter speeds up to an adequate 1/640th. Of course, the faster the subject is moving, the faster the shutter speed needed to freeze that action is.
For the final part of the lesson we went down by the Hillsborough River to practice using fill flash for portraits. I had Carie first take a shot (of yours truly) with no flash then the exact same shot with her external flash on. It was easy to see the better results having the flash on produced.