Kim and Michelle traveled all the way from Lutz for this morning's DSLR Photography Lesson. Actually, the last place I ever lived in the Tampa Bay area before I moved away for a decade was just on the border of Lutz. This was another very rare 2-person lesson, as all others are 1-on-1. I know both of their cameras well ( Nikon D5000 & Canon XSi ), so it did not take much extra time getting two DSLRs set for the varies photography scenarios we practiced shooting in. Kim was actually a (delayed) referral from one of my original photo students, Rosa. Thanks Rosa!
Kim and Michelle both have kids that play baseball, so I made sure that we got in a lot of moving subject shooting practice. Often people coming from point and shoot cameras and/or who use auto-mode on their DSLRs do not realize that when you take control of your DSLR using aperture priority or manual mode, you have to adjust your focus mode for photographing still (Nikon AF-S; Canon One Shot) or moving (Nikon AF-C; Canon AI Servo) subjects. Often just getting into a continuous focusing mode solves many of the problems with trying to freeze action.
I also stressed to Kim and Michelle that even with entry level DSLRs it is wise and often necessary to adopt methods and practices of a professional photographer. For example, have at least two batteries. That way you always have a fully charged one stowed in your camera bag and you never run into a situation of running out of power. Other practices include always being ready to shoot. You should never turn off your DSLR or put the lens cap on until you are absolutely done shooting for the day and getting in your car to head back home. DSLRs use almost no power when not in use so there is no reason to turn a DSLR off to save the battery when just walking around. Also, unless you are walking through thorn bushes, the lens cap should stay off. I advised Kim and Michelle to be in photographer mode whenever their cameras were out. In that way, less shots will be missed and any photo opportunities that may come up one will be ready for.
I look forward to seeing Kim and Michelle's baseball action shots!