North Shore Park along the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront was the location for my first DSLR Photography Lesson with Kamila, who wanted to learn off camera flash (strobist) techniques to use in her own portrait and wedding photography work. We used the Commander Mode of her Nikon D90, part of the Nikon CLS (creative lighting system), along with her Nikon SB-600 Speedlight as our strobist setup. To use Commander Mode on your Nikon (D80, D90, D300 and up) in the Bracketing & Flash menu you have to set the built-in flash to Commander Mode. Then on the speedlight, for instance the SB-600, one must hold the "ZOOM" and " - " buttons simultaneously until the menu comes up to then set the speedlight to Commander Mode as well.
Kamila brought one of her friends to model for her during the lesson. At first we focused on dialing in the correct settings for the best exposure and lighting of the model. For this we had to use Manual Mode exposure, which Kamila was hesitant about starting to use, but I reassured her that Manual Mode is nothing to be afraid of and really not much more difficult than using Aperture Priority Mode. We ended the shooting portion of the lesson with a little posing advice and flattering composition style practice.
The remainder of the lesson was back at Kamila's house for training on how to use Photoshop CS5, perhaps the least intuitive program in existence. Kamila had already downloaded and printed out my list of keyboard shortcuts. This helped her follow along as I showed her my CS5 workflow. We even had time for a quick tutorial on how to add a texture overlay to a photograph. It was basically a jam packed 3-hour lesson!
It was nice to get to meet Kamila's family and dogs while at the same time sharing with her my photographing techniques and philosophies (i.e. editing gimmicks = fail).