DSLR Photography Lesson with Jeni & her new Nikon D5100

Jeni got a Nikon D5100 for her birthday replacing her old D50If my memory is correct, this was the first instance of a same day lesson, by that I mean I received a contact form inquiry from Jeni via my website when I woke up this morning, and then by 6:20pm this evening we were having our first DSLR Photography Lesson.  She received a brand new Nikon D5100 for her birthday this week.  She had a Nikon D50 previously, so she was not entirely new to the DSLR world.  However, like a majority of my past students, she was mostly only shooting on auto-mode, or one of the other preset modes.  I of course told her she will never use any of those again!

While teaching Jeni how to produce a photograph with bokeh, we made the unfortunate discovery that her Quantaray 70-300mm lens could not be autofocused by her D5100 as that DSLR lacks an in-body focusing motor.  So we manually focused that lens to produce one example of good bokeh for her to take note of in her notebook.  The notes she took should serve as a great reminder when she next goes out to shoot by herself.  The first lesson especially covers a lot of photography settings, so I would advise any future student to take notes as well.

We finished the lesson out at Vinoy Park just as the sun was setting behind the Vinoy Hotel itself.  Jeni is very interested in portrait photography, and has even done some for her friends already.  Since I am a big believer in strobist photography, I strongly suggested that the next piece of photography gear she invest in be an external flash.  Still, just using her Nikon D5100's pop-up flash we were able to practice making sunset portraits with decent results.  

Jeni has three young daughters so she has plenty of portrait volunteers to practice on at home!  I look forward to seeing her put to use the photography knowledge from our lesson!

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