On a way hotter than it should have been October morning, I met Rasha with her Nikon D5100 for our first 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in downtown St. Petersburg. She has had the Nikon for a little while, but was only using it in auto-mode. She inquired about my lessons because she wanted to be able to get more out of her DSLR, which is exactly what my photography lessons are designed to help people do!
She has a pair of lenses covering the standard focal lengths of 18-200mm. I began the lesson by showing her how to safely and properly change lenses, something that may not sound so important, but actually is for keeping the inside of your DSLR clean and the sensor spot free. We started out shooting in aperture priority mode, but once we switched to shooting moving subjects in constant light, I showed Rasha how using manual mode is much more advantageous for locking in the exposure and allowing the photographer to just focus on getting the best framing. We practiced on cars driving down 5th Ave N in front of the Vinoy Hotel.
We concluded the first lesson in the shade of North Straub Park where I demonstrated how it is actually much, much better to make a portrait of someone in shade rather than in harsh mid-day sunlight. Her portrait of me in the shade produced natural skin tones and light in the eyes. Moving into direct sun made my skin look reflectively pale and my eyes were dark pools hidden by shadow from the overhead sun.
I look forward to continuing to help Rasha improve her manual photography skills in our next lesson!