My first 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson of November 2012 was on a very pleasant morning in downtown St. Petersburg Florida meeting Frank and his pristine Nikon D80. His DSLR was pristine because it had been sitting in a very safe case for a couple of years. My lesson with Frank was to make sure his D80 keeps seeing the light of day!
For awhile now I have been starting out my photography students right in manual mode. For a long time I had been starting them in aperture priority mode, but have changed my own teaching methodology. I mean, shooting in manual mode only adds one more thing to the list of settings for making a well exposed and sharp shot in any giving shooting condition, so why not just go right to the real stuff?
Besides teaching the technical details of exposure, in a first DSLR photography lesson I also teach ergonomics, as in where the buttons are to change settings on that particular student's camera body, how to change lenses safely and how to stand and hold the camera to insure the most stable shooting position. All these things to me matter just as much as knowing you should use AF-C for moving subjects rather than AF-S.
I hope after our lesson Frank enjoys using his Nikon D80 to make beautiful photos of Florida and it only stays in the case between locations!