On a not too hot St. Petersburg morning I met new DSLR Photography Lesson student Chris for our first of four 1-on-1 photography lessons. She had taken a photography class about a year ago, but soon after reverted to using auto-mode again so in our lessons I will help her get off of that once and for all and learn to love manual mode!
She has a Nikon D90 and a pair of lenses to go along with her already acquired photography knowledge. We started with a tour of her DSLR and how to change the four (or five if in manual mode) necessary settings for any given shot. The D90 has two dials and a top LCD making it pretty quick to be able to do a wholesale set of changes. For anyone wanting to be serious about shooting in dynamic situations, I highly recommend a DSLR with that feature set, otherwise it will take much longer to change settings than you will most likely have.
Toward the end of our 2-hour lesson it was a nice surprise to come across a mama duck and her three ducklings. They provided a very fun subject matter to practice photographing moving subjects. The key of course is setting the focus mode to AF-C (Ai Servo) and then using good tracking technique to maintain a focus lock on the moving subjects by always keeping the shutter pressed halfway down.