Entries in Nikon D90 (22)
The first true afternoon 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson of the fall was with Raegan and her Nikon D90, meeting at 3pm which would be unthinkable most months of the year in Florida. She has had her D90 for quite sometime and had even taken other photography lessons in the past, but was still looking for a better way to tie together aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Of course, that is exactly what my lessons aim to do from the get-go.
Since Raegan did have some photography knowledge to start with, and was already shooting in manual mode, I described to her my 5-step process for making a well exposed and sharp image in any chooting conditions in a bit more detail at first than usual. In particular shutter speed limits, with those of course being in general 1/60th for still subjects and 1/500th for moving subjects. Knowing those two limits is the key to eliminating blur and camera shake.
I hope now that Raegan can confidently photograph her children in focus when they are sitting or moving, or both!
I had a most unusual and interesting 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson with new student Irene yesterday evening. She already was familiar with photography terms and concepts like aperture, ISO, etc, but wanted to learn how to better apply them in combination when you hit the limits of each of those things, not to mention when available light is in short supply. Getting all this right is key since she is about to go on her fourth African safari photography trip!
Irene did a good job of asking questions to find out my own personal photography beliefs. For example, if you are shooting with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens in limited light, would you use f/4 ISO 400 1/200th or f/2.8 ISO 200 and 1/200th? Those kinds of questions and scenarios made up the bulk of our initial 90-minute discussion. We concluded the lesson with a few composition tips.
I look forward to seeing all the great wildlife shots Irene will return from Africa with!
I met Chris and his father-in-law Paul on a pleasant overcast St. Petersburg evening to help them both get off auto-mode on their Nikons. Each of them had a few lenses and had been shooting for awhile, but they thought it was time to learn how to take more control over their DSLRs and that is exactly what my DSLR Photography Lessons are designed to do!
In addition to teaching my four step process for getting the exposure and focus right for any given shooting situation, I also teach several habits of the pro-photographer than anyone with a DSLR should emulate as well. This starts with safely changing lenses, putting everything in the same place in your camera bag every time, always leaving your DSLR on until you put it away in your bag and of courrse how to properly hold your DSLR to maximize stability (see above stances).
Once again I did not have to be the model during this lesson as Chris & Paul took turns being the subject for each other as we ended the lesson with a little flash portrait practice using the scenic St. Petersburg harbor as the background at dusk. I look forward to seeing how their photographs improve as they put the skills we covered to use to take more control over their shots!
For our second of four 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lessons Chris and I went out to The Pier in downtown St. Petersburg in an attempt to photograph birds in flight, in particular pelicans. Well, there were many pelicans, but they were all only lazily napping or preening themselves! Still, we were able to practice good composition skills, switching back and forth from shutter priority to manual mode, as well as AF-S to AF-C focus modes. Now Chris will have both brown pelican shots in her portfolio and a cormorant too!
We also practiced basic landscape photography from the top of The Pier, which on a Monday morning we had entirely to ourselves. Since Chris will soon visit the Smoky Mountains I pointed out that for landscape shots one does not always automatically use a wide angle lens. If a mountain is very far away then using a medium telephoto lens like a 70-200mm could be the ideal lens to a landscape shot (see my shot of Mt. Fuji) featuring just the mountain itself.
I look forward to seeing Chris' Smoky Mountain images, especially if she makes the effort to wake up an hour before sunrise and really capture some of that morning mist on the mountains!
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.