Entries in photography teacher (203)
There was a "snowfest" and parade happening in downtown St. Petersburg Florida during a Canon DSLR Photography Lesson with Christina and Chris, but the weather could not have been warmer for a December day. In fact, there was a woman in a bikini sunbathing right in front of the parade route and just a block over from where kids were sliding down a small hill of surely not long to last snow. C & C had similar Canon DSLRs and were looking to learn how to make better photographs, which led to them finding me and coming up from Sarasota for the lesson. They said they could not find anyone in the Sarasota area, and to my knowledge I am the only full-time professional photographer that offers 1-on-1 photography lessons in the field. I have taught well over 300 lessons to date!
Chris had done a good bit of reading about photography and knew some about my 5-step process for making a sharp and well exposed photograph in any shooting conditions. What books do not tell, or do not make that clear, is the exact process to use in the field to get the exposure you want when shooting in manual mode. Photography is a creative art, but there exists an exact process for at the least getting the exposure correctly . . . composition, that is something else!
It was a nice change to teach two people instead of the usual 1-on-1 lesson, most of all because it means one of them could be the subject for practicing photographing action on! (see photo above) I look forward to seeing their improved photography results now that they know how to properly shoot in manual mode and can focus more on being creative.
On a way too hot for December Florida afternoon I met Heather with her new Nikon D600 for a 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in downtown St. Petersburg. This was not her first DSLR, she had a Canon for several years, but only had been using it in auto-mode. Even with the new Nikon D600, it was more auto-mode so in order to be able to make better photos of her two young children, she decided to take a photo lesson.
Even though we were shooting outdoors the entire time, I advised her on settings she would need to be able to make photographs of her kids indoors. The technique for both indoor and outdoor or really any kind of photograph is the same. There are five things you ever need to set. There is just better starting points for settings indoors or outdoors. For example, no need to use the lowest ISO on your DSLR when shooting indoors, 95% of the time you need to use at least ISO 800.
After the 2-hour lesson and with the help of the 140+ photo tips on my site, Heather has the resources to start getting the most out of her DSLR and make photos of her children that will only increase in value as years go by.
It has been five weeks since I met Dan for our first 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in downtown St. Petersburg and he has decided to turn that single lesson into a 4-pack of lessons. He told me he also basically forgot everything from the lesson and we changed our plans of him photographing his dog to having a refresher on the process needed to shoot in manual mode with his Canon 5D Mark III.
We began by him showing me some photographs he took at a chalk festival to see where in the 5-step process of getting a well exposed and sharp photograph he went astray. While he was getting the meter to show neutral before pressing the shutter on some shots, it was not the ideal way of doing so, i.e. with a high ISO and super fast shutter speed rather than a minimum ISO and slower shutter speed.
After getting things sorted out with the workflow for when to increase aperture, shutter speed and ISO, we then walked around the downtown area putting it into practice making a few natural light portraits and starting to introduce some composition tips too. I look forward to seeing Dan's improved results next time we meet!
This morning I met Jody in downtown St. Petersburg Florida for a 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson with her just purchased Canon 70D. Like many past students, Jody's interest in photography was growing and she wanted to take the step up from point-and-shoot to DSLR. I have taught dozens of such people and am always glad to be able to save people the years of grinding I did teaching myself by concentrating all my current years of experience into a two-hour info packed photography lesson!
Within the first sixty minutes of the lesson I had Jody looking through her viewfinder using the camera's meter to assist her in setting the shutter speed while shooting in manual mode with a daylight default aperture of f/11. From there I taught her how to control DoF in order to create a shot with bokeh before concluding with some tips for shooting landscapes. Jody now has a headstart on learning how to use her DSLR and I look forward to seeing the results.
I met Dan and his brand new Canon 5D Mark III in downtown St. Petersburg for my first 1-on-1 DSLR photography lesson on a weekday evening in awhile. As you can see things got dark, but that allowed for some cool lighting effects by zooming in while pressing the shutter. The Canon 5D Mark III is a professional level camera (it does not even have a built in popup flash), so I was surprised to learn it was Dan's first ever DSLR of any kind! He went right to the top after using point and shoot digital cameras previously. I like the all in attitude!
No matter what DSLR a student comes to me with, the teaching process is the same. Likewise, once you learn one DSLR, you can pretty much pick up any other DSLR and shoot in manual mode (well, at least within the same brand fairly easily). After explaining to Dan how aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together to produce a good exposure we walked along Beach Drive and with the fading light got to test the super high ISO ability of his Canon. We even used ISO 25,600 for a few very low light moving subject shots where the shutter speed needs to be 1/500th. I was impressed.