Entries in Saint Petersburg (432)
It had been nearly a month since I saw Sandy as we met this past Saturday morning for our second of four 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lessons in downtown St. Petersburg Florida. It was a bright and sunny morning, as is typical for Florida in May, though thankfully not too hot at our 9:30am lesson start time.
Sandy had done some practicing with her DSLR applying what we learned during the first lesson and realizing what she would like to practice and review in our second lesson. There is nothing more important when learning photography than actually going out and shooting!
We made our way through the Saturday Market finding some challenging lighting situations. Normally during the day increasing ISO is not necessary, but when photographing subjects under shelters like at the market, using a 200mm+ focal length, with a max f/5.6 aperture lens, those deep shade shooting conditions do require a bump in ISO in order to maintain a safe 1-to-1 shutter speed to focal length ratio.
I have not had many evening lessons yet this year, but yesterday I met Pamela in downtown St. Petersburg for a 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson with her Canon T3i. She has had her DSLR for over a year, but had only been using it in auto-mode. With an upcoming trip to Alaska to photograph grizzly bears, she wanted to learn more about what her camera can do to improve her chances of getting great nature shots.
Pamela told me at the start of the lesson that she knew nothing, and many people actually say that, but it is never really true as everyone knows at least a little about photography. Either way, Pamela was a quick learner of my 5-step system for making a well exposed and sharp shot in any given situation, and with the fading evening light there was a wide range of settings needing to be used to get a good exposure. The Canon T3i has buttons for all the things you need to change, though it lacks a top LCD, it is still an ok camera egonomically for setting up a shot (though suffers for reviewing shots due to the usual Canon making you hit the review button twice before you can actually properly review a shot).
While Pamela practices she will be deciding which new lenses to invest in for her wildlife photography hobby.
As it turns out, in little over a week's time, I photographed a 50th birthday party and then this morning a 100th birthday party! Emilia turned 100 years old today and had a big party at Brentwood Senior Living Community in St. Petersburg, Florida. She was joined by many of her friends and family, and as you can see above, entertrainment was provided by Liberace! His performance went over very well with the senior crowd.
Members of Emilia's family came over and shared birthday wishes, cards, chocolates and funny faces with her. I liked how the young girls looked in this candid photo while their mom talks joyfully with Emilia.
I did not count how many friends were in attendance, but it had to be close to forty! Everyone came over in turn to help Emilia celebrate and also to get a piece of cake!
Emilia's family is Lithuanian and they brought the special Lithuanian cake you see above, and yes that is a candle that says 100 on it! The cake was great, truly unlike any I have tasted before. A very rich taste, though the cake itself was light and dry, with crystalized fruit between layers. I noticed I was one of the only people that finished their entire piece of cake.
Thank you to Jess for contacting me about photographing this 100th birthday party. Is was a very fun photography experience!
I have been teaching 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lessons in downtown St. Petersburg for almost four years now. In that time I believe I have only twice before taught someone with a non-DSLR camera. My reasoning for that is that there is a uniformity to DSLRs even across brands allowing me to quickly show a person how to shoot in manual mode. Non-DSLRs have no such uniformity and it took quite some time just figuring out how to change the aperture on Harvey's Sony digital camera. Although it took more time than usual, I was able to figure out how to use the camera in full manual mode and thus began teaching my 5-step process to Harvey.
He kept asking me, like many people do, "which settings should I use for this and that," which I can never answer because unless I am looking at the same subject and light, I cannot really say. This is why I stressed to him and to others that I teach a process that allows you to determine which settings to use on your own. Of course there are basic default settings one can start out with in typical shooting situations, and those can be found in my photography tips section, but I cannot answer questions that contain the words "always" and "settings."
Eventually Harvey became a bit more comfortable, and accepting, of shooting in manual exposure mode.
On a surprisingly crisp Florida morning in May I met John in downtown St. Petersburg for a 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson. His interest in photography has been growing leading him to purchase a Canon T4i making the transition from point-and-shoot to the DSLR world. He had also starting reading up on photography before we met so he had familiarity with photography terms, but just needed help seeing how they all relate and also simply how to set them on his DSLR.
After I showed him around his Canon T4i we walked around the waterfront area practicing how to use the meter to get a baseline exposure, and then how to read the histogram after making the shot to see how the results really came out. I showed John how to control DoF with aperture and focal length and then concluded the lesson with a little shade versus direct sunlight portrait practice.