Tanya was one of the most experienced people to take one of my DSLR photography lessons. Her father was a real photography starting back in the 1950s with his own studio. He has passed on a lot of his photography gear to Tanya, but we did not use any of that during our lesson mostly focusing on getting the best out of her Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens on her Canon XSi DSLR. She had been a strict manual focuser and manual exposure user, which is good, but it can be especially tricky manually focusing a 50mm lens. She was not getting the results she wanted, so I showed her the wonders of aperture priority mode and auto-focus. We were soon able to get her producing sharp shots with her 50mm lens.
After that we tried out some simple bounce flash portraits using her Nikon (!) brand Nissin strobe. I realized TTL mode would not work on her Canon DSLR, so we went right into manual mode and after a few test shots were able to produce some good, shadowless portraits right on the street. I am never that good of a model, and this time in particular I was making some very strange faces!
We finished the 2-hour lesson with some long exposure tripod shots. I let Tanya borrow my tripod to use along with her cable release. She likes to photograph sailboats on water, and the small harbor in front of The Pier is home to a number of sailboats providing the ideal practice ground. I showed her how to focus while using a tripod mounted DSLR as we experimented with 10, 20 and finally 30 second exposures.
We covered a lot of different photography topics during our action packed lesson. In addition, I enjoyed listening to Tanya's thoughts on photography as art and of her dad's photography business.