DSLR Photography Lesson #2 with Danielle in Sunken Gardens

Danielle making a Nikon D80 look stylish during our DSLR photography lesson in Sunken GardensI often find that I never exactly know what will happen in one of my DSLR Photography Lessons.  And I like that.  I feel that keeping the lesson content and structure fluid allows me to adapt the lesson on the fly to what the photography student specifically needs or wants to learn that lesson.  

Thus, Danielle and I began our second lesson today in Sunken Gardens with an in-depth conversation about what settings might have better helped her make portraits of her son's school classmates and how to take the first steps toward potentially making some money from photography in the semi-near future.  I did not have this planned, but I think it turned out to be a very productive use of our lesson time.  

My plan was for Danielle to practice making photographs using her tripod, which I learned was given to her by her father.  The tripod was of a certain vintage, i.e. a bit old.  As she was setting it up I started to feel uncomfortable about her putting her Nikon D80 on it.  My gut was right, as a leg fell right off the tripod!  So much for practicing tripod photography and won't the Sunken Gardens staff be surprised to see a large tripod in a trash can in the middle of the gardens!

It was all for the best as we had plenty of new photography ground to cover, the most useful of which I feel was how flash can radically improve outdoor photography.  I had Danielle photograph a flower in semi-shade without flash, which looked ok.  Then I had her useonly the D80's built-in popup flash to eliminate shadows and expose details in the flower that just were not present in the non-flash photo.  I was even surprised by the improvement.  

In an exciting note, Danielle will be investing in some new photography gear that we will put to good use in our next DSLR photography lesson.  I literally get just as excited about somebody else getting new photo gear as I would getting it myself!  

Thanks to Danielle for asking so many good questions during the lesson, which actually makes my job easier.  The time went by quickly.