DSLR Photography Lesson #3 with Carmen at Fossil Park

Fossil Park provided a surprisingly nice backdrop for our 3rd DSLR Photography LessonIt was three months since our last DSLR Photography Lesson together, so for this our 3rd lesson Carmen (1st, 2nd) had quite a few questions and photos to show me at the start of the 2-hour lesson.  I am always pleased when students are at least out practicing and getting good use out of their DSLRs.  That then gives us something to build on during subsequent lessons.  For example, Carmen photographed some of her family in the evening time wanting to get a water backdrop.  I was able to look at the settings she used for those shots and specifically tell her what she could have adjusted to improve the shots.  Then we actually practiced the same type of landscape portrait shots together to try and build "photography muscle memory" so she could remember on her own for the next time she photographed her family.

Another focus of this lesson was on exposure compensation, the +/- button on your DSLR.  I was the model and first stood in direct sunlight, facing the sun, Carmen with her back to the sun as the photographer should be.  The portrait came out with me looking very light and harsh shadows under my eyes, basically making my eyes invisible.  How to correct this?  Move me (the subject/model) into shade.  We kept all settings the same.  The photograph was greatly improved, although a little underexposed.  The final step was adjusting her Nikon D5000's exposure compensation to +0.7 which produced a very pleasing natural light portrait that was night and day different from the two before.  If you do not have an external flash, adjusting your exposure compensation and placing the subject in shade can still produce some good looking outdoor portraits.

I look forward to seeing Carmen's improved portraits! 

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