DSLR Photography Lesson with Rossie & his Canon 40D

Nikon D300 Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens @ f/8 ISO 200 1/60th Strobist: Nikon SB-800 Speedlight handheld in commander mode

I learned a little bit about Rossie's interesting career before we met for our first DSLR Photography Lesson this morning in downtown St. Petersburg.  He has worked as an illustrator for the Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times and even lived in my old hometown area of Lee County.  He showed me some of his photographs and I was really impressed with the lighting, which he said he used his serious Photoshop skills to produce.  So in our lesson he wanted to start to learn how to make photographs using more photography skills, less processing skills.  He recently bought a Canon 40D from a friend and had been shooting in auto-mode, as many of my past students used to do.

We remedied that immediately by shooting in aperture priority mode, Av on the 40D's dial.  Rossie already had many instincts for composition, but not much experience with a DSLR itself or specific shooting techniques for specific types of photograph.  For example, I noticed that Rossie really likes to photograph people, so as I had him practice on me I said make sure to always set the focus on the eyes when making a portrait.  He had not heard that before, and it is not one of those pieces of photography knowledge that widely floats around unless you specifically look for it, and how looks for something they did not know to look for in the first place?

Despite the above serious portrait of Rossie, he is a very jovial person and I had a great time during the lesson listening to his stories and his thoughts on photography, etc.  I like people that speak freely, with candor.  I look forward to our next lesson, which will focus on shooting with a 50mm lens. 

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