DSLR Photography Long Exposure Lesson with Scott on Sunset Beach St. Petersburg

Practicing long exposure photography - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/4 ISO 200 2sec tripod mounted with cable releaseNew DSLR Photography student, Scott, is a native of St. Petersburg.  He loves to photograph Florida's great twilight skies after the sun goes down.  He recently bought a Nikon D50 from a friend.  He has photography knowledge from the film days, but wanted to learn how to change the settings (and why) on a DSLR camera.  He was also trying to photograph twilight skies handheld!

The first thing I had Scott do is get his D50 onto his (headless) tripod.  Then I explained my progression for setting settings on my own camera:  aperture -> ISO -> white balance -> focus mode & points.  I told him to say goodbye to the presets on the D50's exposure dial and that we would only work with aperture priority and manual exposure the rest of the evening.  

Scott had a great enthusiasm for photography and photography knowledge.  He wisely had a notebook with him to write down the things I was going over with him.  As excited as he was about this preliminary stuff, his mind was about to really be blown . . .

Scott said he like to shoot well after sunset, and as mentioned before he was not using his tripod for this.  Plus he was not manually controlling the shutter.  So I had him setup his tripod mounted Nikon and compose the shot how he liked, then set his exposure to 10 seconds and put the shutter on the timer to reduce shake (since he had no remote).  He was amazed at how long 10 seconds felt and that it seemed like magic.  You can imagine what happened when we finally did 30 second exposures and even a bulb mode shot of 79 seconds!.

It felt great to be able to give Scott the tips he needed to be able to make the types of photographs he wanted to.  I look forward to seeing what he comes up with! 

  • Reserve your own 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson with Jason today!
  • Learn more about the lessons
  • Browse past lessons with all of my students