I met new student Shaye on a very sunny Florida autumn (but still hot!) afternoon for our first DSLR Photography Lesson. She recently got a Nikon D5100, making the leap to the DSLR world. I introduced Shaye to all the photography vocabulary and concepts I view to be the minimum to start making good photographs on purpose. I told her not to worry though, there are only four: aperture, ISO, WB and focus mode. Then, if the light and subject do not change, not even all of those settings need to be adjusted that often. It is true photography is a complex art, but the number of things one has to balance to be good at that art are not as numerous as one might think.
We made our way out to Vinoy Park for the last quarter of the lesson and were treated to some very close swimbys by a pair of dolphins. Despite trying to predict where they would surface next, we were unable to capture them in frame. Two years ago I was at the exact same spot and was able to make a dolphin surfacing shot (see here).
I covered a lot of photography topics during our 2-hour lesson and Shaye showed good understanding of how to start putting them all together in order to be able to make a satisfactory photograph in any given shooting situation. She has only one lens now so through our discussions during the lesson it seems the next best lens for her would be a 50mm f/1.8 lens. I always get excited anytime someone gets new gear, even if it's not me!
I look forward to seeing how Shaye applies the techniques I taught her today as she photographs her dogs and children.