On a chilly but brilliantly sunny Saturday morning I met Damian for our first DSLR Photography Lesson. His wife bought him a lesson gift certificate for Christmas. This was a chance for me to get a closer look at the new Pentax K-7 DSLR, my first time to see it in person. I was impressed. I had never before seen a DSLR that had a proper AF-S/AF-C/M switch on it besides my Nikon D300 (and other Nikons). It also had two finger dials and a top-of-body LCD, which to me is mandatory for a DSLR to have.
Damian and his wife will be going shortly on a trip to Saint Lucia so we spent a good amount of time on how to make, frame and manually expose landscape shots. I had Damian start out shooting in aperture priority mode, forever leaving auto-mode behind, as I have all students do. However, in the bright late morning light the shots from his Pentax were coming out a bit underexposed so I had him switch to manual mode and set the shutter speed to 1/160th (rather than the 1/320th aperture priority mode was choosing). Since it is really hard to see a 3-inch LCD screen in the aforementioned bright Florida sunshine, I taught Damian how to read the histogram, which is kind of like flying an airplane by instruments alone. The LCD screen can certainly lie, but the histogram cannot.
Damian is now ready to produce some great beach landscapes down in Saint Lucia. I look forward to seeing them and to our next lesson when he gets back.