DSLR Photography Lesson with Cindy & her new Nikon D90

Cindy is now on the Nikon team during our 3rd lesson at The Pier in St. PetersburgI last had a lesson with Cindy in August 2010.  It was our second lesson with her Canon T1i.  Well, since then she has given away the Canon to her nephew and joined the Nikon team with the purchase of a Nikon D90!  I will ask Cindy to write in her own words why she made the switch from Canon to Nikon and update this post accordingly.

Even though Cindy was already familiar with aperture, ISO, white balance and focus modes, there was a change in terminology for her to learn and how to adjust those settings physically the Nikon way.  To practice this we returned to a favorite location of ours, The Pier and all its pelican residents.  

The main thing we paid attention to during the lesson was maintaining a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second as this summer Cindy will be taking a grand trip up to Alaska to photograph whales and eagles.  As whales breach and eagles soar, a fast shutter time is mandatory in order to be able to freeze their motion.  

So we set her Nikon D90 to manual mode, the shutter speed to 1/500th of a second and varied her aperture according to what subject matter we were photographing at the time.  For distant subjects (i.e. whales) I had Cindy set her aperture to f/5.6 and for wider action shots f/11 keeping the shutter speed locked at 1/500th (or faster).  So sometimes, especially when using f/11, increasing the ISO was necessary to maintain a good exposure.  

It was an interesting lesson for me as it is always nice to be able to address a specific photography need from a student with the goal of producing great nature shots in the future.  Cindy is already booked for three more lessons so there will be plenty of updates to come as I do my best to prepare her for photographing in the Alaskan wilderness!  

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