For our second of four DSLR Photography Lessons I met Cindy once again in downtown St. Petersburg returning to The Pier as well because . . . she made a significant gear investment by getting the Nikkor AF-S 70-20mm VR II f/2.8G lens! Most people not into photography would be shocked by what such a lens goes for, but as mentioned in this lesson post, Cindy is headed for Alaska and wants her gear to not be any source of limitation while photographing whales and eagles. Plus, this lens will be great for the next 10+ years. Lenses have a very long life, much longer than camera bodies or really any other type of gadget or electronics.
We hopped the trolley to The Pier saving us some of the walk and headed straight to its roof where there was a succession of small airplanes taking off and landing whose distance and size provided very good whale photography simulation. For sure Cindy wants to get shots of the tails of whales sticking out of the water and of course of them breeching. Therefore, blurry shots are not tolerable, thus in the bright sunlight I had her use manual mode with a shutter speed of 1/640th and an aperture of f/5.6 with some adjustments made as we went along shooting. One can always make a slightly underexposed image brighter in the digital editing process, but there is no rescuing a blurry shot, so making shutter speed a priority for such shots is my advice.
More new gear (an external flash) may be showing up in Cindy's bag by the time we have our third pre-Alaska lesson in the coming weeks. I think I am just as excited about a student getting new gear as she/he is.