This week starts off with a DSLR Photography Lesson with new student Teresa and her Canon 7D. As you might expect from a Canon 7D owner, Teresa already has photography knowledge. What I helped her do in this first of four lessons she has already booked (which gets her a discounted price) is pull all that existing knowledge together and add to that my own process for dialing in the best settings that produce the exact exposure, DoF and sharpness I want.
Teresa is already entering into action pet photography and hopes to break into newborn photography as well, especially since a family member will be having a baby soon. She has a nice assortment of lenses and a new Nisson external flash, so first it is a matter of finding out what gear is best for each type of situation. Using her Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens we practiced photographing moving subjects in strong mid-day Florida sunshine, which she will often need to do in her pet photography work. We started out using aperture priority to see what shutter speeds it would give us, and they were all over the map. Varied results are exactly what one does not want. Thus, we switched to manual mode.
Knowing that to freeze most action a minimum shutter speed of 1/500th is required, we set the shutter to 1/640th to make sure we had enough, then adjusted our aperture and ISO settings to yield the best possible exposure given the non-ideal light conditions. In this manner we locked in settings that consistently produced results we were happy. Once one locks in the best possible settings, the photographer is then free to concentrate just on shooting, composition, etc with no worries about exposure or other technical aspects of shooting.
Our next lesson will be how to make use of her external flash for portrait work as well as how to use Color Efex Pro to edit digital photos. It will be a longer lesson than usual, but Teresa is a self-declared photography sponge right now, which makes having lessons fun for me as well. I am looking forward to it since external flash and Color Efex Pro are two of my favorite photography related things!