For a person who is new to the DSLR world, all the possible settings and just all the buttons and dials on the DSLR itself can be overwhelming. That is why I try to simplify the shooting process by breaking it down into four main things in this order: aperture, ISO, WB, focus mode. So I proceeded during my first DSLR Photography Lesson with new student Sherri. She has the Canon T3, a DSLR I had never even heard of being released until she inquired about lessons. It is a very light and compact camera which seems well suited for travel, which is good since Sherri will soon visit China! However, like all Canon DSLRs, I still find the ergonomics and button designations to be nonintuitive and overly complicated.
Sherri said she had been trying out and using all the presets on the exposure dial. Right away I advised her to just paint over them with a black marker as the only two you will ever need are Manual (M) and Aperture Priority (A, Av). Sherri has some legacy knowledge from her past experience with 35mm film cameras, so I helped to refresh her memory about what is a large aperture (f/2.8) and which focus mode to use when shooting moving subjects (AF-C, Ai-Servo).
It was a jam-packed 2-hour lesson of photography knowledge. I advised Sherri to now go out and shoot at least 100 photos every day before her China trip to better familiarize herself with how to change settings on her T3, what settings to change to, and to know when it is best to use her 18-55mm lens or her 70-300mm lens.