Time goes by fast. It has already been 7 months since my first DSLR Photography Lesson with Betty in downtown St. Petersburg. With a vacation coming up to Seattle and Vancouver, Betty wanted to brush up on her photography skills and get some long exposure shooting practice in, which requires a tripod of course. She hopes to photograph waterfalls that look like cotton candy with her Canon T1i on her trip as well as do some wildlife photography. Since the fountain in downtown was not running, we headed straight to The Pier which is a surprisingly good spot for bird photography in particular as well as great night landscape shots.
A few pelicans were kind enough to let us first get some closeup shots and then some bird-in-flight practice. Betty soon found out that capturing a bird in flight is no easy task even with all the correct camera settings. During our lesson she learned the skills to do it, now she will just need to go out and practice as much as possible in order to capture that ideal bird-in-flight shot she wants.
Once the sun started to get close to the horizon we went to the top of The Pier which offers the best urban view of the sunset around. I have had several late evening (early night) lessons at The Pier and I really enjoy them and will suggest them more to future students.
With her camera setup on a tripod, I instructed her to be sure and turn image stabilization (IS, VR) off as it actually hinders getting an in focus shot when using a tripod. Next I told her to always set her ISO to the lowest setting as camera shake is no longer an issue on a tripod. Finally I showed her how she had to use manual mode to get the best long exposure sunset and twilight shots. By the end of the lesson Betty realized how using a tripod can really allow one to capture an entirely different kind of shot and that tripods really are very useful. Plus, I think shooting with a tripod is much more relaxing and its own kind of fun.
I look forward to seeing how Betty puts all these new photography skills into action on her Pacific Northwest trip!