DSLR Photography Tripod Lesson with Barbie & her Nikon D700

This portrait is how the humidity made Barbie & I feel during out tripod DSLR photography lesson in St. Petersburg FloridaBefore a few weeks ago, I only had about two DSLR Photography Lessons in two years out at The Pier along the St. Petersburg waterfront.  In the past two weeks I have now lost count how many times along with a student I have made the walk (or trolley ride) to The Pier.  I am sure I will be returning often as for such a small location, it is a very fertile photography location offering bird photography, including birds in flight, sunset shots, cityscape shots and panoramic cloud shots.  

Barbie returned for her second of four lessons after a nearly four month period.  She showed up with a new Manfrotto tripod, but to my disappointment left her amazing new Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G lens at home!!  She promises to bring it for our third lesson though.  I cannot wait to see that lens in action.  

After giving Barbie a quick refresher on setting aperture, ISO, WB and focus mode the rest of the lesson focused on how to best use a tripod to produce shots that would otherwise not be possible.  This begins with actually using all the features one's tripod has and how to even just be able to expand, collapse and adjust the tripod itself.  Tripod technology has advanced since the old days of adjusting three different levels.  Nowadays there is just a single release point controlling a ball head mount allowing for much faster and more fluid adjustments.  

Once the sun sunk below the horizon I showed Barbie how switching to manual mode and choosing the exact shutter speed we want rather than what the camera thinks is best allows the photographer to produce images much more dynamic than what the eye sees once daylight has all but vanished.  

Next up will be a portrait lesson with Barbie and her new 85mm lens!

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