On a beautiful March afternoon in St. Petersburg I met Joe and his new Nikon D5100 for our first DSLR Photography Lesson. He had previously owned a Nikon D40 and also had film SLR experience. During our lesson he wanted to convert some of that past knowledge into the DSLR world, along with what I could show him from my years of experience using Nikon DSLRs. Sometimes small things like just showing how to move the focus point from the center to anywhere in the frame can really help out. My experience with virtually every DSLR made in the past four years allows me to show people how to do practical things like moving focus points with their specific camera, part of the benefits of taking a 1-on-1 lesson.
Joe has an 18-55mm lens and a 55-200mm lens, the standard kit lenses. For such lenses I told him that with the 18-55mm I would want to use f/11 as much as possible and for the 55-200mm f/5.6. Often subject dictates lens, lens dictates aperture, and aperture is what I base all my other settings on. In this way one can have a starting point for making a well exposed and properly focused image.
We ended the lesson with using Joe's 20-year old speedlight, which amazingly worked just fine mounted on the D5100's hotshoe. Using the speedlight in a neutral light setting the benefits of having fill light, even on camera, could be seen.
I look forward to seeing Joe's photos from his Nikon D5100 as he continues his DSLR shooting skills.