I met Elizabeth on a warm St. Petersburg morning for our first of four 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lessons to help her get off auto-mode and on her way to making photographs with complete control over exposure. She brought with her a new Canon T3i and a pair of lenses (18-55mm & 70-300mm). We begin with how to properly change lenses to minimize the amount of time the DSLR's sensor is exposed which could possibly lead to getting unwelcome spots on it that will need to be tediously cleaned using a special kit or taken to a pro for worry free cleaning. I still take my own DSLR in to The Camera Cure when it needs a cleaning as I am of messing with the sensor.
Next I showed Elizabeth how to get around her T3i and change all the settings necessary for getting a well exposed and in-focus shot. We stayed on aperture priority mode most of the 2-hour lesson as the T3i's meter did a pretty good job of selecting the shutter speed.
Elizabeth would eventually like to make portraits for money, so the conclusion to this first lesson was touching on the basics of what lens, focal length, aperture, shutter speed and when to use and not use flash. We will go into how to make portraits in much greater detail during our second lesson where I am very thankful she will be bring a model to practice on saving me from having to be both instructor and subject!