Lourdes called me up asking about my 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lessons telling me about how she ultimately wanted to photograph racecars! First, she wanted to learn how to use her Nikon D5100 properly and stop just relying on auto-mode. Since that is exactly what my photography lessons are designed to do, we got started right away after we met in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida in showing her how to change all the settings she needed to on the D5100. With that particular Nikon in manual mode, most settings needed to be changed in menus with only aperture and shutter speed able to be changed using the thumb dial (plus another button for aperture). Fortunately, when shooting in manual mode shutter speed is the thing most often that needs to be changed between shots so the Nikon D5100 is still fairly quick to use in the field.
I was also able to help Lourdes become familiar with her two lenses, a Nikkor 18-55mm that came with the camera itself, and also a 75-300mm third party lens that we discovered cannot be auto-focused on the D5100 since that body itself lacks an internal focus motor and the third party lens did not have a motor in it either. The lens could still be manually focused, but at 300mm and trying to shoot a racecar, that would not be very easy to do!
I recommended a more practical long lens (Nikkor 70-300mm VR) for Lourdes to get and will be looking forward to continuing the photography learning we started in our second lesson soon.