Canon 5D Mark III

1-on-1 Canon 5D Mark III DSLR Photography Lesson in St. Petersburg Florida with Dan 2

Dan learning how to shoot in natural light with his Canon 5D Mark III during our St. Petersburg Florida photography lessonIt has been five weeks since I met Dan for our first 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in downtown St. Petersburg and he has decided to turn that single lesson into a 4-pack of lessons.  He told me he also basically forgot everything from the lesson and we changed our plans of him photographing his dog to having a refresher on the process needed to shoot in manual mode with his Canon 5D Mark III.  

We began by him showing me some photographs he took at a chalk festival to see where in the 5-step process of getting a well exposed and sharp photograph he went astray.  While he was getting the meter to show neutral before pressing the shutter on some shots, it was not the ideal way of doing so, i.e. with a high ISO and super fast shutter speed rather than a minimum ISO and slower shutter speed.  

After getting things sorted out with the workflow for when to increase aperture, shutter speed and ISO, we then walked around the downtown area putting it into practice making a few natural light portraits and starting to introduce some composition tips too.  I look forward to seeing Dan's improved results next time we meet!

1-on-1 Canon 5D Mark III DSLR Photography Lesson in St. Petersburg Florida with Dan

Dan and his brand new Canon 5D Mark III during our 1-on-1 photography lesson in downtown St. Petersburg

I met Dan and his brand new Canon 5D Mark III in downtown St. Petersburg for my first 1-on-1 DSLR photography lesson on a weekday evening in awhile.  As you can see things got dark, but that allowed for some cool lighting effects by zooming in while pressing the shutter.  The Canon 5D Mark III is a professional level camera (it does not even have a built in popup flash), so I was surprised to learn it was Dan's first ever DSLR of any kind!  He went right to the top after using point and shoot digital cameras previously.  I like the all in attitude!

No matter what DSLR a student comes to me with, the teaching process is the same.  Likewise, once you learn one DSLR, you can pretty much pick up any other DSLR and shoot in manual mode (well, at least within the same brand fairly easily).  After explaining to Dan how aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together to produce a good exposure we walked along Beach Drive and with the fading light got to test the super high ISO ability of his Canon.  We even used ISO 25,600 for a few very low light moving subject shots where the shutter speed needs to be 1/500th.  I was impressed.

Canon M & Canon 5D Mark III DSLR Photography Lesson in St. Petersburg Florida

Lois and Isaac with their Canon cameras on a bit of a rainy photo lesson in downtown St. Petersburg FloridaOn a somewhat rainy evening last week I met Lois and Isaac for a photography lesson in downtown St. Petersburg.  They have a big international trip coming up later this year and Lois wanted to get better at using her mirrorless Canon M, a camera I had never seen before.  Isaac had the Canon 5D Mark III and knew how to use it pretty well.  So while learning the tricky Canon M's methods for shooting in manual mode with Lois, I fielded more advanced photography questions from Isaac.  

I am still not sure about micro-four-thirds and other mirrorless cameras.  Their advantage is their small size with an interchangeable lens ability.  They are not good for sports or action due to a number of reasons, but for still subjects in non-dynamic situations (i.e. where you need to often change settings) for someone who does not want to carry a lot of weight, they could be an alternative for a DSLR.  

By the end of the two hours Lois was able to use my 5-step method for getting a well exposed and sharp (still) photo with her Canon M by using its touchscreen to change the necessary settings.  This will allow her to not have to rely on the auto modes and be able to shoot in a more creative way.

Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens St. Petersburg Florida

Ovation condos in St. Petersburg Florida given the miniature treatment by a tilt-shift lens - Canon 5D Mark III with Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L lens @ f/4 ISO 100 1/400thA recent client requested the use of a very specialized lens, the Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L tilt-shift lens.  As this lens costs $4,000 and I am a Nikon shooter, I used the very easy to use to rent both that lens and a Canon 5D Mark III body.  I rented them for three days so before I had to ship that gear back, I had a chance to roam the rooftops of a couple of parking garages in downtown St. Petersburg to make some of the miniature looking shots you can do with a tilt-shift lens.

Al Lang Stadium tilt-shift style St. Petersburg, Florida - Canon 5D Mark III with Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L lens @ f/4 ISO 100 1/800thA tilt-shift lens is actually a rather tricky piece of gear to use.  A couple of things to know about them:  1.) manual focus only  2.) the meter does not work while tilted or shifted

Standing in the middle of Beach Drive NE to get this shot - Canon 5D Mark III with Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L lens @ f/4 ISO 100 1/200thA tilt-shift lens allows you to photograph buildings without them looking like they are tipping over.  If you tilt the lens opposite of that purpose, however, especially when shooting from high up, then the subjects look tiny.

Unusual DoF from a tilt-shift lens in St. Petersburg Florida - Canon 5D Mark III with Canon TS-E f/4L lens @ f/4 ISO 100 1/500thThe whole lens itself rotates on the camera mounting, so you can tilt the lens not just up and down but also side-to-side.  This allows creating vertical DoF as seen in the above shot with a strip alone the lines of the seawall being the only part of the photograph in focus.