Canon T1i

1-on-1 Canon T1i DSLR Photography Lesson in St. Petersburg Florida with Jim

Jim with his Canon T1i flashing my business card leaning against his Mini John Cooper Works

Jim cashed in his photography lesson gift certificate he received for Christmas this past Saturday.  I met him in the usual downtown St. Petersburg Florida spot for a 1-on-1 DSLR photography lesson with his Canon T1i.  When I saw him pull up in his Mini Cooper, John Cooper Works edition, I thought it would be great to use as the background for the portrait I make of each student as a lesson bonus.  

We began the lesson with me showing Jim how to get around his Canon in manual mode, being able to adjust the 5 settings necessary to make a well exposed and sharp shot in any given shooting conditions.  From there we made our way around the beautiful downtown St. Petersburg waterfront shooting while I offered instructions simultaneously, which I believe is the best way to learn photography.  

We also talked about cars and I enjoyed hearing Jim's story about how he got to drive his friend's Ferrari!

External Flash DSLR Photography Lesson with Kristin & her Canon 430 EX II

Me using Kristin's camera to demonstrate where to stand for on camera bounce flash.For our third of four 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lessons I met Kristin in the usual downtown St. Petersburg spot.  This time she brought her new Canon 430 EX II external flash to practice how to improve her portrait making.  We started off using some bounce flash techniques by positioning the subject (alternatively me and Kristin) against a wall that was near another perpendicular well, or to put it simply, near a corner!  In this way we bounced the flash off the perpendicular wall to create softer shadows and more even light on the subject (see image above).

We concluded by using her external flash (on camera) to help make landscape portraits at sunset time and beyound.  It is a fine art of balancing the power of the flash with the exposure of the ambient light so that the subject does not look too "flashed."  I look forward to seeing Kristin's creative portraits when we meet for our next lesson.

1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in St. Petersburg Canon T1i at The Pier with Kristin

Purposefully overexposing practice out at The Pier with Kristin and her Canon T1iIn the two weeks since our first 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson together Kristin has added greatly to the inventory of her camera bag with a very nice new Manfrotto tripod, a 50mm lens and an external flash!  However, our intended topic for our second of four lessons was bird-in-flight shots so none of her new gear applied to that, but since there bird action around The Pier was uncharacteristially quiet yesterday evening we did end up using her tripod to practice some landscape and sunset shots.  

It was a nice breezy walk out to The Pier where I got Kristin setup with her 70-300mm lens for being able to capture bird-in-flight images, which is not easy to do.  Even though, unfortunately, there were not many birds that particular evening, Kristin took a liking to this kind of photography and will practice more on her own near her hometown area of Gulfport which also has a waterfront and a pier.  

This gave us time for me to show her the basics of tripod usage, like lining up the barrel of the lens flush over one of the tripod's legs and which knob on the ballhead allowed for which adjustment.  We could not have had a great contrast going from birds-in-flight requiring very fast camera movement to long exposure shots on a tripod requiring very little physical effort on the part of the photographer.

We covered a good amount of photography topics once again during our 2-hour lesson which I enjoyed a lot and next up will be putting some more of Kristin's new gear to use!

1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in St. Petersburg Canon T1i with Kristin

Kristin & her Canon T1i which we used almost exclusively in manual mode during our photography lessonCloudy skies made for an almost pleasant temperature during my first of four 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lessons with Kristin and her Canon T1i in downtown St. Petersburg.  She has had her DSLR for over a year, but like many people that take my lessons, had pretty much only been using it in its various auto-modes.  DSLRs like to be told what to do, so I quickly got to work preparing her to at least shoot in aperture priority mode, but really to just make the step to full manual mode.  It is surprisingly easy to make that leap if one keeps in mind there are only five things that need to be set to make any given photograph.  

As in most of my first lessons with a student, we covered a wide range of topics from how to properly change lenses, to discussing what gear she might want to buy next, to creating shots with bokeh before ending with a little motion blur practice.  The lively goings on of downtown St. Pete on a Thursday evening (movies in the park) made for an enjoyable atmosphere to practice photography.  

Kristin took good notes and asked questions when she needed to so I expect she will absorb a lot of what we practiced tonight.  Our next lesson is already scheduled for next Thursday!

DSLR Photography Lesson #2 with Betty - tripod night photography

Betty setting up a shot with her Canon T1i on a tripod of downtown St. Petersburg at sunsetTime goes by fast.  It has already been 7 months since my first DSLR Photography Lesson with Betty in downtown St. Petersburg.  With a vacation coming up to Seattle and Vancouver, Betty wanted to brush up on her photography skills and get some long exposure shooting practice in, which requires a tripod of course.  She hopes to photograph waterfalls that look like cotton candy with her Canon T1i on her trip as well as do some wildlife photography.  Since the fountain in downtown was not running, we headed straight to The Pier which is a surprisingly good spot for bird photography in particular as well as great night landscape shots.

A few pelicans were kind enough to let us first get some closeup shots and then some bird-in-flight practice.  Betty soon found out that capturing a bird in flight is no easy task even with all the correct camera settings.  During our lesson she learned the skills to do it, now she will just need to go out and practice as much as possible in order to capture that ideal bird-in-flight shot she wants.  

Once the sun started to get close to the horizon we went to the top of The Pier which offers the best urban view of the sunset around.  I have had several late evening (early night) lessons at The Pier and I really enjoy them and will suggest them more to future students.  

With her camera setup on a tripod, I instructed her to be sure and turn image stabilization (IS, VR) off as it actually hinders getting an in focus shot when using a tripod.  Next I told her to always set her ISO to the lowest setting as camera shake is no longer an issue on a tripod.  Finally I showed her how she had to use manual mode to get the best long exposure sunset and twilight shots.  By the end of the lesson Betty realized how using a tripod can really allow one to capture an entirely different kind of shot and that tripods really are very useful.  Plus, I think shooting with a tripod is much more relaxing and its own kind of fun.  

I look forward to seeing how Betty puts all these new photography skills into action on her Pacific Northwest trip!

  • Reserve your own 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson with Jason today!
  • Learn more about the lessons
  • Browse past lessons with all of my students

    --Professional Model DSLR Photography Lessons now available!

    DSLR Photography Lesson with Betty & her Canon T1i

    Betty showing good camera holding technique and that it is possible to wear sunglasses at the same time!I met Betty at the usual downtown St. Petersburg spot for our first DSLR Photography Lesson together.  She has a Canon T1i, a DSLR I have gotten quite familiar with due to numerous students having that specific camera.  We went to many of the same spots I take first-time students too, but we also had a chance to do a little event photography practice as it was the day before Halloween and something was happening in the Straub Park areas.  We put both of her lenses to use throughout the lesson, including teaching good lens changing technique.

    Betty seemed to absorb all we covered during the 2-hour lesson very well and I am looking forward to seeing her improved photographs and our next lesson! 

  • Reserve your own 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson with Jason today!
  • Learn more about the lessons
  • Browse past lessons with all of my students 
  • DSLR Photography Lesson with Hal & his Canon T1i

    Hal with his Canon T1i & Quantaray 18-128mm lens with downtown St. Petersburg in the background

    Just minutes after I met Hal in front of the Museum of Fine Arts in downtown St. Petersburg for our first DSLR photography lesson, it started raining.  We were still on the steps of the museum going over some introductory things about his Canon T1i so we took refuge under the long open corridor that runs along the front face of the museum.  I knew being stuck in this spot was not so bad because in February a photography group I was with made good use of it (2nd photo).

    While the rain continued to fall Hal and I continued to go through the basic settings that need to be adjusted for any kind of shot, i.e. aperture, ISO, white balance and focus mode.  Fortunately, the rain did let up and we were free to roam to Vinoy Park to practice landscape shots.  The combination of the onset of the golden hour and the post-storm skies made for an above average backdrop to both The Pier and the downtown skyscrapers.

    Despite the rain we were still able to cover all the topics I normally would on a first lesson, and then some.  

  • Reserve your own 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson with Jason today!
  • Learn more about the lessons
  • Browse past lessons with all of my students