Canon T3i

Canon T3i 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson at Lettuce Lake Park Tampa Florida with Dan

Dan sets up a shot at Lettuce Lake Park during our 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in Tampa FloridaDan recently moved to Florida and wanted to make sure he can have great photographs of the sunshine state right away with his newly acquired Canon T3i.  So I met him at Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa, Florida for a 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson.  Dan was an enthusiastic learner with some previous knowledge of photography.  By the end of the 2-hour lesson he had a lot more photography knowledge!

We went out onto the boardwalk in the park where the sun was darting in and out of clouds.  This would be annoying most times for photography, but it allowed us to practice getting the best exposure while standing in one spot as after almost every shot, the light would be different, and something would need to be adjusted to get the best exposure again.  

I am looking forward to seeing what Dan photographed being a newcomer to Florida during our next photography lesson and helping him continue to grow with photography knowledge and skills.

Canon T3i 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson at Lettuce Lake Park Tampa Florida with Mary

Mary looking like a pro with her Canon T3i during our photography lesson in Lettuce Lake Park Tampa FloridaOn an increasingly warm Saturday morning I met Mary in Lettuce Lake Park for a 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson with her Canon T3i.  We met in the visitor's center to sit in air conditioned comfort at first as I introduced her to both her Canon DSLR and also my 5-step process for making a well exposed and sharp shot in any shooting conditions.  Mary took notes during this time (which I recommend) as I spoke about the default settings I start out with for daylight and also indoors.  

After this we moved outside and onto the boardwalks that are the best feature of Lettuce Lake Park.  There was no lack of wildlife to be seen starting with a good-sized alligator, then a cottonmouth snake on a branch and of course a few turtles and fish.  There were rumors of a very large banded water snake, but we never saw it ourselves.  The shadows and changing light out on the boardwalk allowed Mary to practice getting the exposure correct in manual exposure mode.  I taught her to use the meter in her viewfinder to help get the correct shutter speed, and then when necessary to increase aperture in really shady spots.  

We never got a chance to use her 75-300mm lens, so we will be meeting again soon to see the world more close up through her telephoto lens.

1-on-1 Canon T3i DSLR Photography Lesson low light practice in Tampa Florida with Sara

Practicing low light photography in a parking garage in Tampa Florida with Sara and her Canon T3iFor the second Thursday morning in a row, I met Sara in downtown Tampa in Curtis Hixon Park.  Since our first lesson seven days ago, she has been practicing a lot and had some questions.  She found out that making photographs indoors is not as straight forward as it is out in broad daylight.  She showed me a few photo situations that were causing her trouble via sample shots still on her memory card.  I then told her of my default indoor settings of f/5.6 1/60th and ISO 800 and how that would have allowed her to get the kind of exposure she wanted, along with using flash too of course.  

Then to put this in practice we stepped out of the bright sunshine and into a parking garage that had as little ambient light as any home or event space gets.  First I showed Sara how to get acceptable results without flash by cranking the ISO up to 3200!  Next I had her use the built-in pop up flash which allowed for a more practical ISO of 800.  I do not recommend relying on the pop up flash, but it can make due until an external flash can be invested in.

We finished our time in the parking garage with a few fum motion blur shots by zooming in and out while we pressed the shutter (see above photo).

1-on-1 Canon T3i DSLR Photography Lesson in Curtis Hixon Park Tampa Florida with Sara

Sara lines up a shot with her Canon T3i in Curtis Hixon Park during our 1-on-1 photography lesson in Tampa FloridaI met Sara on a bright sunny Tampa morning in Curtis Hixon Park for a 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson with her newly acquired Canon T3i.  She has always taken a lot of photos with a point & shoot camera and her iPhone, and now wanted to build on her photography resume with learning how to shoot with a DSLR.  She was enthusiastic about learning my 5-step process for making a well exposed and sharp photograph in any shooting situation.  Despite not having any photography term knowledge previously, she was able to remember the 5-steps from memory by the end of our 2-hour lesson.  Well done!

Curtis Hixon Park provided us a very good variety of spots all within a small area that had plenty of subject matter to practice on from controling the background DoF, photographing moving subjects to making portraits in the shade.  It was my first time to have a lesson at that park and probably will not be the last for students wanting lessons in Tampa.  

I may be meeting Sara again before she heads off to college at the end of the summer.  I look forward to continuing to help her improve her photography knowledge and skills.

Canon T3i 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in St. Petersburg with Pamela

The Pier in the background of our evening photography lesson with Pam and her Canon T3iI have not had many evening lessons yet this year, but yesterday I met Pamela in downtown St. Petersburg for a 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson with her Canon T3i.  She has had her DSLR for over a year, but had only been using it in auto-mode.  With an upcoming trip to Alaska to photograph grizzly bears, she wanted to learn more about what her camera can do to improve her chances of getting great nature shots.  

Pamela told me at the start of the lesson that she knew nothing, and many people actually say that, but it is never really true as everyone knows at least a little about photography.  Either way, Pamela was a quick learner of my 5-step system for making a well exposed and sharp shot in any given situation, and with the fading evening light there was a wide range of settings needing to be used to get a good exposure.  The Canon T3i has buttons for all the things you need to change, though it lacks a top LCD, it is still an ok camera egonomically for setting up a shot (though suffers for reviewing shots due to the usual Canon making you hit the review button twice before you can actually properly review a shot).  

While Pamela practices she will be deciding which new lenses to invest in for her wildlife photography hobby.  

Canon T3i 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in St. Petersburg with Jahaan

Jahaan composing a landcape shot with her Canon T3i during our 1-on-1 DSLR photography lesson in St. Petersburg FloridaEven though it is still only mid-April, my first 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson with Jahaan and her Canon T3i felt like the first lesson of the summer!  Jahaan likes to make cakes and was not happy with her photographs of them.  She felt they were not preserving the memory of her baking efforts properly.  So she took a general photography lesson with me to learn how to use her Canon properly in manual mode.  She can then take those skills and not only apply them to photographing her cakes, but anything else as well.

Jahaan had heard of most common photography terms, but did not know how they worked together to make a well exposed and sharp photograph in any given shooting conditions.  Having taught hundreds of 1-on-1 photography lessons, my methodology for teaching how to do this step by step is very refined and possible to be understood by even a total beginner.  Of course having some prior photography knowledge helps!

Jahaan was quick to learning her way manually around her DSLR and using the meter and reading the histogram to see how well a shot came out in the field.  I look forward to seeing her cake photographs!

Canon T3i 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in St. Petersburg Dali Museum with Jeannie

Jeannie in reflection during our photography lesson at the Dali Museum St. Petersburg FloridaAnother location change for our 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson as Jeannie finished up her 4-pack of lessons at the new Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The museum itself makes for many architecture photography opportunities, and the grounds feature a melting clock bench, tree with ribbon messages blowing in the wind among other interesting features.  

Jeannie did get a Canon 430 EX II Speedlite since our last lesson which we used to practice candid portraits in shade, direct sunlight and diffused light.  We also went deeper into composition style and tips for framing a more flattering shot.  

Over the course of her 8-hours of 1-on-1 instruction time I showed Jeannie many of the tools necessary to make successful photographs in any given shooting conditions, be they outdoors or indoors.  I look forward to seeing Jeannie again in the future for more advanced photography lessons.