Nikon D60

1-on-1 Nikon D60 DSLR Photography Lesson with Carol in downtown St. Petersburg Florida

Carol with her Nikon D60 during our 1-on-1 photography lesson in downtown St. Petersburg, FloridaIt was another afternoon time 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in downtown St. Petersburg on a fine December day with Carol and her Nikon D60.  She had her D60 for awhile, but like many of my photography students, was only using it on auto-mode.  Having other recent experience with the Nikon D60, I confirmed again that its meter can easily be tricked into producing lackluster results.  This was apparent when making the exact same shot in manual mode and aperture priority mode back-to-back.  Thus, I am more convinced than ever that even my beginner students should start out learning how to shoot in full manual mode.

While teaching Carol my field tested 5-step process for making a well exposed and sharp image in any shooting conditions we visited the St. Petersburg marina area, the Museum of Fine Arts and ended up in North Straub Park for a little natural light portrait practice in the shade using a 200mm focal length.  

I look forward to hearing how Carol now loves manual mode and never has to return to auto-mode again, I hope!

DSLR Photography Lesson #2 with Craig

Craig is not shy about asking if he can photograph people in public with his Nikon D60Craig and I met at the same downtown St. Petersburg location as our first lesson just a little over two week ago, only this time to my surprise a large event (SPCA 3km pet walk) was going on.  This was a bonus as Craig really likes to photograph people and is not afraid at all to ask someone if he can take their photo.  I would say he photographed at least 6 different people up close!

Me of course, I'm shy and my street photography is done with a 80-200mm f/2.8 lens.  However, what I do not need to teach Craig in boldness, I still was able to offer him some new tips and techniques for shooting in such unpredictable event lighting without a flash.  I was able to convince him that using manual exposure mode would in fact be easier, not harder, than using aperture priority mode.  That's what I especially like to do during lessons, eliminate fear and show that DSLR photography is not super mysterious.  Well, it's a little mysterious of course, but there are answers to all questions, so no need to hold onto photographer fears (for example not shooting in RAW mode -- just get Aperture 3, import the RAWs and it processing them all automatically, you will never even know you are not working with JPGs anymore).

Actually, at the end of the lesson we did talk about some quick editing tips as Craig brought his laptop with him and showed me some family portraits I took.  I immediately gave him the sound advice someone once gave me, "I see no portrait orientation shots.  Take portrait orientation shots."  

The whole 2-hour lesson time passed by fast again.  Maybe next time I might meet Craig more toward his neck of the woods, Lutz! 

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  • DSLR Photography Lesson with Craig & his Nikon D60

    Craig was very eager and happy to learn what his Nikon D60 is capable of beyond auto mode

    It was a beautiful mid-day in downtown St. Petersburg when I met Craig for ours first DSLR Photography Lesson together.  Craig has owned a Nikon D60 for awhile now, but like so many of my past students was mainly using auto-mode.  It gives me great pleasure to declare to students that they will never (at least should never) use auto-mode again after even just our first lesson.  I have learned from student feedback that there is a certain fear hurdle to overcome about learning to become more serious about photography.  That it seems like every shot requires adjusting a laundry list of settings.  However, that is totally not true.  In reality, given the same shooting conditions, there are relatively few settings that need to be changed at all from shot to shot.  

    Craig and I had a long Q&A session at the beginning going over settings, various scenarios, gear recommendations and some how-to's.  Once we got up and started shooting, Craig was won over with the bokeh he could produce in his shots using his Nikon D60 at f/5.6 and Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens at its full 200mm focal length.  This was not surprising, bokeh is always a crowd pleaser!

    A great egret was a willing model for us once we walked over to Vinoy Park allowing Craig to practice composing for a clean background, best exposure and fill-the-frame details.  The 2-hour lesson time went by quickly and I am sure I will be seeing Craig again soon. 

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  • DSLR Photography Lesson with Anne in chilly downtown Saint Petersburg

    DSLR Photography Student, Anne, photographs the boats in the marina in front of the Vinoy

    Cold and clouds returned to my latest DSLR photography lesson with new student, Anne.  Friday's scheduled second lesson with Danielle had to be postponed, so I was just glad it was not raining.  Anne shoots with a Nikon D60 and the two kit lenses that come with it.  She told me she was an auto-mode shooter, but she had good knowledge of the meaning of aperture and knew how to navigate her D60's menus well.  What we did in our lesson was of course get her off of auto-mode and into control of her D60 by taking what she knew about aperture and applying it to specific aperture settings to get the best results in various photography scenarios.  

    In just a short time Anne was controlling the DoF (depth of focus) of her images by selecting the correct aperture and focal length to do so.  Hello bokeh!

    One feature of my DSLR photography lessons is I make one portrait of the student. Here Anne smiles happy with the knowledge that she can make better photographs.Anne and I already started talking about her next lesson where she wants to practice photographing crashing waves and sunset photography.  We will head to Pass-A-Grille beach for that lesson as downtown Saint Petersburg has no waves and only obstructed sunsets.

    I appreciated Anne's enthusiasm and being able to see her passion for photography reignited after our lesson.  It makes teaching photography all the more fun.