Yorkshire Terrier

DSLR Photography Editing & Workflow Lesson with Kamila in St. Petersburg

This afternoon I visited Kamila at her very nice new home for another DSLR Photography Lesson focusing on workflow, editing and also getting the exposure right for very specific shooting conditions.  As you can see, Bob the Yorkshire Terrier was an integral part of the lesson as well!  Kamila had a list of questions ready (good idea), the first of which was deciphering what all the symbols and buttons on the back of her Nikon SB-700 Speedlight mean.  This piece of Nikon gear is not very intuitive at all, not that really any speedlights are.  Although there are way more dedicated buttons on the back of the SB-700 compared to the SB-600 model it replaces, the SB-700 actually seems more difficult to use, at least at first.

Once the mysteries of the speedlight were solved we moved on to DoF (depth of field) issues, specifically making sure both father and baby are in focus during a tightly framed portrait using a 35mm f/1.8 lens.  After checking the photo in question's exif data, and seeing the aperture of f/3.2, it was easy to diagnose the problem as being the result of too large of an aperture.  I advised Kamila to use f/8 or even f/11 to insure the in focus plane is large enough for both sets of eyes.  We practiced this by using two stuffed animals on her sofa to produce an image with no DoF problems.

We concluded the lesson discussing what computer hardware and software would help improve her workflow, which now is rather disjointed and definitely not as efficient as it could be.  She mentioned maybe getting a new Mac soon, which I said was a great idea because then she could use the excellent Aperture 3 to process, organize and edit all her RAW images (once she makes the switch to shooting in RAW).

I look forward to our next lesson which will be about using off camera flash, possibly even two speedlights, and of course to seeing Bob again too!

How Saint Petersburg area dogs might think

This Australian Sheperd is a great listener

Last Sunday I found myself in several pet photography situations, all with dogs.  It got me to thinking, "what do dogs really think when they meet, play with, and wrestle with each other?"  The above and the following is my attempt at reading their minds.  The black & white Border Collie mix, by the way, is my crazy puppy, Kiki.

"I am not opposed at all to public displays of affection."


"Who in the world could ever pick on me, a cuddly 4-month old pug puppy?"


Apparently dogs are immune to the cuddliness of their own kind and play rough with one and all!


"If they will not play nice then I will just take my ball and go home!"


"Is a single blade of grass enough to hide me?"

Please feel free to put in the comments below what you think these dogs might be thinking.  

Pet Photography lesson with Linda at North Shore Dog Park

DSLR Photography Student Linda with her Yorkshire Terrier Benji

The string of cold, overcast DSLR photography lessons continued yet again for Linda's third lesson in as many weekends.  For this lesson Linda brought along Benji, her Yorkshire Terrier to be her practice model.  She wanted to learn how to photograph Benji in action.  We went to North Shore Dog Park in the old northeast section of Saint Petersburg.  Since there was no sunshine at all that morning we really had to pay close attention to maintaining a fast enough minimum shutter speed in order to keep Benji looking sharp.  So just like in Carmen's lesson the day before, I again advised a student to use the auto-ISO feature.  We set the max ISO to 1600 and the minimum shutter speed to 1/500th of a second as Benji was a quick little guy when he wanted to be.  

4 month old pug puppy, Beatrice, always warmly greeted Linda when she knelt down.

We were not alone in the small dog section of the North Shore Dog park.  Other sub-20 pound dogs were running about including fawn pug Beatrice who never failed to come over and nuzzle and give kisses to anyone she could reach.  She was a very cuddly and sweet puppy.

Linda and I ended the DSLR photography lesson by practicing landscape shots with her new tripod.  The overcast skies did not provide for any stunning views of Tampa Bay, but at least we could practice what settings to use and Linda wisely wrote them down into her notebook so she can practice on her own.  

It was a fun lesson with Linda and Benji, and visiting Beatrice too.