Photography Course: Introduction

I’m so excited to begin our Photography Course with you, my friends!!!  When you first hold your Digital SLR camera, it’s a mix of all kinds of emotions!  You’ve seen the potential of SLR photography all over bloggy world, but along with potential comes a whole lot of options, aka, buttons!  We’ll take our learning nice and slow and before long our friends will be counting on each of us to bring our cameras along to capture all those special moments!

As you probably know, my hubby, aka, Stud is a great photographer and understands all the ins and outs.  I’m a homeschool mommy, in the process of learning to be a great photographer along with you.  Let’s see how gifted I am at teaching what I’ve learned so far, shall we!?!  With my kids, it may be a good 18+ years before I know how successful I was at teaching, but I’m seriously hoping it won’t take that long for each of you to learn some simple tips and become great photographers!!

Have you ever been at a huge party and not known another soul in the room!??!  Totally intimidating at first, right!!!  Once you get up the nerve to stand with a chatty group, you relax just a bit, slowly you allow yourself to open up and by the time you leave you’re giving each of your new girlfriends a hug good-bye and making plans for the next girl’s night out!  That’s just how it works in life, right!  Insecurities are quick to take over, but once we relax and decide to engage, life is full of great rewards!  So here we go, take a deep breath and let’s start by getting over our intimidation of all these buttons! My sweet hubby laughs at me when I get this way because his perspective is the more buttons the better!

Okay, remember, take a deep breath.  We’re only “walking up to the chatty group” you don’t have to know or say a thing, just try to smile, have fun and engage.  We’ll take steps towards being bestest friends ever with our camera as time goes on!!!  This is my Nikon camera with the parts labeled.  These same features are found on all SLRs.  You may have to look around a bit to figure out exactly where.  I will give you the rest of the week to find each of these buttons so that when I mention them in the future you’ll have a general idea where to go.  Photography Course: Introduction.

{EASY TUTORIALS} Get Your SLR Camera off Auto!

I’m assuming everyone knows the very basics: auto mode on the dial, built in flash, shutter release, playback and delete.  And if you’ve explored a bit you know there are a lot of options under menu as well.  I know some of you are dying here saying, yes, yes, we know this and others are saying, she said to keep breathing.  I’m going to give you a little overview of what to expect from our weekly photography courses and then I will continue with more next week, once everyone has a chance to figure out where to find these labeled parts on their camera.  I don’t want to leave anyone behind, because this is such fun stuff to understand!

Here’s a little preview on what we’ll be learning next.   Below is a diagram known as the exposure triangle.  The single most important aspect of photography is exposure {the amount of light reaching your camera’s sensor when you take a picture}.  Exposure is adjusted by three things: ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture.   All digital cameras have an image sensor allowing you to adjust your settings to allow more or less light in depending on the lighting where you are photographing.  As we learn each aspect of exposure we will begin to set our cameras on the manual settings and impress ourselves with the results.  I’ll try to keep the words simple and the learning practical.  Sometimes when my photographer gets to talking he goes too fast and I get flustered, I’ll slow him down during those moments so I can be sure to relay the information clearly and effectively to you!  I’m so excited about this series and hope to see you back each Friday for a little more learning and application!!!  In the comments section below let me know your name and what camera you’ll be shooting with so I can try and help everyone LOTS!  And it’s just plain fun picturing your pretty face then the flat screen I’m staring at right now!!!

If you’re still following along, but haven’t bought a DSLR yet, let me recommend a couple for you to consider.  Our first DSLR was the Nikon D40 and we’ve had it for five and a half years have taken over 75,000 shots and it still is a fabulous camera.   We upgraded two years ago after reading a ton of reviews and chose the Nikon D90.  This camera has performed perfectly for us as well.  At the time we bought it, Nikon was on the cusp of developing new technology.  We were weary of being a part of the trial period.  The new technology in Nikon has been tried and proven great and the Nikon D5100 would be a great, just over entry-level camera, we’d seriously consider it if we were in the market.  Canon, of course makes great camera’s, too.  We have friends with both the Canon EOS Rebel T2i and the Cannon EOS 5D Mark II and they are incredibly great cameras if you’re wanting to go that direction. I put some links below the next paragraph if you want to go to amazon directly and check it out.
My photographer’s dream camera is the Nikon D3S priced at just over $5000.  Maybe someday sweetie!!!  Crossing my fingers, he and each of you have a SUPER successful 2012!  Here’s a link to Tons More Cameras to Explore!  I’m an affiliate so if that makes you uncomfortable, pretty please feel free to shop around for better deals.  Sadly, it would take several thousand camera purchases for us to have a tenth of the amount we need for the “dream camera,” but every penny helps, right!  LOL!  That reminds me, in junior high, some of my friends were running on the high school track and when we finished, it wasn’t time to get picked up yet so we walked around the high school parking lot and ended up stumbling on six dollars in coins.  I’m wondering if kids these days would even find a quarter, everyone has gone plastic now, including me!  I know, random.  I’ll be expecting you next Friday for the next little lesson!!!  Until then, have a good weekend {I think I’ll be stopping back by tomorrow…so many great things to share, I can’t keep away}!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bloggy friends!!!  {I am an Amazon Affiliate}.

Link to: Photography Course 2 {Aperture}



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  1. Jules says:

    Aimee, thank you for putting this “FREE” site together. I’m excited about learning how to move from AUTO to MANUAL photography 🙂

    FYI – the image on this page after the triangle is not rendering a display.

  2. Hi there
    First thank you for posting this series. I’ve had a DSLR for a couple of years but never got past auto mode. I found your blog and now I’m finally getting to grips with it. (Why do photographer friends use so much jargon so quickly? I just glaze over!!!)
    I’ve looked through the comments (wow there are LOADS) but can’t find an answer to this, so apologies if you’ve already answered. What lens do you use for indoor work? So for instance your pics of the apples where one is sharp and the others have softer focus? I’ve tried a few but a) I need to stand too far away…I’m guessing they’re for outdoor use? And b) I can’t get below f5.0 with them.

    Sorry, I don’t know what spec they are either.
    Is there one lens you’d recommend? I have a Canon EOS 450D
    Thanks again


  3. Tom Keith says:

    Hi Aimee, Thank You for this great Blog and teaching tool. I have a Canon EOS T3 Rebel, and I still have to use the Automatic setting. I am looking forward to learning with You. Thanks Tom

  4. Anneke says:

    Just got a D3000 from a friend and my mom gave me the link to your blog to help me learn how to handle the camera 🙂 so thanks in advance for this blog!

  5. sarah waters says:

    Hi I have a Nikon D90 with alot of lenses that I would like to still be able to use with an upgrade . I would like to know which Nikon digital camera is companionably to my SLR D90 lenses . Any input would be appreciated. Thanks love your blog !

  6. My husband bought me the Nikon D3100 and I have used it some but don’t understand a lot of it. I have done several online tutorials and I am starting to get the concept in my head but having a hard time transferring that to the camera!!!!


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