Educating beginners

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
CharlesB58 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,940
Re: Educating beginners

Chris R-UK wrote:

My wife and I will be taking a niece and her family to Kruger National Park in August and I will have a captive audience in an 8 seater vehicle for around 10 days. So how should I use that time?

My nephew had a Nikon DSLR for several years and about 3 years ago switched to an E-M10. I have given him a couple of lenses plus a GH2 body which his 15 year old daughter is using. Neither of them has got beyond iAuto and I want to try to improve their photography and their enthusiasm for photography.

This will be our 4th trip to Kruger in the last 8 years and I won't be doing much photography myself in except for the 3 days that we have in a private camp. My nephew will be using my backup E-M1.1 with my 100-400mm lens and his daughter will use his E-M10 with a Panasonic 45-200mm lens. I will be using an E-M1.2 with a 40-150mm f/2.8 and 1.4x TC.

My plan is to try several things:

  • General photography advice such as "don't shoot into the sun", best shots in the early morning and late afternoon, rule of thirds, etc.
  • Talk about composition for the wildlife photography that we will be doing and the landscape opportunities that we will get at sunrise and sunset. Maybe discuss the shots that we have taken after every drive.
  • Get them onto P mode with auto ISO and teach them to use exposure compensation. There will be a fair amount of bird photography and they will certainly need EC for birds on a branch against a bright sky.
  • Talk about the problems of shooting in bright sunlight. Maybe show them how to read a histogram.
  • Get them to start keeping an eye on the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Maybe start to talk about DOF, motion blur, noise etc., but that might be going too far.

I would be interested in anybody else's comments/suggestions. I don't want to bore them to death and put them off photography for life.

I would talk about spot metering for the birds in trees situation. Using spot metering would then also lead to them thinking more about composition and other factors.

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Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed. Quote by Garry Winogrand

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