I went to another class yesterday taught by Kim Crenshaw. In stark contrast to the class I took at Tech a few weeks ago where I was one of the least experienced, I was the only person in this class who wasn't still shooting on Auto. It was a pretty basic class aimed at beginners but it was good to review esp since I was never formally taught. I kind of just picked it up as I went along and read a lot of Pop Photog several years ago. The class confirmed what I knew and encouraged me to take my camera off of aperture priority and start shooting in full manual mode. That on top of the advice to shoot in RAW from a few weeks back has marked the start of a new era in my photography.
Today I was out walking the dog and noticed the clouds behind the trees had a very similar shape. It intrigued me and the sky was such a pretty color, I decided to take a stab at full manual. I played around with the settings and uploaded the pics. There were definite differences and I was able to delete most of them to narrow it down to the best exposure. This was 48mm, f7.1, 1/640 ISO 100.
The other thing I got out of the class was some really good advice. I asked her about upgrading to the D800. Her response was, "Are you happy with your picture quality?" Basically she said that unless I'm planning on printing some enormous prints, my 5100 should be just fine for me and if she were in my position, she'd spend the $3k on more good lenses. Good glass will make more of a difference in my photography than 36 megapixles.
Kim confirmed something Eyal and I had tussled about back in January. During a discussion about light sources, she passed around a picture she found in a magazine and asked us what was wrong with it. I didn't catch it but once she pointed it out, I felt so vindicated. Sorry Eyal, I have been reinforced by a professional. Eyes need to have a light source bouncing off of them to prevent them from looking dead.
Kim said she's planning on having some more advanced classes in the future. I am on her e-mail list so if it's possible, I will happily learn as much as I can from her to continue to improve my skills.
From here, I am going to be happy with my 5100 and I'm going to eagerly await the 50mm f1.8 lens to come back in stock. Good thing my birthday is coming up!
I'm a mother of 2 girls living in NC. I've dabbled in photography on and off but really this is just for fun