Learning How to Use My DSLR

Photography ClassIf I actually learned anything in class, proof should be above.  I finally learned how to purposefully blur a background (anytime before this it was on accident).

Mr. P and I have had the new camera for a while now and I’m still sort of afraid of it.  A good friend of mine took an intro photography class and said it was so worth it.

There’s no point to owning a DSLR if you don’t know how to use it.  Truly, you may as well get a quality point and shoot camera or just use your cell phone.  Both of those can be great options!

Mr. P and I signed up for a class with Isla Studios, which offers beginner classes in San Francisco, Palo Alto and LA.  Beginner classes are 3 hours – not a huge commitment.  As a bonus, we used a Google Offer which gave us half off!

The Verdict?  The class was awesome and I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about their camera.  I’m a visual learner and they did a great job explaining what a setting does to the camera and how the same picture can look different with setting adjustments.  The instructor took the time to make sure everyone knew how to adjust the controls on their own cameras.  It seems so simple and not scary now!

I’ve been practicing my newly-acquired skills on the Christmas tree, running out the battery and quickly filling up my memory card.  I’ll have something to show for my efforts on Thursday!


10 thoughts on “Learning How to Use My DSLR

      • I am doing it for the same reasons as you are! I had a point and shoot for 5 years now and it was time to go up!

      • Totally agree. I do miss the portability of the point-and-shoot. Learning to be comfortable carrying a bigger camera is going to be just a large, if not larger hurdle to the DSLR for me.

  1. Share your tips for sure! How do you blur the background on purpose? I need to take a class too. I shoot everything on P and hope for the best. I just figured out my ISO and that was exciting.

    • Aperture is what controls the blurriness. The smaller the number of your aperture (like f5) the blurrier the background will be. Larger number (f16 for example), the more in focus the background will be.

  2. I still shoot mostly in automatic, but I do like to control my aperture. I have taken some photography classes to learn to shoot in manual but so often I just need to get the shot. My brain does not work fast enough to think…action…my shutter speed needs to be X and my ISO needs to be x and my…. because by then, the shot is long gone. I don’t know how professionals do it! LOL

    • That’s why I’ve been practicing on the Christmas tree. I’ve gotten a lot faster at changing settings and focus points as a result. I think I will Auto by default if I’m out and around, but I can move in and out of the menu pretty well. I patted myself on the back the other night for finally understanding how to change the white balance and solve the yellow problem I was having in my kitchen.

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