Last weekend I took a Washington Photo Safari class at the National Museum of the American Indian. I’ve previously taken their Monuments & Memorials and Monuments at Night safaris and absolutely loved them both, leaving with a much better knowledge of how to use my DSLR camera. This class, Canon Rebel DSLRs: Practical Use Digital SLR Photography, did not disappoint.
I bought my Canon XSi a few years ago since I love taking photos and wanted to be able to do more than I could with my point-and-shoot. I also had a big trip to Ireland coming up in a few months that I couldn’t wait to bring the camera on. I quickly learned that just having a nice camera didn’t guarantee great pictures, so I started taking various classes. Between the photo safaris and a digital photography class Arlington County offered I learned quite a bit, but after some time of not using my DSLR for awhile, it was time for a refresher.
Two of my biggest takeaways from this Photo Safari class were metering and white balance. I learned the difference between evaluative metering, center-weighted metering and spot metering, which is extremely helpful when you’re trying to take a picture of someone that’s backlit. From now on I’ll make sure no one appears like a dark spot in front of a bright background in my shots.
I’ve learned to use the different white balance settings several times before, but it had been awhile so I’d gotten back to keeping my camera on the auto white balance setting. I understand again when it’s best to use each setting and even better, now know how to create custom white balance settings for any situation I’m shooting in.
I’m certainly no expert, but I love taking photos and learning new ways to take better shots creating some great lasting memories!
Below are two sets of pictures. The first set shows the same picture taken with two different metering settings and the second set shows the same picture shot with two different white balance settings.