We have completed our class; I'd like to thank Harold and Jan for helping out and all of you for hanging in there with us while we try to teach something that we love.
Remember to take your camera off of the green setting and try new things, different apertures, different shutter speeds. Take pictures laying on the floor, bending over, on top of your car or roof (be safe!). It's the little things that make a picture go from average to spectacular.
Harold mentioned something that I think is also important. Practice with your camera. Set up a subject, set your camera on aperture priority and take pictures at every aperture you can. Study the differences in the pictures so you know what differences are from aperture to aperture. Take pictures at different focal lengths. Remember shorter (wide angle) focal lengths give a sense of depth to a picture, while longer (telephoto) focal lengths flatten out or "compress" the subject and background. Each effect has it's place, you just have to get accustomed to using them.
Practice some more with your camera. . .be able to change the shutter speed, ISO, autofocus point and aperture without needing to search for the buttons. Do you think about hitting the brake or using the turn signal in your car? Changing these settings on your camera should be just as automatic. (I'm not there yet, either)
Have a routine for setting up your camera before you start shooting. For example:
1. make sure you have plenty of room on your memory card
2. check your ISO, make sure it's appropriate to what and where you are shooting. (Recently, I shot several kids at an event, using flash. I forgot to check my ISO. I did the whole shoot at ISO 1000, which made the images unfortunately noisy, and took a lot of post processing to fix.)
3. check your camera mode (program, aperture priority, shutter priority)
If you have any comments, post them here. If you need to contact me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.