Photography 101 with Paul D’Andrea

Paul D'Andrea and I met when I worked at ExactTarget. As with many gifted developers, Paul has a creative, artistic side as well. His passion is photography. One of Paul's photos of a Coyote in a local cemetery is in this month's Indianapolis Monthly Magazine.

Last Christmas, my son and I purchased a Nikon D40 SLR digital camera for my daughter, Katie. Katie has been taking an interest in photography and we wanted to kick it off right. With my son, Bill, into music and music production, Katie's never really been the one to get the big ticket items. So Bill and I made it a Katie Christmas and set her up with the works – backpack, camera, a couple lenses, tripod… you name it!

This afternoon was part of Katie's 14th birthday present – her first photography lesson with Paul. He's a great teacher – very patient and exceptionally thorough. A 14-year old young lady may not be the best pupil, but Paul really opened up her understanding of the camera and its capabilities.

After the sitting lesson, Paul and Katie walked around Monument Circle here in Indianapolis. It was a beautiful day. The photos that Katie took with Paul's guidance were breathtaking. Here are my favorites from today. If you'd like, check out the full set on Flickr.

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Paul said that this was his favorite of Katie's. She framed the monument within some tree branches that had lights on them:
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I'm no photographer, but when I pick up the Nikon and take shots none of them look as beautiful as these! Katie is going to take some more photos over the next few weeks and then go to another lesson with Paul to review them and learn a little more.

If you live around Indianapolis and want to get the most out of your Digital SLR Camera, be sure to give Paul a call for some lessons!


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    Thanks for the post, Doug. I had a really great time with you guys; and we couldn’t ask for better weather. (Maybe some puffy clouds would have been nice. Clear blue skies often make for boring backdrops. 🙂

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    Great gift; looks like you have a future “Anselette” on your hands. 🙂

    But don’t feel bad, my first pics with my own D40 were simply awful. It’s a great camera but it takes a real commitment to learning photography to be able to coax good pictures out of it, a commitment your daughter is clearly showing along with Paul’s help.

    Over the past year I’ve really enjoyed my D40 (my pics on Flickr) and learned tons from the Atlanta Photography meetup, which has been great. Not sure how good it is, but you should take her to the Indianapolis Photography Meetup and give it a try.

    P.S. Beware, though, if she gets really into photography she may outgrow the D40 and it will be time for her to move up to a better Nikon model, complete with several $1000+ lenses. And you certainly wouldn’t want to hold her back, now would you?

    Heh; don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉

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      Katie’s always been a great leader, organizer and artist. I already feel it on the $$$ side! We’re going to get her a Nikon SB600 flash soon… and I’m sure the lenses are next. Paul shared a look at his zoom lense that has an internal gyro to eliminate shaking… wow!

      We’ll definitely check out the Meetup – thanks so much for the link!!!

      My son is a musician, so I’ve been going down the road for a while on the investment needed in hobbies! However, I believe these help them build confidence and provide a creative outlet that schools sometimes don’t.

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