My dad and I had a great photography lesson on Monday.  Roaming around Golden Gate Park, our teacher got us more comfortable using our cameras in manual mode.   For example:

Fast Shutter Speed -- Water Movement Is Frozen

Fast Shutter Speed -- Water Movement Is Frozen

Slow Shutter Speed -- Water Movement Is Streaky

Slow Shutter Speed -- Water Movement Is Streaky

Aperture/Telephoto Combined to Blur Background

Aperture/Telephoto Combined to Blur Background

This is definitely one of those things where practice is key.  I am committed to keeping my camera out of auto mode.  If I’m not going into full manual mode, I want to practice at least in Aperture Priority (affects what is in focus and what is blurred) or Shutter Priority (affects how movement is shown, as in the waterfall examples above).  I still don’t truly understand the different ISO settings — that’ll be next. 
Our teacher is going out of town for several weeks but we plan to do one more lesson and then maybe, just maybe, get some tutoring in Photoshop (which I don’t even own yet) down the road.
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