It started out and ended as a rough drive, but everything in-between made our family day trip to the Florida Keys, a memorable day excursion and must-stop for photography seekers. This was the perfect opportunity to enjoy time with my wife and daughter, and also learn more about the Canon 80D DSLR that I recently purchased.
We made a spur of the moment decision to pack up, and drive down to The Keys on Sunday before Memorial Day. It seemed like an excellent idea at first, but we quickly wondered if we’d made a mistake after three hours of sitting in traffic on US1 between Florida City and Key Largo. The drive back? Five hours. Brutal.
Once we finally made it through traffic, it was evident The Keys provides an oasis of photography bliss. The sun was amazing, and almost too amazing. It was bright, hot and the glare was intense. Luckily, I had the foresight to read about sun glare and the havoc it can wreak on photography. And again, lucky for me, we stopped at Best Buy en route to The Keys and picked up a polarizing lens filter for my Canon EF-S 18-135 USM lens. The filter only cost around $35 and was well-worth the investment.
It goes without saying that the trickiest aspect of learning photography on a semi-advanced DSLR camera is exposure. There are so many videos and articles out there that filtering through the noise can be difficult and nauseating. I find the more simple the article, the easier to understand and follow. A great article I read that was helpful is by Alex Cooke from fstoppers. His explanation helped break things down and allow me to understand the various exposure elements at play.
Outside of these types of articles from fstoppers and other photography blogs, learning exposure has mostly been trial by error. Admittedly, when I first turned on the camera, I saw black. I thought the camera was broken. If this happens to you, relax, laugh and realize you have a lot to learn about advanced photography. This setup guide by The Digital Picture provides an excellent guide for first-timers to help with the initial setup and recommended settings for your new Canon 80D DSLR.
As I learn, I will provide more learnings and articles that have been helpful for me. We took our trip to the Keys more than a week ago, and even since that time, I have come a long way in learning more advanced settings, exposure techniques and lighting. I hope that you enjoy my first gallery, of what is sure to be many more in the future. This should be a fun ride to see where my photos are today versus how they progress in the coming months.
Please feel free to leave me comments, suggestions and feedback. Thank you for reading.