The first thing we had to learn was the golden rule of photography:
Generally speaking, when hand holding a camera, your shutter speed should be equal to or greater than the focal length of your lens.
What does that mean? That means if you are using a standard 50mm lens and you are holding your camera, you should not set your shutter speed to be slower than 1/60. You can break this rule if you are using a tri-pod or if you have image stabilization you can break it slightly. By following this rule, you will eliminate camera movement blur that can happen if the natural shake of your hand.
Our first assignment was to take 24 photos of anything, using manual mode and getting a proper exposure. You could not delete any photos, they had to be 24 pictures in a roll, without any editing. Here are a few of my favorites:
I'm really loving this class because I'm finally understanding aperture and shutter speed and how they work together. I've taken on-line classes before but I never really got it. But being in a class that meets twice a week and seeing other examples of work have really helped me get a better understand. So if you struggle with understanding your camera, don't give up! Take classes. Experiment. And take lots and lots of photos.
What mode do you usually shot in? I was always a program mode person, but now I can see using my other setting more to get the photo I want.