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Have u always been in front of the camera and wondered whatever happened behind the lens?

Do u think you want to give photography a go?

Do u want to capture memories but does the act (or should I say art) of taking pictures delude you ?

Have u grappled with the deceptively complex options that your camera comes with?


Have u nodded your head all along and have waited with breath abated for the answer ?!!! Well look no further, I have all the answers!

Enter Kalyan Varma. A young, talented and charming photographer with a zeal for wildlife and photography/filmmaking. An award winning photographer, Kalyan freelances with BBC and National Geographic and is known for his active work with NGOs & conservation bodies of India. I had been contemplating on taking up a photography tutorial for some time and a little bit of research (aka Google) led me to Kalyan’s site. A few glances at the pictures on his site and I was hooked. Very soon I found myself registering for the 2 day workshop.

The workshop, for a group of +30 photography enthusiasts, started with a short time travel back into the history of photography of how it evolved from capturing a stream of light through a small hole onto a wall and to what it is now in its current state. The session then progressed into the basic technical aspects at play whilst capturing a photo – sensor size, focal length, exposure, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, DOF etc. Kalyan also spent a considerable amount of time on picture composition, lighting and displayed quite a lot of snaps (some his own and some from other famous photographers) . He gave his views on them and how composition of a photo is essential in conveying the story of what the photographer wanted to capture. The 1st day was over and there was never a dull moment – how many classes have we attended in the past, school and college alike, where we’ve prayed desperately for the bell to ring and to be rescued? Strange, I guess this is what a good tutor and self-interest does to you!

On the 2nd day we were asked to assemble at Lalbagh at 7 AM for an on-the field photography assignment. Oh boy! I could hardly sleep that night! Kalyan asked us to capture the essence of Lalbagh in its current day and to employ the technical aspects of all that we had learnt in Day 1. With a good lesson at my arsenal I set out to catch the essence of the place through my lens. A day at Lalbagh – easy peasy! Only when I set out to execute the task did I realize how I’d underestimated it. To capture a moment of life that you might see every day but never really observe and to make a harmonious blend of all that you see into a single snap sounds so simple but is complex at best. This is when your skills are actually put at test. It was exciting and exhilarating. Kalyan was engaged as ever with the group & provided inputs/tips throughout the activity.

Later in the day he reviewed and critiqued pics that were taken in the day (and a few pics that we had shot before the workshop) – His unbiased & pragmatic approach to every picture and also his ability to make an emotional connect to each one of them as a photographer was an experience by itself – I had probably never really interpreted photos this way. Every picture has a story to tell – So simple. The workshop also included a small crash course on how to work with Adobe Photoshop and its use to enhance photographs albeit without crossing the line – Kalyan impressed on how easy it is get waylaid and how one tends to abuse pictures and mis-represent the subject/facts. The workshop ended with a very positive pitch on how anybody can take photography from a hobby and make a career out of it – It’s a skill that needs time and one needs to be dedicated & patient. All in all what made this workshop special was to be taught by a person who had achieved so much in life and yet managed to remain so grounded – Kalyan’s simplicity, enthusiasm & his penchant for photography is contagious and rubs off on you. I would highly recommend this workshop for all the novices who are keen to explore the elusive world of photography.

Photography isn’t difficult if you take some time to learn it. And it certainly can be fun – I can vouch for it. 🙂

Here’s the link for the workshop should you want to register/need more info : Kalyan Varma Workshop

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