12 May 2008

Photography workshop by Kalyan Varma

I was part of two day photography workshop conducted by Kalyan Varma, a techi turned wildlife photographer. There is a small story on how I made into the first batch of the workshop. As soon as read about the workshop in bangalore metblogs I sent a mail to Kalyan that whether it is mandatory for participants to own an SLR ? Kalyan replied that it won't be a problem as he will starting off from the basics.

Being in Paris for a biz-trip, I took a bit longer time for me to. By the time I confirmed my participation, the slots for May workshop were full and Kalyan put in me June batch. A few days later, on May 2nd(Friday) Kalyan mailed me that a slot has come up in the May workshop. I replied to him explaining the situation and kept the slot on hold till Tuesday afternoon (Paris time). When I was about to mail him that I won't be able to attend his inaugural workshop, an official mail came that I need to return back to Bangalore.

I came back on May 9th(Friday) midnight and next day I got up early in morning(without having proper sleep). After voting(Karnataka assembly elections), I straightaway headed to the workshop venue at 10 am.

Some thoughts about the workshop:

  • It was nice, intensive and interactive workshop without a dull moment. I hardly dozed in the workshop inspite of sleep deprivation after a long flight journey on previous day.
  • Starting off from the basics Kalyan covered some core topics in later stages. The Eureka moment for me was when he explained the relation between shutter speed and aperture with tap-n-bucket analogy. Till that moment I used to take snaps in manual mode with trial and errors technique, never really tried taking photographs consciously by getting exposure right.
  • Kalyan had placed some sections very well, like he kept the section on photography equipments right after the lunch on Day-1. By keeping a non-theoretical topic in post lunch session he ensured that participants won't sleep.
  • For techniques on flash photography, Kalyan showed various thing such as how to use flash creatively and also the ways to diffuse the flash while taking portraits.
  • Kalyan concluded the day-1 by showing some of his favorite pictures from national geographic and other famous photographers(Ansel Adams, Ganesh from Bangalore).
  • The day-2 started with an outdoor field session at Lalbagh(6.30 am in morning). In the session we were instructed to take photographs which were quite challenging w.r.t exposure.
  • After morning session we were back to the workshop hall and the first session was on 'tricks of the trade' and the subsequent session was on post processing.
  • Post processing section was the major highlight of the workshop. Kalyan took a few not-so-good-looking image from the morning field session, and enhanced it by following a typical post processing workflow.
  • There was a lot of discussion on what is ethical and non-ethical in post-processing.
After completing this workshop my urge to own an SLR has increased by many folds !

Find more information about the workshop at Kalyanvarma.net

Snaps taken using my S2-IS in field shoot

Directional Indicator


  1. Great to know you had a good time with the workshop. Hope to see more pics in the blog and hope to see you in the lalbagh walk few weeks from now :)

  2. Anonymous12:12 AM

    I came back on May 9th(Friday) midnight and next day I got up early in morning(without having proper sleep). After voting(Karnataka elections) I straightaway headed to the workshop venue at 10 am.

    This one line tells me everything about your dedications to both personal and public causes!

  3. As an avid photographer, I have yet to attend any photography workshop. Although I am planning for next year on which summer is may free time to pursue those. It will only make my Panasonic Cameras handling more proficient.