2 day photography workshop by Kalyan Varma – Part 1

“What can this XYZ camera do? What features does it have?” These are common questions people ask when buying a camera.

But few people ask themselves this key question.

“What can I do with this camera?”

I have known several enthusiastic friends of mine who bought D-SLR’s and were disappointed.

Some time back, I bought a Fuji S8000fd (which had a few advanced controls). I took several snaps in manual mode, most of which were slightly better than horrible. I gave the camera back, thanks to the 14 day return policy (in Canada). I told myself

“This camera is no good. It doesn’t take good shots.”

I repeated the same act with 1 more camera. Whenever the mode was manual, the shots were… well.. lets not talk about it. I used to think

“Whats wrong with these advanced cameras? My 6 year old Kodak CX6230 takes better pictures.”

But I never realized the fact that I was not yet good in handling these things. I didn’t know much about shutter speed, aperture priority, exposure… blah, blah. It was like trying to drive on the highway without learning to drive first. Any further attempts only led to frustration.

Finally, I thought… hell, I need some training!


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And in the last few days, motivated by my cousin Ravi and my colleague Vijay, my interest in photography too had increased. They used to follow Jayanth Sharma’s and Kalyan Varma’s blogs / websites / forums. That is how I landed at Kalyan Varma’s site.

His site said that he was conducting a workshop on Apr 11 – 12. Cost – Rs 4000. Read a few online reviews of the training.. but mostly I read about who Kalyan was.. his blog.. saw his photos.. etc. I was impressed. My desire for a workshop was kindled even more. I decided to attend and sent him an email. Followed up on Twitter too. Promptly, came the reply. “You are in”.

He followed up on the next day with an email containing details and instructions
– google map link of location
– bring 10 best photos taken by you
– bring camera gear
– bring laptop on 2nd day (not compulsory)
– pay in cash or cheque
– be there at 9.30 AM on Apr 11.

On Apr 10, I prepared a bit for the workshop. Picking 10 snaps I had shot. Questions to ask him. Charging my camera battery (actually needed for 2nd day only).

On Apr 11, I was all geared up and ready. I reached the spot (Shiton Royale) very easily, thanks to the map Kalyan gave. (I thought the parking lot would have been better had it been at road level and not 10 feet below).

Okay, this is enough for this post. I will cover the rest in my next post. (I will talk about what we did during the 2 days. And yes,  I will also post a few snaps I shot during the class.)

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