2 day photography workshop by Kalyan Varma – Part 2

In the previous post, I had written about why I wanted to get trained, how I got to know about Kalyan, his workshop and a few details about it. Let me continue from there.

As I mentioned in my previous post, reaching the location, Shilton Royale,  was a breeze.

I met Kalyan there. One of the first things I noticed (apart from his height) was his social behaviour. Appeared very easy going.

The training was done in a conference room.. enough to fit in 18 people and a trainer. The ambience was good. There were 14 trainees, including me. One was a furniture designer. One was a sales manager. Rest were IT professionals.

Day 1

We started with the basics. The topics covered in the morning on day 1 were:

  1. digital cameras (point & shoot, DSLR)
  2. focal length
  3. image sensor (why it is one of the most important aspects of your camera)
  4. pixel, resolution, etc
  5. aperture, shutter speed and exposure
  6. depth of field
  7. ISO
  8. white balance
  9. metering

And in the noon, we spoke about composition

  1. camera gear (body, lens, flash, tripod, bag, etc) and purchasing right gear
  2. maintaining your equipment (some surprises await you here. Attend to know what!)
  3. photography as a career / how to use photography to express yourself / or to involve yourself with NGO’s and mutually benefit


There were slides (on a Mac) for each topic accompanying the excellent explanation that Kalyan gave. Though we covered several topics, I never felt it was too theoretical. (They were accompanied by a few analogies to help us understand better, and of course, photos too).


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We also reviewed a few shots taken by top photographers (often featured on Nat Geo magazine) and Kalyan gave his view on them and why they were special.

In between, after every break, we watched a few videos on interesting subjects like wildlife preservation which definitely pepped up our interest levels.

At the end of day 1,  I definitely learnt a ton about photography.

When it was evening, after a 8 hour classroom session, I didn’t feel a bit tired. If at all anything, I wanted to go home and read more about photography. That is the kind of interest this workshop kindled in me.

Day 2

The next day was mostly hands-on stuff. We started early @ 7.00 AM at Lalbagh. And we clicked snaps of everything and anything for almost 2-3 hours. Insects, ants, landscape, people, buildings, … what not! This time, we were putting to use what new knowledge we had on photography. I admit, some of my photos were much better than before.

Around 10, we gathered for a field demo by Kalyan on flash photography.  Using innovative (and cheap) flash methods, he shot some really nice snaps!

We also shot a group photo! Had a lot of fun. Had breakfast at Shanthi Sagar. Came back to Shilton around 11.

We then had a few more technical sessions on

– histograms

– color profiles

– post processing and ethics (whats acceptable and whats not)

The post lunch session was mostly on

– post processing using Photoshop / GIMP (download for free here)

– some of us even tried post processing with our own images

– review of snaps shot by each one of us before attending the workshop and those taken during the field session in Lalbagh

The class ended at around 5.30 PM. What should have been a long day didn’t seem so, thanks to Kalyan’s skills in keeping the class’ interest levels consistently high.

Enough for this post. So far, I had written about what we did in those 2 days. In my next post, I will write about what I felt about the course, material provided, pros and cons, etc and of course some snaps I had shot. Maybe I will talk about frills like the facility, food, etc too.

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