This post is about my final opinion of the class, whether I would recommend anyone for it, etc.
Okay, here we go.
First, I think if you are serious about photography, you should attend this class by Kalyan.
Here is why:
- you get trained by the “Sanctuary Asia – Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2005”
- the guy is passionate about photography and that overflows into you
- you certainly learn a ton about photography
- he has walked his talk already. Have a look at his work here and you can judge his skill.
- Kalyan is very social, easy-going and more than anything else, approachable
- his communicative abilities are excellent and he has the ability to keep the class listening to him for hours
- you never feel a dull moment throughout the workshop
I have to especially talk about two things. One, his enthusiasm and its effect on you. I certainly felt a rub-over effect of his energy and came out of the workshop feeling pumped up about photography. Such is his enthusiasm on the subject. How many of you have felt the same thing after sitting close to 20 hours (in 2 days) in a workshop? Second, his easy going attitude definitely helped in creating a relaxed environment and also in making the sessions more interactive and alive.
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In the class, he also discusses about how photography is a mode of expression and how you can put it to good use by touching upon sensitive subjects like wildlife conservation, involving with NGOs, etc. This I think is a wonderful add-on to the training.
Okay, if those were the pro’s, then you would like to know about the cons. I have to admit, the cons were too few and too negligible. Anyways, here goes
- since photography is a social activity (‘snap’ping away people, places, animals, etc), I think the group should be split up into three’s or four’s and given an assignment (for the 2nd day field shoot) rather than asking them to shoot anything and everything they like (or atleast give them a choice of 6-7 themes out of which they can choose 2 or 3). It makes sense to create the field activity groups on first day itself (and making sure that friends dont stick together). They can provide feedback to each other, discuss things, etc. That surely would help better.
- regarding material, I thought I outgrew the handbook very soon. I would have liked it better had it contained more stuff. Or as an alternative, an email consisting of attachments (this we got), useful links, tips, etc too would suffice.
- maybe have a session (1 hr) on what it takes to be a photographer, the money involved, how to make it big in photography (either as a hobby or profession), things like that. (As a matter of fact, we did cover this as part of our offline discussions, but not sure if everyone was listening.)
Another point is, I would love to see him come out with an advanced course as a follow up course to this. And yes, I would love it if he gave discounts to the attendants of the the beginners course :-). (Thats the recession-ridden IT professional inside me talking earnestly 🙂 )
Finally, a word about the frills.
- food was very good on both the days
- coffee and tea was pretty bad
- mineral water was provided
- the projector was pretty good and visibility for all of us was good
- all seats have access to a plug (to charge your laptop)
- the conference room is good enough for 18 people + trainer and is air-conditioned
Overall, I thought every single rupee spent on the course was justified. I urge you to take it if you have plans to take up photography as a serious hobby (or even profession).
Okay, as I said earlier, here are few snaps I took in Lalbagh during the field session.
And here are a few snaps that I took 1 week after the class.
And I shot this shot below today.