I was always interested in Photography, but I made little effort to learn it. Just like many others I thought it was about buying a DSLR camera and a good lens for taking great photographs. Which I did few years back when I was visiting Tokyo, I went to Yodobashi Camera store in Akihabara (this is 8 floors of camera paradise) and bought the latest at that time Nikon D80 with a 18-55MM lens. I learnt few tips from asking my friends and reading some articles in magazines that said for a good photograph you need to frame the subject correctly and lighting has to be correct. As you would have noticed seeing photos in this blog that my skills in this area are limited.  I bought some books on Digital Photography and a training DVD on how to use Nikon D80 – both are lying unopened in my bookshelf for last 24 months. On top of this the menus in the camera were daunting even for a Software Engineer like me, the minute I came across Shutter Speed or Aperture in the manual I got dizzy, so I put the camera always in Auto and kept complaining why my camera produces lousy pictures and wondered whether I need to buy a TelePhoto lens and so on…

Last week I came across this one-day workshop at Konica Labs in Sterling Road conducted by famous photograph Mr.K.Dhamodharan, who has been a part of the photography industry since 1985. In 2006 Mr. Dhamodharan went for a 9100km, 21 day photography expedition from Chennai – Kashmir – Kanyakumari – Chennai- an expedition that covered the length of the Indian subcontinent. Sounded interesting, so I registered by paying Rs.4000 (plus taxes) online and attended the workshop today.

I was not sure how the program will be, will it be too dry and over my head, who will be the fellow students. But Dhamu (as he is called) put the diverse crowd (which included two retirees, one homeopathy doctor, one animation designer, one Software Tester) at ease. Most of the sample photos he showed were from his own collection. The photos were accompanied by lively commentary of the people in them, their background & a bit of gossip. This made the mostly theory sessions fun and enjoyable, without this I would have gone to sleep. Dhamu covered the basic concepts of camera – Shutter speed, Aperture, ISO in brief, to the extend needed to appreciate them. He went on to cover in detail with lots of examples on framing, lighting, selecting background & foregrounds. Lighting can change the mood and bring in a different emotion to the same subject.

Dhamu stressed the importance of cultivating a third eye to visualize and to learn from disassembling professional photographs we see in magazines & Internet. A photo should always kindle some emotions on the viewer. Then it was about how to take Portraits, Couple and so on in brief. He also covered (surprise, surprise) on how to pose for photographs – the trick is to have a full mouth smile almost showing your teeth. Dhamu kept saying that Photography is one hobby that improves your self confidence a lot, you can also enjoy the attention and the privileges that it brings with it from people around you.

Though it was advertised as a workshop, the practical was limited to the last hour of the program, which is understandable in a 1 day schedule. Overall, if you can afford to spend Rs.4000 and have interest on photography I will recommend this program.

Now that I understand the basics, I have started shooting lots of photos and I think I need to buy a new camera with a Telephoto lens :- )

Below are first photographs I took during the practise session, yes it needs lot of improvement!



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