Help’s a Click Away

As fancy cameras and photography grow,professional photographers have their work cut out — educating amateurs

Written by Rushil Dutta | Pune | Published: August 29, 2013 3:39 am

Those who have bought and consecutively been humbled by the complexity of a DSLR, photography workshops come to their rescue. Well-known photographer Kedar Bhat,who has been conducting workshops in the city for about four years,sees his weekend workshops as introductory sessions. “I cover theory on the first day over eight hours and then take them outdoors for fieldwork,” says Bhat. He adds that most participants either have DSLRs or plan on buying one soon and that’s why they want to know all about it.

Among the category of DSLR owners thrive a majority who are oblivious of the camera’s potential beyond the automatic mode. “It becomes imperative for me to elaborate on the features of the machine. I make sure students shift to the manual mode the moment they enter my class,” says Bhat.

In Pixvince Creations’ instructor Devendra Trabhune’s classroom,the basic workshop lasts a day and is designed for people with minimal technical and theoretical knowledge. He conducts another workshop for an intermediate category that is moderately-versed with the equipment. “This workshop is spaced out and conducted on four alternate weekends over two months. The students learn one weekend and practice on the next,” says Trabhune,adding “Many participants with basic knowledge come to learn the use of artificial lighting. I also provide my students with a range of lenses to assist them during the course of the workshop.”

Both Bhat and Trabhune conduct separate workshops on post-production techniques too. So does Angad Joshi,a city-based photographer. Joshi has taken in many students over the years and notices a trend among photography enthusiasts. “There are two categories. Category one comprises those who are genuinely enthusiastic and show a lot of promise. Thankfully 70 per cent of the students belong to this category. But there is a steadily growing category two which picks up the camera to be in the rat race. They buy their cameras to partake in the glamour of having a photography page on Facebook,with their names watermarked everywhere. Category two is gravely misguided,” he says.

The photographers also point out that a burgeoning population of working professionals with large disposable incomes join their workshops. “Many first-timers walk into my workshop with a kit which is far superior and sophisticated in comparison to what most professionals use. There was a time when I spoke about a fancy lens in class which cost nearly Rs 4 lakh and the student went and bought it the next day,” says Trabhune.

Bhat says, “Many people who can afford such expensive equipment,see photography as a liberator from the drudgery of their work. Especially after watching films such as 3 Idiots,where a character gave up everything to become a wildlife photographer,and Wake Up Sid,where a no-gooder finds expression in photography; many people come thinking that a career in photography is as easy and glamorous as portrayed on the big screen. In real life,it is quite the contrary.”

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