Bombay Showcase

An amateur’s guide to painting with light

Kunal Bhatia’s workshop will provide quick tips for different genres of photography, such as portraits, travel, landscapes, food and architecture  

We live in a world where an impactful image can be just as easily made using a cell phone or a DSLR. It is, after all, the photographer and not the tool that makes for beauty. That said, knowing how a camera works can take your art to another level.

Photographer Kunal Bhatia’s one-day workshop, ‘The Fundamentals of Digital Photography’, on this weekend, aims to familiarise passionate amateur photographers with their cameras, getting into the fundamental concepts of photography, learning terms such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, combining that with practical sessions on composition.

Bhatia, who divides his time between Mumbai and Bangalore, is a photographer, architect and writer. “The DSLR usually only comes out of the closet during a birthday or a holiday,” he says, “and I’d like to change that.”

Having studied architecture, his own forte lies in documenting architectural and interior spaces; he also likes capturing the cultural essence of a place and its people through his travel photography. His work has been featured by various print and online publications, and he will soon launch a book on Mumbai’s housing-typologies. “I’m highly influenced by the work of Dutch architectural photographer Iwan Baan, who doesn’t sanitise the building from his surroundings,” he says. “He shoots his environment as is, without focusing on placements of objects or clearing the site.”

Bhatia says the workshop will provide quick tips and practices for different genres of photography, such as portraits, travel, landscapes, food, and architecture. Capturing a mood of a space or a moment is not easily taught, but developing an appreciation for others’ photographic work can be, aside from finding out, say, what draws you to a particular image. This is what this workshop will try to develop within participants. “Apart from going through the work of contemporaries, [I will be] teaching basics such as using a lower f-stop for portrait photography, and shooting architectural ’scapes when the sun is behind and not in front of you.” And since practical exploration is as important as theory, he will, if the weather permits, guide participants through Flora Fountain and the Fort area of South Mumbai to capture the areas’ architecture.

The workshop will also touch upon the few golden rules — the rule of thirds, ratio lines — that help in understanding composition. But Bhatia believes you need to know when to break the rules too: “Sometimes a moment calls for a different composition which might go against the basic ‘principles of photography,’ and you need to know that it’s alright.”

Making a photograph involves patience, a keen sense of observation and, most importantly, ‘feeling’. A photographer never forgets the moment before they pressed trigger. As a travel photographer, Bhatia has had many of those moments. One stands out, though: “Back in 2009, while shooting the night sky in the Swiss Alps, and experimenting with long exposure shots, I was almost attacked by a pack of dogs. But usually picking a singular experience while shooting, is like choosing your favourite child!” Photography is all about practice and having the will to experiment with the view before you. The more you indulge in the art form, the further you put yourself into the moment instead of being just a spectator.

And this isn’t just for one day; to ensure participants put in a whole lot of practice, there will be a follow-up session in September, a photo-walk.

The author is a freelance writer

The Fundamentals Of Digital Photography, August 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Somaiya Centre for Lifelong Learning, Fort. Details:

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 7:06:50 PM |

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