Case Studies


Bharathi was previously using a point-and-shoot digital camera, and later upgraded to a Nikon D5100 DSLR. She attended my SimpleSLR Starter workshop in August 2012, and went away for a vacation. This is what she came back with.

Photo 1: An eye for a pleasing composition

Photo 2: Ability to use Manual Exposure Mode to achieve a rich blue color in the sky

Photo 3: Recognizing interesting side lighting for object photos

For comparison, here are some of her photos before the workshop, which she has graciously shared. We are all on a continuous journey of learning.

Photo 4: The camera’s auto exposure mode produced a well-exposed photo, mostly because the sun was in the right position (see my article on light ratios for landscapes).

Photo 5: But when the sun shifts to a position in front of the camera, this becomes a ‘challenging’ shot to handle for the camera’s auto-exposure mode. Even if you have the latest and most expensive DSLR, you will still get a result like this if you shoot in auto-exposure mode. This is because the default metering mode will take the entire scene into account, giving you an underexposed building because the sky and water in this shot accounts for a large part of the scene.

Photo 6: The bright sunlight again fools the camera’s auto-exposure mode and renders the karst terrain too dark. Easily solved if Manual Exposure was used.


Ahmad is a keen portraiture enthusiast who wanted to learn how to use his speedlights properly. He came for my SimpleSLR Starter workshop and we managed to work on getting the right exposure with speedlights as well as natural light, and getting the talent to pose in the right direction in relation to the light for flattering results. We also covered using multiple speedlights for variety and depth in portraits. Ahmad then went on to produce these images:

Below is a selection of images that he took before the workshop: