Photography Classes near Washington DC - Subhankar Barai Photography

I offer the following photography classes and workshop. To register, please call me at 623-606-3016 or fill up the contact form mentioning your choice of lesson needed.

Beginner to Intermediate level Photography Class

3 classes - 2.5 hours each

(with a gap of 3-5 days between classes for participants to practice and grasp the concepts and come back with questions)

Interactive session, aimed at beginners/amateurs, with hands-on training on topics mentioned below:

•  Camera controls and modes

•  Setting parameters manually on your digital SLR and their    relationships - aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance,    bracketing, exposure compensation, flash modes, metering and a    lot more

•  Basics of how the camera functions internally and reacts to    various settings

•  Photo taking techniques - motion blur, panning, focusing, depth    of field, night photography, knowing to see light and utilize it to    your advantage, etc.

•  Lens basics - which lens to use for what, how do they impact    what you want to shoot, what to look for while choosing/buying    lenses

•  Composition techniques - portraits, landscapes and others

•  Brief discussion/demonstration of use of flash, speedlights,    umbrellas, softboxes, diffusers, flash modifiers, filters,    intervalometers, tripod and radio triggers and how these impact    your photographs. We'll also discuss about what scenarios    warrant the need for these accessories

•  Photo editing techniques

•  What photography jargons like f-stop, dynamic range, stops of    light, dodge and burn, etc. mean

•  Understanding histograms and adjusting accordingly

•  Knowing your gear limitations and how to work around those to    get the best photo possible

•  Discuss situational challenges that are faced commonly and how    to react

•  Tips and tricks

The thought of moving from AUTO to MANUAL modes (M, A/Av, S/Tv, P) can be daunting! Not any more - after these lessons!

Do Note: You become a better photographer only if you practice, practice and practice, with the knowledge gained!


You'll need a camera that allows you to do manual settings (DSLR/ micro-four-thirds/mirrorless/advanced point-and-shoot). Any camera will do, as long as it has an 'M' mode allowing manual settings.

Advanced Flash Photography Workshop

One Full Day (10:00AM - 4:00PM)

(Ask about two day version of the same workshop if you can't dedicate one full day at once)


The first half will include detailed explanation of the following topics and answering questions.

•  On-Camera flash modes and how these impact images

•  Difference between pop-up flash, speedlight, monolights, bare-bulb flashes, constant light, etc

•  Speedlight characteristics - zoom, power, GN, modes, channels,    groups, infrared vs. RF, prices, brands

•  Using flash indoors, bounce flash, hard and soft lights and how to use it to achieve different looks

•  Manual vs. TTL flash

•  When to use wireless/wired TTL/Manual flash, RF    transmitters/receivers, TTL cords, brackets; why and how?

•  Implications/limitations of flash sync speed, HSS, when to use    on-camera or off-camera flash

•  White Balance settings to match ambient light characteristics,    creative lighting using gels

•  Exposure metering for ambient light indoors and outdoors,    dragging the shutter, shooting in harsh sunlight

•  Adding fill flash to available light outdoors, reflectors vs. fill    flash

•  On-Camera and Off-Camera flash modifiers - uses and    limitations, using snoots, grids, ND filters

•  Use of umbrella/softbox/beauty dish - differences

•  Types of lighting - rembrandt, split, broad light, loop, butterfly,    clamshell, etc

•  Controlling multiple off-camera lights, how to light wedding/event    locations.

•  Different situations demand different lighting techniques - how to    light bride and groom entry to reception hall vs how to light bride    and groom sparkler exit vs how to shoot dance floors?    

Practical application of concepts:

The second half will be dedicated to practical application of the concepts hands-on.

Participants will get the opportunity to practice the knowledge gained in the first half in different lighting conditions - indoor and outdoor. Radio transmitters, flashes, softboxes/umbrellas will be available for participants to use on the off-camera lighting setup. If you own radio triggers, you are encouraged to bring your own transmitters/receivers.


•  You'll need to bring your own camera that allows you to do    manual settings (DSLR, micro-four-thirds/mirrorless or high end    point-and-shoot), a zoom lens with the biggest aperture that you    have or a prime lens and your flash. If you own radio triggers, ND    filters and any small flash modifier, you are encouraged to bring    those as well. No need to bring lightstands or    softboxes/umbrellas.

•  Participants are expected to be familiar with their camera    operations and should be aware of how to adjust shutter speed,    aperture, ISO, white balance, etc.

•  Participants are also expected to be familiar with basic    photography concepts like depth-of-field, impacts of    aperture/ISO/shutter speed change, rules of handheld    photography. 

Feedback on these classes

  • Kiran Y

    on February 8, 2019

    I have attended Basic to Intermediate photography classes taught by Subhankar. He covered very good concepts that are useful for you to understand the techniques to capture meaningful pictures. The concepts told in the class were what i was looking to learn. He also take you through the photos he did shot and explains the background of the pic. He shows his camera gear and assisted on what type of gear to buy. Overall the classes are worth attending to move to next level in you photography skills.

  • Suram Prathyusha

    on November 17, 2017

    It was a great experience and details covered in the class are basic to intermediate to some advanced features as well. Subhankar teaches in a patient way and explains everything with clear examples. He emphasized on practicing photography, and answered to all our questions. He would talk about his experiences and his thought processing while doing photo shoots.
    It was a great experience for me and would definitely recommend for anyone who wants to get their photography basics right.

  • Vasu Gandhi

    on April 7, 2015

    It was great learning experience and I started loving my photographs in manual settings. Subhankar has so much patience to answer all the questions no matter how much simple/complex. I would suggest to getting knowledge from Subhankar whoever wants to learn photography.

  • Diana Levy

    on February 24, 2015

    It was a great pleasure and fun learning photography with Subhankar. Not only is he passionate about photography, but also a very methodical, highly knowledgeable and inspiring teacher. The curriculum was just perfect: I was able to finally learn my camera, take better picures and got a lot of insight on editing. Thank you very much and I hope one day to come back for your advanced class!

  • Abhigna Ps

    on December 19, 2014

    The classes were very much useful and I learned many things about photography.. Subhankar was good at explaining every concept in detail. This would definitely change my way of taking pictures. Thanks

  • Mahendher Krishnasingh

    on November 12, 2014

    Though I had a basic knowledge of using the DSLR, I always wanted to learn the concepts behind the camera controls and their usage in different situations. I felt the photography classes from Subhankar did meet my needs. He explained the concepts precisely with practical examples that really helped me work on my photography skills in the areas such as metering a scene, composition, exposure levels etc.,
    He also went on and explained me about some of the photos he took on how he framed that scene, which gave me some inspirations on how to look at a scene before I actually take a photo of it. I would say he is very enthusiastic in sharing the cool stuffs that he learned in photography.
    I would like to thank him for his patience in explaining my questions and providing suggestions to improve my technique in taking better photos.

  • imrankhan

    on June 9, 2014

    Two words that come to my mind as I describe Subhankar as an instructor are "inspirational talent". Subhankar is very passionate about the art of photography and he can literally talk about photography with anyone for hours at a time. This level of passion and vast knowledge base enables Subhankar to adjust his class and pace it according to the individual’s own knowledge and learning ability.
    Subhankar is also very adept at figuring out inexpensive and homemade alternatives to some of the very useful photography equipment. An example of this when I saw that he had created a beauty dish from scratch with several day-to-day household items.
    Being a skilled photographer himself and having a great eye of amazing composition, Subhankar provides practical examples for various scenarios during the training. This helped me button up some of the basic do’s and don’ts in areas such as on-camera and off-camera flash photography, composition, exposure, interacting with subjects, etc. Not only is he eager to impart his knowledge, but he is also constantly keeping himself up to date with latest developments in the field so that he can impart that knowledge to others like me.
    Bottom line – if you are looking for someone who can give your photography knowledge or work a kick start from basics to advanced concepts with good practical examples, stop reading this now and reach out to Subhankar. I also want to thank Subhankar for being patient and helping out with several questions along with way.

  • chakravarthykotaru

    on June 1, 2014

    The Photography classes from Subhankar have helped me to take my photography skills to a whole new level, he made sure I understand the basic concepts and helped me apply them to actual shooting scenarios.

    Flash Photography:

    Especially the Flash/External lighting classes I took from subhankar have improved my understanding of how to make the best use of natural and flash light. They have helped me capture professional level Event/Potrait pictures.

    Suggestions related to equipment:

    He always helped me make Smart and Economical investment while buying my camera gear which matters the most for good photography than simply buying popular and expensive products in the market. He as well taught me a lot of 'Do It Yourself' methods which would save money.

    Subhankar is always very willing to help. He is always available to give a very detailed explanation to my questions and suggestions when needed. He is one of the most genuine, generous people I've ever met and he has an unmistakable passion for what he's doing.

    I am very grateful to him because the level of photography i am at today is all because of his Initial guidance. I would say that the 'Best Investment' i have ever made in my Photography Journey so far is taking Subhankar's Photography Classes.

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