A photography course has been started at Nazrul Tirtha in New Town which aims to improve not just skills with the camera or the mobile phone but also the quality of one’s presence on social media.
“We are offering a three-month course spread over two-hour classes on Sundays,” said Nairit Datta Gupta, an organiser. The course material includes easy post processing techniques and aerial photography with drones, among other topics. Editing is taught on freely available software. The course fee is Rs 5,000.
The certificate course was launched with 25 students at the Smart Library housed on the second floor.
In his inaugural address, NKDA chairman Debashis Sen recalled suggesting such a course to the organisers for working professionals to attend on Sunday evenings. “The Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute used to hold a film appreciation course. It enabled one to make out the nuances of cinematography among other things while watching a film. Such courses train one’s eye to make value judgment, be it when watching a film or when seeing a photograph,” said Sen, adding that he would want to attend such courses “as a backbencher”.
He further added that while traditional courses offered expertise in technical aspects like tackling exposure and aperture, non-professional users were more keen to learn how to make Instagram reels or make better uses of Facebook features. Video conferences are a part of professional life in a post-pandemic world.
“But some people are clueless about where to set up their laptop. Sitting in badly illuminated corners of the room, they look like ghosts.” Nor do most have any idea about how to compose a background scene. “It is not a pretty sight for others to see a mosquito net hanging from a side in the speaker’s background.”
When the library was built in Nazrul Tirtha, Sen added, it was meant not just as a place to come and read books but also a venue for activities. “We have had spoken English, career counselling and foreign language courses being offered here. Such concurrent activities help draw people who would not otherwise come to a library.”
Gautam Bhadra, faculty member and a resident of Greenwood Sonata, spoke of plans of taking students on field trips across New Town and its fringes. There will also be an outdoor shoot with a model for students.