Joining a photography club is the best way to improve photographic skills. Becoming a member of clubs enables one to meet like-minded people, exchange ideas, and thus, grow as a photographer. Of course, there are also the formal classes and workshops. It is important to choose the right club. Choosing the right club depends on many factors – the type of photographer one is, that is, a newbie or one with some experience; the type of photography one wants to do, that is, specialised or general; the amount of money one can spend on equipments (good clubs often have a lot of in-house equipment); whether one wants to learn for the fun of it or to take part in serious competitions and become a professional photographer, etc.
Here are some points to consider:
Whether one is joining to learn photography as a leisure activity or to get into serious professional photography.
Whether the club offers an excellent mix of activities and venues for learning.
The club should preferably be located near one’s place of work or the college one goes to or one’s residence; travelling long distances can take away the fun.
It is important to look for a club that has members from different backgrounds, for better learning opportunities.
A beginner should join a club that encourages sharing and learning more than competition.
A photography club should be open about its mission and vision; it should not be exclusively a profit-making venture.
The fees of a club should be considered carefully – if just for fun, one should not stretch one’s means to join a club.
The club should preferably be well-experienced; so that there is always a chance to meet well-respected photographers to learn from.
One should look for a club that participates in exhibitions – one can learn from exhibitions as well as have one’s photos exhibited.
There are numerous photography clubs in Kolkata. Here we give some of the better ones.
The club was born in 1983.
It started its basic one-year course in 1984 and a two-year diploma in 1987.
It has its own publications, viz., Basic Photography, and numerous handouts on the subject which are used as study materials for their courses.
The club publishes a magazine named Alokchitram.
The senior members of the club are often selected as jury in almost all the national and international salons held in India.
The club has one of the largest numbers of photographic honour holders among its members in India, which comprises of one MFIAP, 17 EFIAP, one EFIAP/b, 15 AFIAP; seven ARPS; 16 FFIP; four AFIP and one Hon. FIP.
It started in 1948 when a few like-minded photographers founded Renaissance Camera Group (RCG).
The name was changed to Photographic Association of Bengal (PAB).
PAB organised its first Indian salon in 1951.
Its first international salon was held in 1953.
They were met with overwhelming success, and their legacy continues even today; these salons have been held annually from then on.
PAB had its first international colour slide salon in 1987 and thereafter, it is being held biennially.
These salons receive record number of entries.
There are many members with worldwide standing in international salons and award-winners from Nikon Corporation, Canon Camera Company, UNESCO, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (UK), Lalit Kala Akademi in various states and Photo Division (Ministry of Broadcasting), to name just a few.
The association is committed to open judging sessions in salons as it widens the exposure of world photography to photo-enthusiasts apart from providing transparency to the process of salon judging.
ADDRESS: 7B, Indra Roy Road, Kolkata 700025 WEBSITE: http://www.pabonline.net
KOLKATA TURNING LENS PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY
Kolkata Turning Lens Photographic Society was founded by photo enthusiasts in November 2011.
Earlier, it started out as a college club of the Institute of Technology and Marine Engineering.
The club, called Turning Lens, gained fame as a college club, and organised a lot of activities like several photo contests, photo shoots, awareness programmes, etc.
Later, on November 11, 2011, the club changed its name to Kolkata Turning Lens Photographic Society, and was registered.
The club offers many avenues to nurture and create new photographesr like interactive sessions, assignments and competitions.
Lectures, contests, photo shoots and exhibitionss are essential parts of the club’s programmes.
National Academy of Photography (NAP) is a first-of-its-kind institute in eastern India. The training techniques at the institute are both innovative and intense and the course curriculum has been drawn out carefully by a distinguished faculty of award-winning photographers.
Of the several part-time courses offered at the institute, the professional course on Intensive Photography and Dark Room (B&W, Colour) Processing Techniques is the most popular among amateur, and advanced amateur photographers.
The four-month course covers everything in the realm of photography, starting with the basic principles of photography, darkroom technique, B&W processing, colour printing to the different genres like product photography, still life photography and outdoor shooting.
A more intensive course is the six-month part-time course called Professional Digital Photography.
Those interested in fashion photography can try the three-month part-time course on Professional Fashion Photography.
The three-month certified course, Product and Still Life Photography is also very good which covers technical aspects like frame and picture, shadow, lighting techniques, shooting beers, spirits and wines, jewellery, food, cosmetics and lifestyle products.
For those short on time, there is the five-day Workshop on Professional Fashion Photography.
All these courses are certified and conducted by top professionals and experts in the field of photography.
Jadavpur University Photographic Club (JUPC) was established in 1963 by a few photography-minded students of Jadavpur University.
The club is run by a large number of students from all streans who serve as active members during their tenure as students in the university.
The club has a number of film and digital SLR cameras, a darkroom equipped for developing and printing black and white photographs, facilities for digital editing, equipments facilitating studio work, and a library of books and magazines on photography.
All these are available to the members at any time.
Every year August marks the beginning of a new session that sees a new bunch of students join the club.
The sessions commence with an extensive training module in which the existing members introduce the new students to the basics of photography through a number of theory and practical classes.
They are provided with cameras and films by the club during this period and are also taught the techniques of developing, printing and digital editing.
JUPC also organises workshops to enable young photographers to interact with and consult eminent photographers.
Among the prominent photographers with whom the club members have had the privilege of interacting include Raghu Rai, Swapan Nayek, Tushar Kanti Dutta and David Trattles.
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