Arches shot by our student Godwin Paulose

Ornate interiors showcasing exquisite Indian architecture beautifully captured by our Student Godwin Paulose (Advanced Diploma in Professional Photography fulltime course)

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Being Human makes you a Better Photographer!

We are very proud to share the story of our Alumni Mr.P.Ravikumar a Photojournalist who showed the world that it is important to be “HUMAN”. Here is the article from Reuters where he works as a freelance photojournalist.

We are indeed very happy to have been a part of his journey to be a News Photographer.

Ravikumar

P. Ravikumar

https://in.reuters.com/article/india-lifesaver-backstory/when-a-news-photographer-becomes-the-news-in-india-idINKCN1R31MJ

By P. Ravikumar

CHENNAI (Reuters) – It all happened in a flash. Barely 10 minutes after reaching a public gathering that was held in a large tent to celebrate the Indian festival of Holi, I was performing CPR on a boy who had suddenly collapsed in a makeshift pool of coloured water.

I am a freelance photographer in the southern city of Chennai and was on assignment for Reuters on Thursday, looking for pictures of revellers celebrating the festival that marks the beginning of spring and in which people smear each other with coloured powder and water.

For a photographer, Holi makes for vibrant, colourful pictures.

There were an estimated 1,000 people at the place I went to, almost all of them youngsters, and I started clicking away from a platform where a singer was belting out Hindi dance numbers. Moments later there was a commotion, and suddenly I was confronted by a boy who seemed to have stopped breathing.

I quickly handed my cameras to a fellow photographer, sat down on my knees and lifted one of the eyelids of the boy who lay motionless on his back. The eye was pale, his body stone cold.

I immediately recognised I did not have much time, and started pressing his chest, 30 times at a go, followed by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Egged on by my friends, I kept at it for four to five minutes and then finally he started to move his eyes, slowly.

Then his hands shook. He vomited water, then blood. Somebody took him to the hospital in an autorickshaw, instead of waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

I was completely exhausted by then, and later came to know he was discharged within a few hours. Somebody gave me his mother’s phone number, I called her and she said he was okay.

It’s not yet clear how the boy fainted in the knee-deep water, where many other people were singing and dancing.

reuters_3

P. Ravikumar, a freelance photographer on assignment for Reuters, performs CPR on a child who collapsed in a makeshift pool of coloured water while taking part in Holi celebrations in Chennai, March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

But the whole incident was surreal. Only a couple of months ago I lost my 76-year-old mother, who had a breathing problem, despite me and my sister doing CPR while taking her to hospital.

The incident reinforced my belief that learning basic life-saving skills should be made mandatory for everybody. I learned during an assignment two-and-a-half-years ago covering a sparsely attended CPR demo organised by a non-governmental organisation at a Chennai mall.

My pictures of trying to revive the boy have made it to newspapers and TV news channels, and my phone has been ringing constantly.

The Times of India, the New Indian Express and the Hindu newspapers all hailed my “presence of mind”.

A news photographer has become the news, and I feel good about that. But, for me, the biggest joy is that I managed to save a family from the grief of losing a young son.

And yes, Reuters did use some of my pictures from the event clicked before the incident!

Ravikumar Batch

P.Ravikumar (top left) with Mr.KL Raja Ponsing- Founder and director of Ambitions 4 Photography Academy and his batchmates in 2003 

(Writing by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Martin Howell and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

TRYVA Workshop 2019

Mr.KL Raja Ponsing, founder and director of Ambitions 4 Photography Academy, Chennai conducted a Special Studio Lighting Workshop in Trichy, organised by TRYVA (Trichy Videographers and Photographers Association) on 5th March 2019. The workshop was a great success with hands-on Practical sessions. The portraits were shot using simple lighting equipment like Speedlights (Godox V860).

05 Trichy WS 2019

Mr.KL Raja Ponsing share’s his thoughts about the workshop

“இன்னும் ஒரு பயனுள்ள நாள்…! மார்ச் 5ஆம் தேதி திருச்சியில் நான் நடத்திய ஒளிப்பட பயிற்சி பட்டறை..! திருச்சி மாவட்ட வீடியோ மற்றும் போட்டோக்ராபர்ஸ் அஸோசியேஷன் ஏற்பாடு செய்திருந்த ஒருநாள் பயிற்சி. புது தெம்புடன், மீண்டும் திருச்சி ஒளிப்பட கலைஞர்களை சந்தித்து எளிமையான ஒளி அமைப்புடன் உள்அரங்கில் அழகான படங்கள் எடுப்பது எப்படி என்று விளக்கினேன்.

பங்குபெற்றவர்கள் ஆர்வத்துடன் என் விளக்கங்களை புரிந்து கற்றுக்கொண்டனர். ஒளிபடமெடுத்தலின், இன்றைய சவால்கள், தொழில்நுட்பங்கள் என பல விஷயங்களை பேசினோம். நம் துறை சார்ந்தவர்களை சந்திப்பதும், துறை பற்றி நிறைய பேசுவதும் என்னை பொறுத்தவரை ஒரு புத்துணர்ச்சி தரும் நிகழ்வு. ஒளிப்பட பயிற்சி பட்டறை முடிந்து திரும்பும்போது ஒரு நிறைவான, மகிழ்ச்சியான உணர்வுடனும், அனுபவத்துடனும் சென்னை வந்தடைந்தேன்.”

01 Trichy WS 2019

Some pictures shot during the workshop demo

Mr.KL Raja Ponsing with the organisers and participants of the workshop

06 Trichy WS 2019

Location shot by our alumni Daniel Roy

The beautiful twilight shot captures the mood adding value to the Thermal Power station at Enore. Daniel Roy completed his Advanced Diploma in Professional Photography (1year course) at Ambitions 4 Photography Academy and is now practising Location, Architecture and Editorial – Fashion Photography. A dedicated and hardworking person who strives to improve his skills continuously. We wish him great success in his Photography Career

MANY PHOTOGRAPHERS, THOUGH NOT ALL, ARE SELF-TAUGHT

Many photographers, though not all, are self-taught. What role does a school of photography play in guiding photography aspirants?people

In this present scenario of students passing out from their schools are finding it difficult to decide on the courses and career options. Many times, the wishes of the parents become the ‘forced wish’ of the student. Unfortunately, most parents do not bother to identify the special skills of their children but make them study something that is of no interest to them. End of the day, the children do something that they are not interested and they become just mediocre in their chosen field.travel

Particularly when our children are not interested in academics…it is the sign that they have some other special skills (sports, drawing & painting, dance, music, acting, photography, cinema, media, cooking, crafts, designing and lot more) and we need to promptly guide them so that they can excel in their special/personal skill-based profession. Photography is always being an aspiring career option for anyone interested in the art of seeing and storytelling. It has become a stable career now….as the need for good photographers is in high demand. There are a lot of photographers earning higher than the standard academic persons doing routine jobs.location

The most important quality to pursue and be successful in photography is the ‘passion for the great art’. A passionate student can dedicate his/her time effectively in learning and become big and useful. They must be willing to do hard work 24X7 with a target to achieve. Though photography is a lot of fun, it should be learned and practised seriously. Students with an artistic bent of mind and who think little out of the box have a better chance to become successful professionals. In the present scenario, they must be willing to learn throughout their life and update the technology and trend.advertising

Many photographers, though not all, are self-taught. What role does a school of photography play in guiding photography aspirants? This is a question in the minds of many of us trying out photography and want to become a professional photographer.wildlife

There is nothing like ‘self-taught in photography’. We pick up a lot of information from other photographers and their photos. Internet and books are yet another source photographers lean and update. This helps the ‘self-taught photographers’ to do some trial and error basis learning. But as the need of today, a good photography school can help the students in the following ways.

  1. Formal education from a school of photography leaves no stone unturned.
  2. The learners are given ample scope to understand all the possible technics and art through the structured curriculum.
  3. A formal education gives a lot of self-confidence and helps them solve the problems thrown at them quickly and efficiently once they start their professional photography career.
  4. Joining a reputed school of photography makes learning fast and reduces the possible mistakes that happen otherwise. For example, a photographer who has attended a formal course will be able to master the techniques, art and business in a couple of years. Whereas, others may take years to achieve the same through a lot of trials and guesswork.
  5. Most importantly a good photography school can give hands-on experience on some of the expensive and rare state of the art equipment, facilities, special skills and real-time job experience.

These opportunities may or may not happen even after a long time for a ‘self-taught photographer’.

couple

“Do the job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”, goes a saying. When you do what you like, then your job is not a burden but pleasure!  Let our children enjoy their passion as a profession.

click here to know what one of our 1-year Advanced Diploma in Professional Photography learner Kiranmayi feels about the course in Ambitions 4 Photography Academy

Nikita Rao our 6 months Diploma in Photography Course learner – Batch 2016 shares her views about the course

Tips to shoot Panning

We always have been surprised at photos with panning effect. The panning technique gives the viewer the feel of movement of the subject which is sharp and the background is blurred to give the feel of speed or motion.

Panning is just following a moving subject with the camera either horizontally or vertically or in any direction to get the moving subject sharp and blurring effect in the background. This is one of the ways you can establish the effect of motion in a still picture. You can try this in wildlife, wedding, sports, children and industrial photography.

1. Shoot in shutter priority or manual exposure mode. Slow shutter speeds could give great panning effect – choose shutter speeds like 1/30, 1/45, 1/60 increase the shutter speed if the subject moves really fast. – set camera

2. Use AF – Servo or AF-C autofocusing mode – set camera

3. Use continuous shooting/drive mode – set camera

4. Follow the subjects that move relatively slow – slow moving vehicles or people or anything can give an easy panning effect.

5. Follow the subject as it approaches the camera, but shoot when it is just parallel to the camera.

6. Choose to shoot subjects moving fairly closer the camera – maybe 15 to 20 feet distance would be fine

7. Try getting the full subject without cropping for an interesting composition

8. Keep your legs little apart and hold the camera steady. Move only the upper part of your body (above the waist) to follow the moving subject.

9. Choose a background with some patterns – trees, buildings, a large group of people etc. Avoid plain and flat backgrounds.
Check the exposure for the subject and the background by shooting few test shot. Use exposure compensation if needed.

 

Life behind the lens

 

Interview with KL.Raja Ponsing, founder and director,
AMBITIONS 4 PHOTOGRAPHY ACADEMY

How has the landscape for photographers changed in the city in the last five years?

The landscape of photography altogether has changed a lot in the recent five years on the whole and Chennai is not an exception. One can find that almost every professional photographer now owns expensive cameras and equipment. Unfortunately, many of these photographers believe that good photos come from an expensive camera or an expensive brand. Many of them tend to work very randomly and shoot 100 images to get 10 usable pictures. Turn the clock back 10-15 years, photographers use to think before every shot. But now many of them are reluctant to check even the basics. Many feel that making mistakes while shooting is accepted and is a part of the process because there is a software to repair the images later on.

At the same time, professional photography has become very expensive now, ie. people do spend big time on photography. If you look at wedding photography, photographers direct the entire wedding like a feature film. They use all kinds of gadgets whether it is really necessary or not. One can find images shot from up in the air till under the water in one wedding album. However, it’s saddening to see that the very essence of true and natural emotions, meaning of a ritual and the overall feel is lost in wedding photography as they are directed and set up shots.

Coming to commercial photography, part-time hobbyists do the jobs at a throwaway price pledging the values of photography. It has become rare to find genuine, passionate photographers who maintain the values of the profession.

What is it that students have to have in order to learn and pursue a future in photography?

The most important quality to pursue and be successful in photography is the ‘passion for the great art’. A passionate student can dedicate his/her time effectively in learning and become big and useful. They must be willing to do hard work 24X7 with a target to achieve. Though photography is a lot of fun, it should be learned and practiced seriously. Students with an artistic bent of mind and who think little out of the box have a better chance to become successful professionals. In the present scenario, they must be willing to learn throughout their life and update the technology and the trend.

Many photographers, though not all, are self-taught. What role does a school of photography play in guiding photography aspirants?

There is nothing like ‘self-taught in photography’. We pick up a lot of information from the internet, other photographers and their photos. This helps the self-taught photographers to do some trial and error basis learning. A good photography school can help the students in the following areas,

  1. A formal education from a school of photography leaves no stone unturned.
  2. The learners are given ample scope to understand all the possible technics and art through the structured curriculum.
  3. This gives a lot of self-confidence and helps them solve the problems thrown at them quickly and efficiently once they start their professional photography careers.
  4. This makes learning fast and reduces the possible mistakes that happen otherwise. For example, a photographer who has attended a formal course will be able to master the techniques, art, and business in a couple of years. Whereas, others may take years to achieve the same through a lot of trial and error and guesswork.
  5. Most importantly a good photography school can give a hands-on experience on some of the expensive and rare state of the art equipment, facilities, special skills, and real-time job experience.

These opportunities may or may not happen even after a long time for a self-taught photographer.

What are the courses in photography offered by Ambitions 4?
Ambitions4 Photography Academy offers fulltime and weekend courses.

How is the scene of photography in Chennai when compared to the other metropolitan cities in the country?

Chennai is a unique city in India which has a beautiful mix of technology and tradition. The value of photography as a business is very much influenced by the culture and tradition of the place/city. The photographers in Chennai are equally talented like other cities and some of them are even internationally renowned. A lot of big jobs in photography is being done in Chennai for a simple reason, the photographers are dedicated and disciplined to their jobs. The commercial value of a job in Chennai is relatively less, I mean; the photographers are not paid like other cities. The job opportunities are becoming good in recent years.

In what line of work can photography students explore a more lucrative future? (i.e., Other than still photography)

Moving to become commercial, advertising, fashion and big-time wedding photographers is the best option for a lucrative career. Apart from being still photographers, the students can head towards working for movies after assisting cinematographers. They can also start doing short films, corporate films, advertising films and so on. This is possible for, they have a strong foundation about the visual art and medium.  They can team up to operate as a company to do weddings and events which could turn out to be a lucrative future. Image post-processing and designing is yet another area they can explore.