Hone your skills behind the lens, make friends and deepen your photographic expertise.
In a city as visually exciting as Hyderabad, you’re bound to have a bunch of shutterbugs. For wandering lensmen, Hyderabad offers a kaleidoscope of photo opportunities - be it in the bustling streets of Charminar, Abids or Koti or the quiet lanes of Maredpally, where street dogs also participate in galli cricket. No wonder that on a given weekend, you might find close to 50 people taking shot after shot, with huge cameras hanging from their necks.
Canon, Nikon, Pentax; you’ll see a plethora of cameras. Better still is the sight of the range of lenses - 300 mm or the small but nifty 35mm lens. Look closer and you’ll find a couple of people minus cameras, tagging along to learn and get guidance. The guy with the big lens and know-it-all shares his tips, tricks and even his camera with other members of the group.
Wondering what they’re up to? They’re on a photo walk. Photowalking emerged as a communal activity worldwide sometime when cameras started becoming affordable! While you have virtual Hyderabad-based photography groups by the dozens, a couple have actually managed to get out of the web onto real-time photo walks.
Hyderabad Weekend Shoots, Hyderabad Photography Club and the Andhra Pradesh Photographic Society are the most active groups and offer varied experiences to the participants.
The Andhra Pradesh Photographic Society (APPS) was started by Raja Triambaka Raj and his friends in 1957 to promote the art and science of photography. Now 55 years later, the charm of this registered society lies in the fact that they are continuing classical style of photography like Nature and Landscapes. Unlike the other clubs, APPS is not a virtual club and has a membership fee of Rs. 200 per year. The club aims to popularise photography and promote the work of its 200 members. APPS is a registered society that has monthly meetings and workshops along with tutorials. The Society also conducts regular competition. APPS is serious in conducting regular knowledge sharing sessions. These are in the form of video courses, lectures on photographic techniques (starting from fundamentals to advanced topics), outings led by senior members and workshops on still life, portraiture and more. Ashok Kandimalla, an executive member of the society has published articles in Smart Photography which also appear on the website.
Andhra Pradesh Photographic Society
Managed by: Ashok Kandimalla and other executive members
Contact: 09849025520 (Ashok)
Hyderabad Photography Club is the brain child of Aditya Mopur who runs his own studio FotoGenesis along with his classmate Sharat. The club was started as a place for photographers and enthusiasts to connect. “The idea is to help people learn how to take better pictures without enrolling themselves in expensive courses,” says Aditya. “We are a dedicated group of people who talk about street photography, wedding photography and all kinds of photography,” he adds. Aditya Mopur was an engineering student studying in the US. When he found his focus shofting, Aditya came back to India and pursued a BFA in photography from Venkateswara College and founded HPS later. Hyderabad Photography Club used to organise photowalks on and off, but consciously decided to stop, reveals Aditya. “We encourage people to talk and discuss ideas and learn from other photographers ,” says Aditya.
From being an online forum, it has become an active group of 25 people who meet up often enough for coffee and dosas. “Of course we talk, breathe and eat photography around the edges of these soirees,” laughs Aditya.
Hyderabad Photography Club
Managed by: Aditya Mopur
Photowalks and meets
Hyderabad Weekend Shoots stemmed out of Kishore’s passion for pictures. It started online in 2006 on Flickr, the image hosting and sharing website for photographers. The Flickr website has 1900 members and by 2008, the virtual group began to shift base to Facebook and meet in real-time. Kishore and Darshan now manage HWS. The main idea of HWS is to rejuvenate on the weekends and explore the world outside.
On average, every weekend shoot has 50 photography enthusiasts coming together to take pictures. “On one occasion we even had 100 people. Every year, we definitely include Golconda, Charminar, Qutb Shahi Tombs and the Zoo in our photo walk list,” says Kishore. HWS is a club open to all, and there is no membership fees. HWS also organises out-of-town photowalks as well. “Expenses are divided amongst participants and we plan budgets,” says Darshan. Kishore says that HWS also has a lot of members who don’t own cameras. The mantra for HWS is that of the 48 hours of freedom (weekends), spend a little time getting to learn and meeting new people. “Not to sound like a marriage bureau but many people from the group have found their life-partners here,” he laughs.
Apart from photo walks, HWS also conducts workshops. People from within the group share tips and tricks of taking better pictures in a formal fashion. The group also conducted a photo exhibition titled ‘Reflections’ last year and they are coming up with a second version of the exhibition this December.
Hyderabad Weekend Shoots
Managed by: Kishore Nagarigari and Darshan Khanna
Contact: 9989099123 (Kishore), 9030283790 (Darshan)