The students of Kumaraguru College of Technology were fortunate to have T.N.A Perumal inaugurate Studio KCT, a photography initiative start up on their campus

The studio lights are on. A DSLR camera is docked on to a tripod and a group of engineering students take turns to click the shutter. A photo session is in progress at Studio KCT, a start up by students of Kumaraguru College of Technology at their campus in Saravanampatti. They plan to use the studio to design posters too with photo editing software, and take up photography assignments. “We don’t want to restrict ourselves to clicking photographs of our college events. We want to take up work outside and earn too,” says Vikram.S. The start up has a core team of 15 members in addition to 100 students who have enrolled at the studio to learn and explore photography. Though at the moment the members are all engineers, there are plans to rope in fashion technology students too. “We have the cameras, the lighting equipment, and lenses such as the telephoto lens, and macro lens to suit photographic assignments,” he says.

Light and shades

T.N.A. Perumal, a pioneer in wildlife photography inaugurated the studio. He tells the students, “Photography is like creating a painting, an expression with light. The play of light and shades create a particular mood in a picture.” He describes technology as a great support to creative pursuits in photography. Perumal spoke of his times when photography was hard work. “When I started, a photographer had to have the knowledge of physics, chemistry and mechanical work too. We worked with chemical solutions to develop photographs. Handling a camera lens, the opening and closing of the shutters all involved knowledge of physics.”

But he cautions that the technology has its limitations. “Photography is a vast field, so a basic foundation is important. Every human action can be photographed. There is plenty of scope in medical photography, aviation engineering, and so on. Youngsters should approach photography as art. They should read, follow and learn from the works of old timers and participate regularly at Indian and international photographic salons. Youngsters should be curious, learn and observe Nature.”

Perumal describes his mentor O.C. Edwards, a pioneer in bird photography, as a perfect gentleman. “I learnt from him how to treat a fellow photographer with respect.”

Shankar Vanavarayar, joint correspondent of the college said such creative manifestations prepared the students to face the highly competitive market confidently. He recently took the students on a photography tour of Tanjore. “At such activities they open-up, bond well as a team, and learn heritage, culture and art.” The students dedicated a wall at the campus to some of the best black and white wildlife photographs of T.N.A. Perumal.