Anwar Jamal Kidwai Mass Communication Research Center (AJK MCRC), Jamia Millia Islamia has been ranked as the best institute for mass communication and journalism in India since the past four consecutive years starting 2013. The famed institute is the alma mater of the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Kiran Rao and Kabir Khan. The institute greatly benefits from its highly experienced faculty and its rigorous course structure that’s bolstered by a practical oriented approach to go with the dedicated class room teaching.
The institution organizes frequent visits/tours for the students which allows them to apply their newly gained knowledge in the real world. Outdoor photo shoots are a regular feature for the students with photography major. The coveted course is headed by the legendary Indian photographer and media expert Prof.Farhat Basir Khan who is widely regarded as the father of modern Photography and Mass education in India. He is famous for his campaigns for Grey, Lintas, Leo Burnett, Atlas, Oberoi Maidens, Avis, Grasim and Delhi Police. He has contributed to various international projects such as the One World programme for UNICEF delegates on Unspooling the Documentary Process and for institutes such as MIT, Russian Film School and Harvard Business School. Prof. Khan has also been instrumental to the shaping of the course curriculum at the prestigious AJK MCRC institute.
As part of the first assignment the students with photography majors were required to photograph the Surajkund International Crafts Mela in all its candor and glory. The students had to shoot using the Nikon D 7200 cameras with zoom lens (18-105 mm) issued by the institute specially for the assignment. The course structure requires the students to start with the classic Nikon FM2/F3 film cameras and they slowly graduate to the more advance cameras with each exercise. The stakes increase with each assignment with the final AV Feature carrying the maximum weight-age.
The Surajkund experience proved to be a real eye opener for the students who were required to strictly abide the guidelines laid by Prof. Khan. The auto modes are forbidden as Prof. Khan feels that when it comes to professional photography the auto feature is practically of no use. Another restriction on the students is to shoot in the raw format which allows maximum scope for post processing of the images as oppose to the run-of-the-mill .jpeg format.
Even after a day long shoot the students appeared far from exhausted with Prof. Khan egging them on to go for an additional round of shoot. That’s the kind of persistence, patience and perseverance that the photography students of AJK MCRC are expected to show. After all, the very institute has produced some of the county’s leading photographers. Here it is worth mentioning that under the guidance of Prof. Khan, MCRC students Neal Kartik and Pranab Kumar Aich won the prestigious ‘Student Focus Competition’ at Sony World Photography Awards 2009, Cannes. Jamia’s team achieved the feat by defeating 60 of the world’s best universities across continents and bagged a cash prize of whopping 50,000 Euros.
Image Courtesy: Murtaza Ali