AOD launches country’s first professional qualification in photography

Thursday, 24 February 2011 00:51 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Cassandra Mascarenhas

Marking a milestone in local photography education, Sri Lanka’s only fully integrated design school, the Academy of Design announced the launch of the country’s first internationally recognised programme in photography in collaboration with the Bradford College University Centre, UK.

AOD has been at the forefront of cultivating local talent in various creative industries in Sri Lanka since its inception, with its unique approach to capture many creative sectors which include fashion design, graphic design, interior design, jewellery design and now photography.

The programme will consist of an internationally accepted curriculum taught by industry experts and will allow those who follow it to qualify for their Bachelor’s Degree in Photography at the Bradford College, UK after completing a one year programme here in Sri Lanka. The course is open to everyone, from professionals to amateurs and will function on a flexible format, with classes held on one evening and a full studio day per week.

“The introduction of this course is an integral part of AOD’s expansion into further creative fields and will offer both professionals and amateurs with a professional qualification in photography which has so far not been available in the country. It will offer photographers a greater level of competence, innovation and interest in the field and equip them with the skills and expertise required to work on a global platform,” said the Principal of AOD, Karen MacLeod.

Another interesting aspect to the course is its affiliation with the sole agents of Canon in Sri Lanka, Metropolitan who will be supporting this venture with technical assistance and by setting up a state-of-the-art photography studio in the near future.

“We are privileged to support AOD in promoting and assisting with this course. Photography is a very influential industry and is a good source of livelihood and as the sole distributors of Canon products, our sales have in fact tripled over the last couple of months. However, our involvement in this project is not merely business-oriented; we fully support the enhancement of peoples’ skills and competencies through this,” asserted the CEO and Director of Metropolitan, Taslim Rahaman.

The Head of Photography at Bradford College, Trevor Griffith, stressed on the now prevalent issue of morals, copyrights and intellectual property intertwined with the profession and highlighted on the fact that the course will prep photographers on working in a world market and offers them a better understanding of photography in the 21st century.

“It was possible to do any sort of course here but it was chosen to go ahead with photography because of its importance on a global level. It will allow interested parties to complete a full course in a short time and enable photographers already in the industry to learn more and validate their craft as well as offer them the opportunity to further enhance their skills by transferring to Bradford College in the UK,” he added.

Sri Lanka has seen a rapid increase in both professional and amateur photographers in the recent past, most of whom are professionals in various other fields but turn to photography as a creative outlet and sometimes even a means of assisting them in their work in separate industries.

“It is a very exciting time in the country, especially in the creative industries. There is a lot of potential here and this course will enable people to broaden their horizons and provide them with knowledge to deal with new media and compete with the rest of the world. I can see this having a tremendous impact on both amateurs and professionals,” stated renowned photographer and senior lecturer of the photography programme at AOD, Kesara Ratnavibhushana.