Message of the Image

A good photograph is not necessarily the result of a sophisticated camera.

There, we have said it.

But, while it is relatively easy to define a sophisticated camera, it’s quite another thing to define a good photograph. We look at a photograph and we know intuitively that is good, and often it is enough. That definition, that understanding is pure and usually permanent. But are good photographs accidents or the product of a sophisticated camera, or is it something beyond? Not necessarily the product of a sophisticated camera, according to us; as you may have already guessed.

And is it possible to understand why we like some photographs? We think, yes.


A couple of months ago, we started a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on understanding photographs sans the understanding of a camera. The camera is not irrelevant, but it is not the path to understand (or take) good photographs. We think there’s more to it. This MOOC, called “Message of the Image” is ideally, a four-month long engagement to discover together, the photograph. We think there are many reasons why you’ll like this course:

  • It’s free. The fact that it costs nothing would naturally be the first good thing about it. But we think there’s more to it. Because it is free, you do not have to worry about whether it is worth “it.”
  • It’s on Facebook. This means, that for the most of us there is no learning new platforms and interfaces. (It was earlier on a proprietary platform, but while the platform is undergoing a few changes, we have shifted this course to Facebook – and we have a friend to thank for that.)
  • It doesn’t have a start date. Well, technically it started a couple of months ago. But the course is designed in a way that you can start at any time, and there will always be other folks who have started with you or around the same time as you. In any case, other ‘seniors’ are always around to help.
  • It doesn’t have an end date. No, it is not a never ending course. It’s ideally four months, as we said earlier. But you can finish the course whenever you want. Feel like taking three weeks for a one-week assignment – sure – go ahead. Want to just hang around the “campus”, no worries.
  • It doesn’t include certification. What you will learn is the certification itself and your engagement on some thought-provoking work will be the reward. This is a learning course, not a certification course, in any case. You will, of course, get lots of comments and yaaays on your portfolio.
  • It doesn’t require sophisticated material or equipment. You can start this course, even if you have a basic mobile camera. All reading material will be supplied by us (usually links from around the web)
One of the key areas that we are exploring, apart from the content of the course, is connectivism – a theory of learning based on the premise that knowledge exists in the world rather than in the head of an individual. […] it regards knowledge as existing within systems which are accessed through people participating in activities. (via Wikipedia). We are exploring connectivism and related concepts for teacher education on our own platform and are now extending this initiative to photography on the Facebook platform.
We look forward to your participation and feedback.

PS: as most of you know, I do not usually use the word “we” when I am talking about myself. The “we” in this post refers to my company, eVeltio (where the post was originally posted and reblogged, here) which is sponsoring this course, as a part of its initiatives in developing creativity in education, learning and the workspace. Helping my company reach a wider audience.

Thank you!


15 thoughts on “Message of the Image

  1. A sophisticated camera and a good photograph are mutually exclusive.

    A statement that is inaccurate just to intend to be witty and a good blog post are mutually exclusive.


  2. Balu, get back to fb, NOW!
    Just read this post and now rushing off to look at the course, Atul. Knowing the commitment-phobe I am, not yet saying I will enroll. Not at all sure I can take even a half-decent pic. But who knows, pigs can fly, right?


  3. Pingback: Learning about Photography | An Unquiet Mind
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