By Dr. Radhika Khanna   |   Pondicherry University
Learners enrolled: 2584
This course introduces you to photojournalism and the basics of digital photography. You will learn to take photographs and explore the entire process of photojournalistic principles, ethics and practice. Through the various short videos in this course, including the 'Meet the photographer' modules, you will be introduced to eminent Indian photographers and photojournalists. Here you will learn professional skills and practical tips from 25 experienced practitioners including photojournalists, photographers, photo editors and teachers, some with a professional career spanning over 60 years and also budding new personalities in this field.

Additional online resources will give you a wide exposure to some of the best photographic and photojournalistic work, including images, videos, research articles and dissertations. You will also have an opportunity to improve your photography skills through experimentation with online camera simulators. These will be helpful to understand the basic photography concepts especially for those who don't have a digital camera. A curated reading list will enrich your thirst for more. By the end of 15 weeks, you will be able to identify and develop your creative expression, style and voice and be prepared for a career in photojournalism and self-employment.

Course Objectives
1. Learn concepts and tools of photography
2. Learn the qualities and skills to prepare as a photojournalist
3. Encourage self-employment
4. Encourage creative skills
5. Develop interest in photography and photojournalism

Course Outcomes
1. Learner would master the concepts and importance of photography
2. Learner would be able to understand photo coverage and photojournalism
3. Learner would be ready to join any media organization as a photojournalist or be self-employed
4. Learner would develop her/his individual talent and potential for photography
5. Learner would be introduced to different branches and styles of photography and photojournalism
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 15 weeks
Category :
  • Multidisciplinary
Credit Points : 5
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 18 Jul 2022
End Date : 31 Oct 2022
Enrollment Ends : 15 Sep 2022
Exam Date :

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1
The role and importance of photojournalism in media

Becoming storytellers: Qualities and skills needed to be a photojournalist

Meet Gurinder Osan: Photojournalist, landscape and social documentary photographer. Presently works as photo editor for India's premier news agency, Press Trust of India, heading and mentoring a pan India team of many talented photojournalists.

Week 2
Introduction and development of photography by Desikan Krishnan, senior photojournalist and former photo editor with The Hindu, Chennai

Traditional and digital camera by Gopinath Sricandane, a communications specialist in charge of photo documentation of various projects and a former photojournalist with the Outlook group & photo editor of Outlook magazine’s website.

Meet Prashant Panjiar: Photojournalist, documentary photographer, and photo editor. One of India’s leading photo-practitioners, he has worked for international and national publications. Served on several juries, including the jury of the World Press Photo Awards. He works on several issues for international non-profit organisations.

Week 3
History of photojournalism with special focus on Homai Vyarawalla, India’s first woman press photographer by Prof. Sabeena Gadihoke, AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia, who is also a photo historian & curator and has written extensively on Indian photography.

Tools of photography: Introduction to photography, exposure and exposure triangle

Tools of photography: Understanding shutter speed, aperture and ISO

Week 4
Digital photography: Experiments with understanding light (underexposure and overexposure)

Digital photography: Camera lenses, focal length and starting off to shoot

Photography elements and principles: Understanding depth of field

Meet Raghu Rai: Awarded the 'Padma Shri' in 1971, nominated by Henri Cartier-Bresson to join Magnum Photos in 1977, laureate of the first edition of the Académie des beaux-arts Photography Award - William Klein in 2019.

Week 5
Emergence of digital technology: Basics of digital camera

Digital camera: Shooting modes and menu

Digital photography: Crop factor, colour temperature, pixelation and noise

Week 6
Doing photography: Composition

Doing composition: More on rules and in-camera composition

Meet Saumya Khandelwal: Contributing photojournalist with many international publications. A Getty Images Instagram Grantee 2017 and recipient of the National Foundation of India Award 2017.

Week 7
Different types of lighting and its uses: Available light and time of the day

The use of flash in photography

Writing captions for photographs

Week 8
Life of a working photojournalist

Meet Selvaprakash Lakshmanan: Independent photographer with many national and international publications. A recipient of Paris Match Award 2007, the India Press Photo Award 2008 and the Robert Bosch Art Grant 2009-2010. Along with editorial and documentary, his work includes photographing portraits, lifestyle, architecture, interior, product and food.

Role of subject and quality of photographs: Researching stories for long term projects

Week 9
Meet Dinesh Krishnan: Photojournalist and photo editor. Presently, visual editor with The Hindu, Chennai.

Selecting images

Meet SR Raghunathan: Photojournalist. Presently, chief photographer and deputy photo editor with The Hindu, Chennai.

Week 10
Photograph editing: Basic techniques and workflow

Cropping, enlarging and reducing

Clubbing and grouping: Mind mapping, developing photo essays, features and human interest stories

Branches of photography: Need and importance

Week 11
Introduction to sports photography

Becoming a sports photographer

Qualities and skills needed to be a wildlife photographer

Week 12
Ethics and responsibilities of a wildlife photographer

Photography for conservation: Planning, shooting and writing

The need for ethics in photojournalism 

Photography and ethics

Week 13
Beginning a career in photojournalism: News organisations, NGOs, freelancing and negotiating contracts, grants, residencies and training

Meet Madhuraj: Photographer and writer. A recipient of the Maja Koene National Award in 2003, Silver World Medal at New York Festival 2005 for the picture depicting the endosulfan tragedy in Kerala, and Prem Bhatia National Award for Environmental Reporting 2011. Presently, senior chief news photographer, periodicals, Mathrubhumi.

Meet Avinash Pasricha: Octogenarian photographer, with a career spanning over 60 years. Renowned for his performing arts photography, he has co-authored several books on Indian classical dance and music, and also made audio-visuals on prominent performing artistes. The range of his work includes portraits, fashion, advertising, industry and architecture. He was Photo Editor of SPAN magazine for 37 years. 

Arts and cultural photography: Documenting performing artists and cultural activities

Week 14
Carving a career in photojournalism: Preparing a portfolio with a lifetime of images

Meet Vicky Roy: Selected by the US based Maybach Foundation to photo document the reconstruction of the World Trade Center in New York in 2008. Awarded the MIT Media Fellowship in 2014. An honouree on the 2016 'Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia' list.

Meet Navroze Contractor: Independent photographer and cinematographer of many award winning feature films. His photographs of jazz musicians are in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC, USA.

Week 15
Fielding questions from students: Interaction with Navroze Contractor

Fielding more questions from students: Interaction with Navroze Contractor

Travel and documentary photography

Future of photojournalism


Books and references

Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color, and Composition in Photography by Bryan Peterson (Amphoto Books, 2015)
On Photography by Susan Sontag (Penguin, 2008)
Photojournalism: A Tool for Social Change by Poorva Trikha (Arun, 2014)  
Photojournalism: An Ethical Approach by Paul Martin Lester (Routledge, 2015)  
Photojournalism: The Professionals' Approach by Kenneth Kobre (Focal Press, 2004) 
Understanding Photojournalism by Jennifer Good and Paul Lowe (Routledge, 2020)  

Online Resources:  
Affective Visuality: A study of pathos in the works of select Indian Photojournalists by Poorva Trikha (Indian thesis, 2019) at https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/handle/10603/309880

Instructor bio

Dr. Radhika Khanna

Pondicherry University
Dr. Radhika Khanna is a faculty in the School of Media and Communication, at Pondicherry University. She is the Head in charge of the Department of Electronic Media and Mass Communication, and the Director in charge of the Educational Multimedia Research Centre (EMRC) at the University. Before that, she taught at Kamala Nehru College (B.A. Hons. Journalism) and at Gargi College (B. El. Ed.), University of Delhi.

An alumna of AJK Mass Communication Research Centre (MCRC), Jamia Millia Islamia, her passion is to develop creative pedagogies for joyful learning. She is a master trainer for Faculty Development Programs & Refresher Courses on NEP 2020, Digital Education, MOOCs and e-content development organised by HRDCs (Human Resource Development Centres) and HEIs (Higher Education Institutions), including colleges & universities across the country.

Dr. Radhika Khanna was invited to be a Visiting Professor and Researcher at the Laboratory IMSIC, University of Toulon, France in 2022.

She began her career as an actor-teacher under the eminent theatre practitioner, Mr. Barry John. She has been a Theatre-in-Education (TIE) facilitator and a freelance media professional since 1992. For 30 years she has been training teachers, B.Ed., B.El.Ed., and M.Ed. students to use TIE as a creative pedagogy towards holistic education.

For her work with children, youth, and women - she has been commended for the global Communication for Social Change award in 2011 by the University of Queensland.

One of the Founder Trustees of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) India Chapter, she is also a National Geographic certified educator, committed to engaging students in joyful, lifelong learning processes for self-development and for contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals. 

In academia since 2005, she has engaged learners in formal and non-formal learning environments with issues of gender, education and the environment, especially through documentary films, self-development and theatre workshops. 

She has designed, developed and delivered this Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Photojournalism for the Ministry of Education's E-Learning platform, SWAYAM. This MOOC features eminent Indian photographers, photojournalists, photo editors and educators.

She received the Best MOOC Award for her MOOC on 'Photojournalism' by the Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC) in April 2023.

Course certificate

30 marks will be allocated for continuous assessment and 70 marks will be allocated for end semester proctored examination.

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