Learning takes a lifetime but education can be immediate. The way our world is shaping today, it seems that ubiquitous digital intelligence has influenced us all universally. It was drastically different at the time of photographer and educator Jasminder Singh Oberai, who didn’t have the opportunities that are available today. So he resolved to make it easier for the generations to come by giving them wings of learning in a structured, practical and financially undaunting set-up. Oberai became the pioneer of educational photo tours in 2010.
Since then he has led hundreds of them, giving them access to good quality learning, evolving perspectives, fostering inclusivity and demonstrating the importance of personalised training. Amid readying himself for his upcoming tours to Vrindavan from March 14-17; China from June 8-14, and Ladakh from July 13-21, he’s added another feather to his cap! This year he will launch a new pedagogical YouTube channel called Xploring Light.
February 15 will see its debut with an episode reviewing the yet-to-be-launched in India, Panasonic Lumix S1. Subsequently, one can watch his uploads every day for free. “Education is getting digitised. As the new generation doesn’t have time to read, watching something will keep them stimulated for longer. The advantage of teaching on YouTube is that in addition to visuals, the teacher can speak, thus imparting the information he needs to,” he says.
But with the ocean of free knowledge that Google provides, Oberai fears that it doesn’t always lead one in the right direction. “An amateur wouldn’t know what information to use how and when. Imagine a library and a classroom. Google is the former and education is the later. Only once you’re educated will you know how to make use of that library otherwise you’ll be lost in its aisles,” he says.
Oberai started learning photography after untying himself from corporate shackles. He learnt everything from the basics to advanced photography himself. “I wish there were such educational tours or digital platforms back then. I had to refer to piles and piles of books to learn theory and then apply them on the field practically. Through my tours, however, one can do both seamlessly,” he says.His content will be available in Hindi, English and Punjabi, making him the first individual to offer multi-lingual learning.
To know more about the tours log on to Xploringlight.com