For a couple of friends, love for nature and wildlife led to them forming the Shoot School two and a half years back in the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur. Now the nature enthusiasts have taken their passion a step further by bringing the venture to Kochi.
For Abdul Noushad who started the Shoot School with his friends, travelling and nature trekking has always been a passion. Shoot School was started by Noushad along with N A Nazeer, a trekking enthusiast for over 30 years, and Joseph Lazer. Later, Ajith Aravind, another nature lover joined in.
“The initiative was started a month back. However it was only by early October that it was officially started," says Noushad, who goes on to call the programme his ‘brain child’.
The school offers professional training in digital photography and visual media, also focusing at trekking, conservation and wildlife. Field training for wildlife and fashion photography with photo retouching is also provided. The Shoot School also organises weekday workshops and training programmes for amateurs as well as those looking forward to pursue photography as a profession. The training is mostly completed within one to three months.
Sitting in the Shoot School’s studio at Post Office Road, he recollects, "I have always been interested in travelling and trekking. In fact I got my first manual camera in my 7th standard. Soon I got a digital camera and later I opted for technical, travel and fashion photography as my career.”
Even then, he used to find time for nature during his leisure time and soon the idea of Shoot School was born, a way to live out his passion.
Unbeknownst to many, one of the photographers associated with the initiative starting right from the inception was the late K J Vincent, who had received a number of awards in photography. Among a few of the photographs hanging on the studio of the Shoot School in Kochi stands a particular one captured by the late photographer. States Noushad, “He has contributed a lot to the venture and he definitely deserves mention for his work.”
Though the venture goes by the name of Shoot School, photography comes secondary to the group’s common interest- trekking and bird watching. “Nature camps and trekking are the main highlights.”
A trekking group can have around 20-25 members. Cameras are not compulsory while on the trip. However those interested are allowed to carry them. Some of the destinations is the Mudumalai Sanctuary, Masinakudy and the area around Ooty.
The group also takes small steps in the way of nature conservation. “For instance, we discourage trekkers from bringing plastic water bottles. conservation is one of our top priorities," says Noushad.
The nature lover has few memorable moments to recollect as well. He says, “I even have a person in his sixties from Nilambur coming to our training camps. He started participating in the camps and workshops almost a year back. Soon, he got interested in photography and got a camera. He would frequently ask me for details regarding the latest and high tech digital cameras, later buying the high end one. He has taken pretty good shots too.”
The team has organised around 18 nature camps so far, and mostly gets in touch with nature enthusiasts through its facebook page. Shoot School plans to conduct another one of its nature camps on November. The group now have plans to take Shoot School to Thiruvananthapuram. For more details contact 9447774111 or visit www.facebook.com/shootschoolthrissur.