What’s The Open Image all about?

Girish Menon at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Girish Menon at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Uncle Philip gifted me a Canon AE-1P camera on my birthday.

I immediately loaded the camera and started clicking anything and everything in sight. But when the photos were developed they were either too bright or too dark or out of focus.

That’s when I realised that I needed to take a course in photography to learn the basic skills of taking good pictures.

I enrolled for a photography class where we didn’t have any practical sessions until the 7th class. And there too all we did was “point and shoot”. On the 8th session, we were given a demo on how to develop our film and print our photos. And that was it!

I had invested time, money and energy and I had learnt almost nothing on how to click good pictures.

So I decided to join a year-long one on one class with a renowned photographer.

During this course, I started clicking good professional pictures, getting them published in various magazines… and getting paid for it!

I then decided to share my new knowledge with budding photo enthusiasts so that they too did not have to go through a similar traumatic experience.

So in 2007, I started teaching photography workshops at various venues in Mumbai. Since then I have had the opportunity to teach photography to over 6,000 individuals between the ages of 8 and 85. Please see www.girishmenon.com to know about the courses that I offer.

I was the visiting faculty for photography at SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai, where I taught “Lighting and digital photography” to first and second year BSc. Home Science students for three years.

I have facilitated photography workshops and seminars at schools and colleges such as American School of Bombay, VIBGYOR (Mumbai and Pune), Witty International School, Bishop’s School Pune, IIT of Bombay and Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, S.M. Shetty College and Anna Leela College in Mumbai, and for organisations such as ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and NABARD.

I have dreamed of making wildlife-related audiovisuals since 2010. But I thought I wasn’t ready, or at least that I must sharpen my skills before takeoff. So I took a creative writing class. And then another creative writing class. And classes on radio jockeying and writing scripts for radio, podcasting, business poise & social finesse, crash courses and workshops on ornithology and wildlife education. Somewhere in between all that I did more creative writing courses.

Still, I never got started.

I purchased a ton of photography equipment that I thought was essential, only to find out that I could have done just as well with what I already had. I continued purchasing more stuff, sometimes importing items from America at twice their retail price.

But still, I never got started.

I’m ecstatic that I launched my Youtube Channel, The Open Image before 2020 came to an end. The year 2020 has changed the way we learn and consume knowledge. It has taught us to appreciate small gifts.