PG Diploma in Travel, Nature & Wildlife Photography and Documentary Filmmaking

A first-of-its-kind course

Duration: One year (Not including final portfolio submission)
Next batch starts: September 2022

The advancements in professional photography equipment (the amazing possibilities of digital filmmaking with DSLRs and mirrorless cameras), the giant strides made by social media in marketing and the rapid growth of OTT platforms - today, the way content is produced and consumed is changing drastically, opening up new horizons for the visual communicator. The objective of this pioneering course is to capitalize on these new opportunities.

At the heart of LLA’s ethos is the belief that a still image has a tremendous power to tell a compelling story. For the last 2 decades, the focus at Light & Life Academy has been to create quality professional photography talent. The natural progression is to transfer it to the moving medium – Digital Filmmaking. Add to this, insights on creative communication strategies.We now have a course that will mould a more versatile visual communicator with the necessary knowledge and skills to explore a whole range of career possibilities in the communication industry

The curriculum is comprehensively structured, the schedule densely packed and assumes a very high level of interest and motivation among the students.

Learning is facilitated through a mix of lectures, slideshows, demonstrations, outdoor and studio assignments, critique sessions, workshops, field-trips, guest lectures and seminars, depending on specific modules. At Light & Life Academy, there is no concept of “failing”; Our faculty constantly engages with students, providing inputs that cater specifically to individual learning curves.

The course begins with an in-depth study of the fundamentals involved in creating an image.

Understanding the Camera: Technical aspects, creative possibilities and limitations

Aesthetics of Photography: A study of colour and composition and how it impacts an image

History of Photography: How the process of creating images has evolved over the years and along with it the aesthetics

Natural Light: An in-depth study of natural light and its qualities. The many different ways in which light adds mood and dimension to an image.

Moonlight & Astrophotography: A study of how images can be made in moonlight and how the night sky can be captured through photographs.

Filters: The use of filters & their applications in manipulating images captured by the camera

Post Production Part 1: Essentials of processing RAW files and image editing

Every area of study has its own time-bound assignments with critique and grading. The faculty is available for collective and individual feedback while students are working on their assignments.

This section will give students an in-depth and conceptual understanding of artificial light sources and their applications.

Portable Flash: Exploring the technical and creative possibilities with portable flash.

Post Production Part 2: Image editing, compositing and basics of retouching.

Photojournalism: The role of Photojournalism in today's world. Making feature pictures, spot news, general news, sports, picture stories and essays.

Every topic (above) will be covered through lectures, slideshows, demos, followed by time-bound assignments with critique and grading.

Medium format cameras: Understanding the possibilities and limitations offered by medium format cameras through hands-on experience

Tilt-Shift lenses: Understanding the different movements possible with tilt-shift lenses and its applications in various areas of photography

Aerial & Drone Photography: Learning the techniques of photographing subjects from an aerial point of view

The observation and appreciation of nature is an essential part of the ethos of Light & Life Academy. The belief is that every single image made is knowingly or unknowingly inspired by nature.

Cultivating the habit of observing nature in terms of shape, form, colour, texture and very critically, light - is therefore a very important component of the course.

The lectures will cover Landscapes & seascapes, nature close-ups and macro photography.

There will be time-bound assignments with critique and grading.

Every visual produced by the students will endeavour to communicate something interesting, evocative and memorable to an audience – and the stress will be on “Being creative, but purpose-driven. Whether it is to market a product or cover an event or document a story, understanding how to communicate effectively, is essential.

The course will cover the following topics both in theory and practice:

  • Developing a strong Creative Strategy and working with a well-defined Creative Brief
  • Important Principles and Elements of Design
  • Understanding and working with three kinds of signs, symbols and images: Iconic, Symbolic and Indexical
  • Hands-on Copywriting (Persuasive Writing) & Advertising appeals + Seminar on Brand DNA
These topics will be covered at different stages during the course and will equip students with the essential knowledge of how their images/films will fit into the current landscape of communication. Students will then be able to interpret, conceptualise and communicate ideas through various media/mediums.

Over and above this, a fundamental understanding of how ‘communication’ works will help students talk comfortably to clients in their own language, and therefore, be invaluable in the process of ideation of the brand, service, or cause.

The foremost objective of practicing any visual art form is to fulfill the desire of creative self-expression. This module is designed to realise that objective.

Building on all the previous sections, this module will instill in students an understanding of what it takes to create a fine art image. It will cover different photographic processes and techniques to help create an image that can be exhibited and sold.

An in-depth study of Digital Black & White Photography and how to manipulate it creatively in post-production will be an important part of this module.

There will be emphasis on the process of coming up with themes based on individual areas of interest to put together a cohesive body of work.

Furthermore, students will learn about the process of curating, sequencing, formatting and presentation of images to suit various platforms.

Building on the fundamental concepts of creating an arresting image, this section will guide the students to transfer all that they have learnt so far to the moving medium. Films.

Introduction to the medium of films: With photography as base, an introduction to different formats of filmmaking - narrative, documentaries, short films. Introduction to the concept of Shots, Scene, Sequences The making of a film - from shoot to edit to sound.

Introduction to filmmaking (Direction - Camera - Edit - Sound) Understanding and exploring the role of the Director (the team leader), the DOP, and the role of Editing & Sound.

Technical aspect of Filmmaking

• Filming - Exploring Framing, Lenses, Lighting (natural and artificial), language of shots and camera and movements.
• Editing - Introduction to software, Rushes conversion from raw file to low resolution files, syncing, sorting and creating a project
• Sound - Sound recording on camera and on recorder. Sound design.

Every area of study has its own time-bound assignments with critique and grading. The faculty is available for collective and individual feedback while students are working on their assignments.

Making a film

Exploring the concept of visual narration & storytelling
Pre-Production: Orientation, Scripting, storyboarding, recce, and scheduling
Production: Execution and shooting
Post Production: Editing, sound and final finishing (including titling)

Working on a real project to produce:
a) A short commercial - 30Secs, 60/90Secs (Brand story) : Conceptualization, Shooting style, Edit, Music, Branding using texts and other tools from edit software

b) 5 mins Documentary - Social issue / Travel / Corporate. Identifying the story, research and execution.

These will be group projects with each group making one film. Later, each student will make an individual film as part of the personal portfolio.

1 Travel Photography

Students will learn how to tell the story of a place and its culture and heritage in a visually captivating manner.

Students will learn all aspects of travel photography in-depth. Primary focus of this session will be on how to tell a story of a place based on its unique appeal as a travel destination in a visually captivating manner. It could be nature, culture or heritage or of social significance.

There will be lectures and slideshows, case studies, sessions on how to research a destination, planning and executing a project.

The faculty will work with the students and guide them through the execution of a project. Apart from still images, the students will also make short communication pieces, which can be used as content for social media and other digital platforms.

2 Wildlife Photography

Understanding wildlife behavior and habitat. Learning about the unique challenges faced in doing wildlife photography. Capturing wildlife images using all that has been learnt so far. The importance of conservation and the role of the photographer in this process.

An established wildlife photographer will lead this session. There will be lectures and slide shows. Students will be taken to a Wildlife Sanctuary/National Park for a hands-on experience of wildlife photography.

A major focus of the course is to work on a documentary film project on any topic of choice. The students will work on this project in teams. From deciding on the topic, to researching and identifying the salient features/aspects that should be covered, scripting, storyboarding, planning the shoot, directing, shooting, sound, edit and post-production. Faculty will guide the students through the entire process, at every stage of execution of the project. The duration could be 10 – 20 minutes.

Light & Life Academy believes that it is important for the student to be exposed to inputs of different kinds, beyond their core area of study, which will help broaden their horizons and enrich their journey as artists and communicators.

It could be short workshops or seminars depending on the content of the session and the presenter. Some examples of sessions that have been conducted over the years include : Visual Music. Theatre workshop. Transcreativity. Pottery. Art Appreciation.

At the conclusion of sections A to J, students will be required to put together a body of work that will showcase their knowledge and creativity in the form of a portfolio. This could be used to present their talent to prospective clients to get assignments.

Evaluation is done on a continuous basis, on assignments submitted and tests administered. The students are expected to clear every single assignment/test with a minimum score of 70%.

Light & Life Academy believes that every student can make the grade, and the student is given enough opportunities and assistance from the faculty to achieve the minimum grade for every assignment.

Note:The policy of the Academy is to constantly update the course content. This is based on developments in the field/industry (technical, aesthetic & communication).The course content, schedules and methodology are therefore subject to change even as the course is in progress.

With the explosive growth of the digital medium of communication, as trained professional photographers and digital film makers, students passing out of the Academy will have a variety of career and job opportunities depending on their areas of interest. Broadly, photographers can choose one of two categories – a free-lance career or employment based on individual preference and situation.

Photographers can get assignments in several fields as Photojournalists in publications both print and digital medium. Assignments with independent clients, in the travel and tourism space. Photographers for travel magazines and portals. Assignments with Advertising and Digital Media Agencies as content creators, both still and films. Function Photography. Stock Photography for stock agencies. Editorial and sports photography for publications (print and online). Still photographers for movie production houses.

Production of travel, wildlife and social documentaries. Can seek assignments with producers for the OTT platform. Creating fine art images for exhibition and sale.

Some may want to explore the possibility of teaching at Visual Communication and Mass Communication institutions, even as they pursue their individual passion for photography.

Course Fee

Total : Rs. 5,90,000 + Rs. 30,000(Refundable Security Deposit)

Payable in three installments

Installment 1: Rs. 50,000 Registration fee on confirmation of admission.
Installment 2: Rs. 3,50,000 + Rs. 30,000 (Refundable Security Deposit). Before commencement of course.
Installment 3: Rs. 1,90,000. January 31st, 2023.
GST as applicable will be payable on the fee. Current rate: 18%.

The course fee includes:

• Use of equipment for documentary filmmaking project.
• Transport from Ooty (designated pick up points) to Academy and back on days when the student is required to be on campus for a class/ critique session / demo.
• Lunch, tea / coffee on days when the student is required to be on campus for a class/ critique session / demo.

Additional Expenses to be borne by the students

• Personal equipment as specified by the Academy
• Personal equipment maintenance / repairs / insurance / books / stationery
• Personal expenses on accommodation, food and personal travel, etc.
• Expenses on field trips for the wildlife and travel modules
• Expenses for travel and stay at locations where assignment shots and portfolio shots are to be done
• Expenses involved while working on specialisation projects. On models, stylist, make-up artist/hair stylist, food stylist and other professionals based on the requirements of different areas of study.
• Cost of making archival prints, in case of exhibition on campus or at locations off-campus

Course Duration
1 year

Eligibility Criteria

Admission is open to any graduate (with a minimum of 15 years of formal education), who is over 20 years of age.

In rare cases, exceptions will be made at the discretion of management, for those who have not completed a UG degree, but have substantial work experience.

If you have any queries regarding eligibility call us at +91 7598287370 or write to us at


The course requires candidates to have their own DSLR/Mirrorless camera with lenses ranging from wide to tele, portable flash, tripod, filters, laptop and sundry accessories. A specific equipment list will be provided once the candidate is accepted.


Light and Life Academy does not provide hostel facilities. However, assistance will be provided by the academy in finding appropriate accommodation.

Admission Process

Step 1: Online Application Submission
Step 2: Online Interview with academic staff
Step 3: Personal or Online Interview with Director(s).

The Academy notifies admission status soon after the interviews.

Online Application Process

1: Fill the online application form.
The following documents are needed during the application process. All files uploaded to be under 1 MB.

a. Profile Picture: Digital file of a recent passport size photograph against a plain background (Note: ‘Selfies’ not accepted)
b. Digital copies(PDF/Jpeg) of Educational certificates.
c. Reference letters (Optional).
d. Portfolio: 20 images made by the candidate.

Note: Once the application process has been initiated, the form can be accessed by using the unique URL sent to your email id.

2: Complete online payment of application fee.
Upon payment of Rs.1000/- + GST, the application process is complete.

At the end of this process, you will be informed about the next step within 2 working days.


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