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Ganga Morning Ritual

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We went down to the bathing ghats early to watch the morning rituals at Varanasi. I was amazed at how many devotees had gathered so early in the morning to perform their puja in the Ganges.

It was very atmospheric and emotional and the sights and sounds were incredible.

I wanted to try and convey the atmosphere. I've cropped the image and have uploaded the original for comparison.

Any ideas on how I could improve this scene would be much appreciated. Also should I reduce the saturation a bit? I didn't realise how saturated it looked until I uploaded it here.

Thanks

Elaine Grin

Brand:NIKON CORPORATION
Camera:Nikon D3100 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:12 Feb 2013 - 2:05 AM
Focal Length:18mm
Aperture:f/3.5
Shutter Speed:1/15sec
ISO:400
Exposure Mode:Not Defined
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:Auto, Fired, Return detected
White Balance:Auto
Title:Ganga Morning Ritual
Username:WeeGeordieLass WeeGeordieLass
Uploaded:25 Apr 2013 - 1:22 PM
Tags:Landscape / travel, Photo journalism, Portraits / people
VS Mode Rating 98 (28.57% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10979 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2981 Constructive Critique Points
25 Apr 2013 - 2:29 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Im amazed you captured this so well at this shutter speed. Its a fantastic scene that really captures the riot of colours and people that assemble on the river bank.


I have to say I prefer the original shot, simply as it, for me anyway, captures the mood beter than the closer crop, which is focused on the man.

The crop also has lost something in shadows, and has a look of having been processed, - again, this is to my eyes.


I would work on the original, - theres just so much there. There would usually be feedback for this type of scene, in another place, that would say its too busy, it needs a tighter crop, but busy is what you need here, as busy is in fact the subject.


I have uploaded a mod, using exactly the same approach as yesterdays mod. It likely the light or perhaps some mist that has prevented the darker tones from being captured as rich darks, rather than weak greys, and its only in post processing you can make the best on this.

I will also upload a before and after histogram so you can better understand what Im getting at when I talk about blacks.


Lovely intimate and very Indian scene.



regards



Willie

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 8520 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom1088 Constructive Critique Points
25 Apr 2013 - 2:51 PM

Willie's Mod of your original frame is better than I could manage, so I won't download this - but I have to say that I also like your cropped V1, it works differently.
The full frame is a case of 'all human life is here'. So many people, so many activities, all crammed into a small area. It's an intriguing composition - you have a falling diagonal of people and umbrellas leading down to the water, an arrow shape of boats pointing towards the land. So much to take in.
Your crop focuses attention on a very private, intense moment, the crowd somehow moves further into the background.
As I said, two pictures that work on the viewer in different ways.
Moira

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iancrowson
iancrowson e2 Member 4211 forum postsiancrowson vcard United Kingdom129 Constructive Critique Points
25 Apr 2013 - 10:44 PM

As Willie says a fantastic scene. I much prefer V2, the whole image, just an amazing capture of the locals doing their thing. There is even what looks like a man selling stuff whilst standing in the river. The image has a very attractive look of a painted picture, i guess something to do with the light, your processing and it not maybe being pin sharp.
The man in his trunks looks very 21st C whilst the women fully clothed in traditional gear look timeless. Very interesting image and for me by far the best capture you have shown us so far from this India series.
I'm going to try a mod with just a slight crop if I can capture the full image.
Great one,
Ian

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 3385 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
26 Apr 2013 - 2:37 PM

Hi Willie,

I'm really glad I uploaded the original as, if I hadn't, I'd have missed out on a great learning opportunity.

The pics of the histograms were so helpful and I've played around with the two images in my Elements 10 and ACR programmes and feel I understand more now..........thank you so much for for the mods.

I've got a lot of chaotic scenes in my Indian shots and I did wonder if this one was too busy. I'm glad it works as an evocative image as being there to witness this scene was one of my favorite moments on my trip.

Thanks very much for all your help again.

Cheers

Elaine Grin

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 3385 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
26 Apr 2013 - 2:46 PM

Hi Moira,

Thanks for your detailed analysis of both shots - it's very interesting and helpful to learn how others see your images. You often point out aspects and attributes in the composition and general mood that I haven't appreciated and I find it very helpful.

Cheers

Elaine Grin

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 3385 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
26 Apr 2013 - 2:49 PM

Hi Stu8,

Thanks for taking the time to upload your mod showing me more ideas for the processing of the colors and tones.

Cheers

Elaine Grin

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 3385 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
26 Apr 2013 - 3:04 PM

Hi Ian,

Thanks for the mod showing how the image could be cropped differently.

I appreciate your great comments - it's very encouraging for me. I'm really glad you like the shot.

Cheers

Elaine Grin

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paulbroad
paulbroad  789 forum posts United Kingdom879 Constructive Critique Points
27 Apr 2013 - 7:45 AM

A really interesting image but your tonal range is very compressed giving a flat muddy image. Not sure what you are doing i processing, but in most images there should be a good dense black and a white, with a full range of colour between. You are compressing things somehow?

Interestingly, the full uncropped image has a far better tonal range. I prefer the un-cropped version by the way.

Paul

Last Modified By paulbroad at 27 Apr 2013 - 7:46 AM

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