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The Burning Ghats of Varanasi

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According to the Hindu belief, dying and getting burnt in Varanasi offers the opportunity that you can reach moksha. This is the state of liberation/escape from the cycle of rebirth and death, loss of egoistic self and union with Brahman. It is the ultimate aim of every Hindu to achieve this state.

The ghats were very busy with cremations as we sailed past. It's not respectful or advisable to take close up shots in this area so I only took shots from a distance.

I've uploaded two views. Any constructive comments are welcome.

Thanks for looking.

Elaine Grin

Brand:NIKON CORPORATION
Camera:Nikon D3100 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:70.0-300.0 mm f/4.0-5.6
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:11 Feb 2013 - 8:50 AM
Focal Length:70mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/4.0
Aperture:f/9.0
Shutter Speed:1/800sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:400
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:No Flash
White Balance:Auto
Title:The Burning Ghats of Varanasi
Username:WeeGeordieLass WeeGeordieLass
Uploaded:11 May 2013 - 2:08 PM
Tags:General, Landscape / travel
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
S_Psharma
S_Psharma  2 India1 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2013 - 2:12 PM

Superb image. I like v2.

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2339 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
11 May 2013 - 2:19 PM

Thank you Dr Sharma................v2 is my favorite too.

I appreciate your nice comment.

Elaine

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capto
capto e2 Member 21091 forum postscapto vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2013 - 3:56 PM

This is an image I would never expect to see, so a big thank you.Smile

ivor

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10849 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2841 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2013 - 3:58 PM

Another two good shots Elaine. Im enjoying this Indian Journey from here in Toronto.


V1 needs a slight straightening, and with a couple of adjustments the smoke can be made more visible, mod1. Contrast strikes again!


V2 is also nice, but for me, more a tourist like shot, whereas V1 is the gritty real version showing the actual purpose of the place, and it deserves it position as V1.

I understand the issue of respect when taking photographs, however I have seen a number of documentaries on TV that are up close and personal, even so that the dead person can be seen burning, so I have to think that money plays a role in access.



Regards


Willie

Last Modified By banehawi at 11 May 2013 - 4:00 PM

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7420 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom1001 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2013 - 4:32 PM

I've spent a lot of time studying V1, it's an extraordinary image. (As Willie says, V2 is much more the conventional tourist image).
V1 is about a solemn moment. It gives the feel of the scene without intruding - I'm glad you respected the dignity of the participants, I hate to see strangers' lenses poked into private sorrow.
I'm seeing so much life. The goat running down the steps...
Plus those huge piles of logs.
My criticism is that I'd like to see more at the bottom of the frame, the whole of that yellow boat, even if at the cost of less sky for balance at the top. (You had your lens at its shortest focal length.) It looks a bit top-heavy as a composition. Portrait format could have been interesting here.
Moira

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cats_123
cats_123 e2 Member 104018 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2013 - 5:06 PM

Wonderful travel photography. V2 is the - visual effect shot. V1 - my favourite is the mental effect, the one that stays with you for ever. Smile Smile Smile

Wanted to award my UA but disabled, I think.

Last Modified By cats_123 at 11 May 2013 - 5:07 PM

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2339 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
11 May 2013 - 6:23 PM

Hi Everyone,

Ivor - Thanks for your appreciation, it's nice for me to be able to share my memories of India.


Willie - I'm glad you're enjoying my Indian trip from Toronto........I'm certainly enjoying re-living it from Blackpool Smile Thanks for the mods - a little more contrast to be added. I totally agree with you about taking photos in that area. Our guide told us a story about a tourist who was wandering around the pyres one day taking very up-close and personal shots of the burning bodies and the grieving families. One of the mourners, finally snapped, grabbed the offending togger's camera and slung it into the Ganges......that tale was warning enough for me!!. I imagine though, that if the togger had flashed the Rupees, a blind eye would have been turned and he would have come away with some fascinating but macabre images (and also his camera!).

Moira - Yes, it does look a bit chopped off at the bottom. I'm glad you've enjoyed looking at the shot. I agree that although the image is depicting a very sombre scene there's also much life there too. That's exactly how I would describe Varanasi - a city of extreme contrasts.....as a visitor you will see all aspects of life and death played out in scenes in front of your very eyes.

Jeff -
Quote: V1 - my favourite is the mental effect, the one that stays with you for ever. Smile Smile Smile

This is one of the best compliments I've ever had about one of my shots Jeff. Voting is disabled in the CG but it's lovely to know that you would have awarded it to me.

Thanks for taking the time to let me know your thought everyone GrinGrin

Cheers

Elaine

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iancrowson
iancrowson e2 Member 4211 forum postsiancrowson vcard United Kingdom129 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2013 - 8:46 PM

Elaine,
Another cracker, I like these both, can't really add much to above,
regards
Ian

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2339 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
12 May 2013 - 8:55 AM

Thanks Ian Grin

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Mike43
Mike43 e2 Member 3Mike43 vcard England13 Constructive Critique Points
12 May 2013 - 9:51 AM

Very nice informative photo, well done.

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2339 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
14 May 2013 - 5:26 PM

Thanks Michael Grin

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