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Views: 73 (36 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

The Burning Ghats of Varanasi

By WeeGeordieLass    
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

Tags: General Landscape and travel

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


S_Psharma 5 1 India
11 May 2013 2:12PM
Superb image. I like v2.

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11 May 2013 2:19PM
Thank you Dr Sharma................v2 is my favorite too.

I appreciate your nice comment.

capto Plus
6 5.2k 8 United Kingdom
11 May 2013 3:56PM
This is an image I would never expect to see, so a big thank you.Smile

banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3893 Canada
11 May 2013 3:58PM
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.


mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
11 May 2013 4:32PM
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.
cats_123 Plus
14 4.8k 28 Northern Ireland
11 May 2013 5:06PM
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.
11 May 2013 6:23PM
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 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


iancrowson Plus
8 211 146 United Kingdom
11 May 2013 8:46PM
Another cracker, I like these both, can't really add much to above,
12 May 2013 8:55AM
Thanks Ian Grin
Mike43 7 18 21 England
12 May 2013 9:51AM
Very nice informative photo, well done.
14 May 2013 5:26PM
Thanks Michael Grin

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