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The rituals in Varanasi

By TOTON2017
This is the evening rituals at ghats of Varanasi...

Tags: Street Religious festival

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mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2227 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2019 2:49PM
Hello again. This takes us into a very intense world, the sort that most in the West have never experienced. So thanks for the insight.

I'm still not sure what sort of critique you want, or what software you have. So here are a few random thoughts.

Firstly the light was obviously low, you were operating on Shutter speed priority (fine by me, and the shutter speed looks OK under the less than ideal circumstance). But you were on maximum aperture and the image is a bit underexposed even for an atmosphere of mystery. I'd have gone for a higher ISO to give a bit more leeway.

You avoided flash, I'm guessing that it might have been frowned on for the ceremony. And it would not have conveyed the solemnity of the ritual nearly so well.

Secondly, you used the full length of your zoom, I would prefer to go a bit wider. We always say - allow space for a figure to walk into. But here, more space for the trailing smoke could be equally effective.

I've uploaded two modifications. For the first I simply added half a stop exposure, darkened on highlights to protect them but then did some dodging and burning. I cloned out those two bright lines bottom left and cropped off the beam at the top.

For the second, I cropped a bit off the right and added some space, sketched in roughly, on the left. I could imaging this working with a landscape frame and the man on the far right, smoke trailing right across the frame behind him. I wonder if you took any other shots?

Please let us know if this is the sort of comment that you are looking for here.

banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4137 Canada
12 Jan 2019 9:56PM
It is a nice shot. Its a solemn and meaningful moment youve captured.

I agree with what Moira has said, and Ive uploaded a mod also.


paulbroad 12 131 1288 United Kingdom
13 Jan 2019 8:41AM
As above, interesting but some work needed. I think there may have been rather better compositions possible to involve the viewer more.

clicknimagine Plus
10 638 100 India
13 Jan 2019 2:00PM
I agree with the comment above there was a lot of possibilites to think about the composition, you could have also tried slower shutter speed if you had any support or you could have used lower focal length to allow you slow shutter speed that could have also given more interesting results...i guess there might be a huge gathering and that might be your reason of using maximum focal length, try to use the crowd in such a way to help your composition, the result will be a great one...

dudler Plus
16 1.2k 1664 England
16 Jan 2019 7:21AM
I really like Moira's second mod.

Low light has caused several problems, I suspect.

First, I wonder if the Shutter priority setting has led to underexposure, as the lens couldn't open up forther? This scene needs to be exposed very carefully, and it's ended up almost right, but not perfect. I wonder, though, if fully automatic would have given overexposure, by a margin, because of the black background. Sorry - this is probably confusing, and the lesson is - check the screen and histogram after the first exposure!

Dim light can also make it tricky to get exposure locked on, and in turn that makes you use the central focus spot - it's then easy to forget to lock focus and recompose. I wonder if you were aware of that problem?

Raising the ISO setting further might have given a little more choice of aperture and shutter speed... and it's a shot that would have been far easier to take with a 50mm lens than with a zoom - instead of struggling with the lens wide open, you could have opened up a stop or two and still ahd light-gathering power in reserve...

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