Back Versions (2)
Modifications (3)
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Ash Covered Naga of the Kumbh

By WeeGeordieLass    
At the Kumbh Mela there were many Naga Sadhus (Holy Men). They were all covered in ash and some were completely naked (I won't be uploading any of those shots!!).

As we passed by this tent there were a crowd of Nagas sitting in a circle smoking marijuana. We stopped to say hello and they were all waving us forward inviting us to sit amongst them and partake. We thanked them but didn't take them up on their kind offer!

This was the most fully and decoratively dressed Naga, and I think he may have been in a position of authority judging by the way he seemed to be directing the proceedings.

I've uploaded a series of shots I took of this guy that I like and I'd appreciate any opinions of which image, in terms of composition, is the best one.

Thanks for looking and I hope you like this series.

Elaine Grin

Tags: General Landscape and travel Portraits and people

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


pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2022 United Kingdom
10 May 2013 5:03PM
V1 is my favourite, Elaine, because the Holy Man is animated, and looks as if he is talking to someone. His placement in the frame is good, but what a pity he had those decorative panels behind him. However, they do add to the atmosphere, and the colours are very nice. There are a few fingers intruding into the frame bottom left.
V2 is my second favourite, although a little more of his knee would be ideal. He looks to be in a slightly meditative state, but is more static here. Maybe he's in prayer.
Not sure why, but I'm not keen on V3. I think it may be because his expression isn't very appealing. The detail of his head-dress makes this one a bit interesting for me, though....are they walnut shells or something like that?

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banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3890 Canada
10 May 2013 5:06PM
All of these are really good Elaine. It must be so spectacular to actually be there, immersed in that moment.

I do like V1 best, it shows a good expression, lots of detail, and I like the gesture.

V3 too, nice close up.

I did a mod on V1, - essentially more contrast, and I would remove two things; the fingers at the bottom left, and that wire dangling down above his head, to the left. Its just a little more vivid, - I did de saturate those marigolds, and cloned in some new ones where theyre blown out. All the other colours as is.

Im off to see what I can do with V3.


10 May 2013 6:26PM
Hi Pamela,

V1 is my favorite too. I don't mind the panel behind him too much. Thanks for spotting the fingers...........I hadn't noticed them until I'd uploaded the image!

His head dress is made of Rudraksha beads, the seeds from the Rudraksha tree. The beads are often used to make mala necklaces (Hindu prayer beads).

Thanks for letting me know your thoughts.


Elaine Grin
10 May 2013 6:31PM
Hi Willie,

Thanks for the mods. The V3 mod is great - lot's of impact. I think it's a good idea to clone out the fingers and that wire too as you have in the mod of V1.

I'd love to visit the Kumbh again...........will have to wait for 12 years though!!

Thanks for letting me know your opinions on the versions and also the mods.


Elaine Grin
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
12 May 2013 5:49PM
I'm glad I worked back to this one. V1 stands out - as much for the strength of the pose as for for the limited palette - ochre and ash complement each other very nicely.
I think I might try a square crop, to capitalise on the L-shape of head and arm. To me it would be stronger, more dynamic. Will give it a go.
14 May 2013 5:20PM
Hi Moira,

The square crop looks good. It really does give prominence to the outstretched arm. I like it.


Elaine Grin

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