Back Versions (3)
Modifications (5)
Views: 97 (40 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

Morning Puja on the Ganges

By WeeGeordieLass    
One of my abiding memories of my trip to India will be of the privilege of being allowed to witness and photograph the wonderful ladies performing their morning worship of the rising sun on the River Ganges.

I'm really not confident that I'm processing my images to show these scenes in the best way.

I've uploaded two versions of this shot and also the original shots, and would appreciate any comments on which version you like the best and if you think the processing is ok.

Thanks for looking and helping.



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.


2 Mar 2013 3:50PM
Great capture.

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jonathanbp 10 99 Thailand
2 Mar 2013 3:52PM
The flowing action of the water from the bowl really makes this picture come alive - Jonathan
Ted447 Plus
5 213 1 United Kingdom
2 Mar 2013 3:55PM
Lovely picture very sharp. TedGrinGrin
NDODS 7 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
2 Mar 2013 4:57PM
A wonderfully observed, crafted and presented image with superb colour and bin sharp quality. Image one being the pick of the crop.

Nathan Grin
iancrowson Plus
8 211 146 United Kingdom
2 Mar 2013 5:09PM
Really good capture. I think V3 leads the way. Without your explanation of what she is doing the cropped image does not tell so much of a story. A full view of her standing in the river suggests some sort of ritual. You may prefer V1/2 for your own personal memories or if the showing is accompanied by an explanation or commentary. It certainly shows in good detail the look on the woman's face.
I would crop V3 but leave enough background and river to show her location.
With regards processing something between V1 and V2 would probably do it. V1 looks good especially with the warm morning light but is maybe a little over saturated with orange.
I'll try a mod
Keep them coming,
iancrowson Plus
8 211 146 United Kingdom
2 Mar 2013 5:32PM
I've done a mod where I reduced overall saturation in PS.
This is just a suggestion, it is difficult to get right on my laptop and it is to my taste anyway.
You images of India have tended to be over saturated. This could be down to how you remember the scene, your personal taste or your monitor. If you intend to have big (read expensive) prints made you should consider get say 5 x 7 's first from the same printers and make adjustments after seeing them. Same with home printing.
Settings are ok but ISO400 and 1/500 of second would ultimately have resulted in better image quality. Although 1/1000th has frozen the water movement.
paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2013 9:57AM
V1 and v3 for me. Both very good and sharp. She actually looks either very angry or very afraid, but the effect is thus strong. I would try and stay at ISO400 or below if at all possible. Good though modern gear is at high ISO using the lowest possible value is to be recommended.

However, sharp is better than blurred, so use the ISO that you know will do the job.

3 Mar 2013 11:12AM
Hi Prabhusinha,

Thanks for your nice comment. I've really enjoyed looking through your pf - you have some wonderful shots in there. In particular I loved seeing your shots from the Kumbh brought back some wonderful memories for me of my recent visit to "Incredible India". We visited the Kumbh and it's an experience I'll never forget.

Thanks again,

3 Mar 2013 11:22AM
Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for the's great - I'm learning quickly that I need to tone down the saturation on my shots!

There are some excellent travel photography shots in your pf. I particularly like the mono portraits, and I have some in my India shots that I'd like to try to convert to mono. I hope when I get round to uploading some in the CG you'll let me know your opinion on them.

Thanks for your help.

3 Mar 2013 11:23AM
Hi Ted,

Thanks for taking the time to comment and I'm pleased you like the shot.


3 Mar 2013 11:29AM
Hi Ian,

I'm very grateful for you help and the mods thanks very much.

I think that the over saturation problem is the way I'm processing the images. I'm never sure of how much/or little saturation to use, and never seem to get it right!

Originally I preferred the close-up version but after your advice and seeing your mod I think the version where you see the lady standing in the Ganges is the best one.

Thanks loads more to upload.


3 Mar 2013 11:36AM
Hi Paul,

Thanks for your comments.

I'm glad you like the shots. When I was in India I was often in a quandry over what ISO to use. Often I plumped for ISO 800 as I had on my long lens and remembered the rule about using the ISO which is at least as long as the focal length of the lens you're using. I thought it would be better to get a reasonably sharp shot with a higher ISO than to use a lower one and get home to find my opportunities for good shots had been ruined with camera shake.

I don't think the lady looks either angry or scared......when devotees are performing their worship their minds appeared to me to be in a different "place", and that is what I see when I look at the ladies face.

Thanks for input - it's much appreciated.

3 Mar 2013 11:38AM
Hi Nathan,

Thanks for your nice comments - and taking the time to let me know your opinion.

I hope you're well Nathan.

Take Care

banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3890 Canada
3 Mar 2013 1:57PM
The sht is very good. It does work for me with the close crop, but better as the otiginal. Removing the yellow material also requires the remocal of the yellow reflection.

You post processing for me concentrates on adding contrast and colour, and is a little too harsh. Whats happening, - and also in some mods, is that the magic of the very soft light is being lost. That light, soft and filters through mist, is essential to the originality of the shot. You didnt need ISO 800, but there no visible noise at normal viewing sizes.

There is NO rule about using ISO at least as long as the lens, - thats a myth. The rule is to ensure you use a shutter speed thats 1.5 times the focal length you use. In this case that would be 1/400, allowing you to use ISO 200.

So to enhance the shot, Ive been conservative, working mainly on sharpness, and have uploaded the two versions.

Hope this helps,


3 Mar 2013 5:25PM
Hi Willie,

I'm glad you like the shot. It was amazing to be there!

Thanks for the mods showing how the images look better with less harsh processing................I guess I need to go back to basics with the processing!

Aaah - I didn't realise that it was the focal length and shutter speed one needs to use in calculating the ISO to use.

Thanks for your help Willie


banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3890 Canada
3 Mar 2013 8:43PM
To clarify Elaine, with any focal length, theres a minimum speed you can use for hand holding, and this is with very steady hands!

So, shooting in AE which is most of the time, you half press to see what speed the camera selects; if its too slow, you increase ISO until that speed or higher is achieved.

Using this shot as an example: Focal length is 250mm (Im assuming this is correct). With a Nikon D3100, it has a crop factor of 1.5, so youre minimum speed = focal length X crop factor = 250 X 1.5 = 1/375, or, the next higher available speed, which would be 1/400 likely. So knowing this, and allowing for safety and shooting at 1/500, you would have used ISO 400, rather than ISO 800. Same exposure exactly, less noise.


3 Mar 2013 9:05PM
Thanks for explaining this Willie. It is very helpful to know, and has cleared a little confusion for me.



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