For people avid of traditions, ceremonies and rituals, Kerala has a lot to offer.
It's through TrekEarth that I first discovered the Kathakali dramatic performance and its colourful characters. I had an instant fascination for these elaborate make-up and costumes and their photographic potential, so it became imperative to visit this region.
As I was gathering further information about Kerala, I've discovered Theyyam rituals, a living cult with several thousand-year-old traditions.
As most Theyyam ceremonies take place during the night, I would wake up at 2h00am and come to the different shrines where they would take place. As it is a religious ritual, it isn't touristic and I was the only foreigner among local worshipers, which would contribute to the feeling of being out of place, but also to the magic and euphoria.
These ceremonies aren't announced or publicized, so you have to get in contact with specific people to be able to assist to a Theyyam, and some are more secret than others.
These ceremonies are held at a specific period of the year, so you have to be there when it happens.
More theyyam photos here, here and here.
In workshop, a different view of the same performer.
Critiques | Translate
luckys (124) 2012-07-21 2:28
Hello Andre.Nice to meet yuo. The excellent shot!!!Colors,light are remarkable. Very picturesque face and scene.Well done.All the best.Ilmira from Russia/
mirosu (16129) 2012-07-21 2:55
A great use of light and colors. A well presented crop allows eyes to remain fixed on the face masque. This is a really a good example of art photography.
ourania (45022) 2012-07-21 2:56
this photo is so suggestive and captivating, the atmosphere of the ritual captured with exquisite sharpness, remarkable lighting and colours. There's a fantastic interaction between light and shadows all over the frame, the details and the expression of the character portrayed are most intriguing and fascinating. I had never heard of this ritual before and this was an opportunity to see and marvel at your previous relevant postings as well. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely weekend,
Bluejeans (64251) 2012-07-21 3:50
Ola Andre ,
Que bela cena neste ritual de cores e luz , fantásticos detalhes, parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
madhumita_roy86 (2344) 2012-07-21 12:31
excellent sharpness...good POV..
vibrant colours..great play with colours & light..
awesome composition..brilliant shot..
adidas5nb (5743) 2012-07-21 21:11
JUST LOVE THE DRAMA IN THE FRAME. AMAZINGLY SHARP PICTURE,AND BEAUTIFUL USE OF LIGHT AND SHADOW.
jjcordier (79297) 2012-07-21 23:00
Tu as réussi une fantastique série de portraits lors de cette cérémonie rituelle. Cette photo en est un nouvel exemple. On est fasciné par le sujet et la fantastique lumière qui semble émaner de lui. Les couleurs sont splendides. J'espère que où tu habites maintenant tu as pu réaliser des expos pour faire profiter les gens de tes splendides photos!
sevy (58) 2012-07-21 23:44
Une sacré série de photo que tu nous as ramenée sur ce sujet. Je me rappelle parfaitement tes posts précédents et notamment ce portrait serré orange et 'diabolique' qui aurait fait une belle couverture sur un National Geographic.
Une belle lumière ici pour nous faire entrer dans l'intimité de la cérémonie. J'ai une préférence pour le point de vue de celle que tu as mise en WS, mais une préférence pour la lumière de celle-ci.
Comme tu l'as écrit dans ta note, tu as assisté à un moment magique. Quand même, ce n'est pas donné à tout le monde de participer au tournage d'Indiana Jones et le Temple Maudit (oui, je sais, je regarde trop de films :-)
tyro (24682) 2012-07-22 12:18
A very interesting note indeed about the Kathakali performances. It also shows considerable dedication on your part too to become involved in these performances and be able to capture some wonderful images there.
This is a brilliantly colourful scene, no doubt largely due to the fact the the lighting is from burning torches rather than more normal artificial light. The composition is excellent, the massive headdress of the performer dominating the picture but also with a good interaction between the two performers themselves. Rxcellent sharpness and perfect exposure in very difficult circumstances.
wolf38 (31296) 2012-07-23 1:35
Hello Andre. Truly a powerful photo with excellent colors and light. Technically perfect. Over a decade of I was in the same area and have seen the Kathakali performances. Overall, well seen and perfectly presented. Rgds, Wolfgang.
Suppiluliuma (3913) 2012-07-23 8:27
Fabulous opportunity, all your efforts seemed to have paid off nicely. The models are striking, and their gestures full of concentration.
wWll done !
andrzej_nitecki (129) 2012-07-23 10:27
Fajne nastrojowe zdjêcie. Fajne kolory i ciekawe ekspresyjne ujêcie.
jemaflor (96795) 2012-07-25 4:21
Très belle réalisation avec une lumière magnifique qui valorise la vue, bonne map également, très réussi.
tatadalou (7459) 2012-07-31 16:21
You have beautifully captured the atmosphere of the ceremony, the light is well managed and sharpnessis excellent. In short, despite the darkness, you have made a beautiful shot! The costume is awesome!
Thank you for sharing with us this special moment,
i9l2y1m8a8t3 (4814) 2012-08-07 0:09
What a gigantic headdress! Love the lighting in here and the perfect exposition of the subject which gives your viewers a detailed image with clear sharp textures and definition. Well composed image, the important thing is, that it was accompanied with a sufficient note, which highly informative-thing that I really liked in TE. Bravo and TFS!
P.S.- thank you for your kind words! It's such an honor to be on your "favorite list" your gallery is simply impressive and inspiring as well! Oh, and the link you've sent is highly appreciated! Wish I could be or better than that guy had I pursued this as a profession. Thanks! See you around!
- Copyright: Andre Roberge (InasiaJones) (31566)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2009-02-15
- Categories: Ceremony
- Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM
- Exposure: f/4.5, 1/60 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2012-07-21 2:12