The Ganga Aarti (Aarti is a Hindu ritual of worship in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities. Aartis also refer to the songs sung in praise of the deity, when offering of lamps is being offered) at Dasaswamedh ghat, close to Kashi Vishwanath Temple, is one of the prime attractions of Benaras (Varanasi). It starts just after sunset, with a group of young men dressed in Benarasi silk robes and saffron patta-bastra enacting synchronised mudras choreographing to the chantings, holding, incense sticks and lamps, beside the holy River Ganga (Ganges).
I understood that, pooled from Hindu gurukul institutions in Varanasi these young men (disciples) have been imparted the Nidhi s motto to preserve the purity, sanctity, and divinity of Ganga, its ghats and Kanshi (Benaras), the oldest religious place in the world besides Jerusalem. The choreography is excellent and worth seeing. But to me it also feels artificial in a devotional context. But the ceremony is definitely worth watching!
If you want an unobstructed view of the ceremony, there are two options. I tried both of them (on two different days) –
a) Be early and get a ringside seat. This I did the first evening & this picture is from that day.
b) The other option is to hire a boat and witness the aarti from mid-river, as I did the second day. But the problem then is, you need to have long lenses and very very steady hands as setting up a tripod on a swirling boat is never an easy task.
In either case I had to jack up the ISO to 1600.
Not much post processing here, some contrast & sharpening before resizing!
Critiques | Translate
papagolf21 (91306) 2012-02-21 0:58
Bonjour, cher ami Angshu,
Encore une photo qui éblouit le spectateur par son sujet et par sa réalisation très réussie.
J'aime beaucoup l'ambiance générale dégagée par cette composition.
mrichat (1727) 2012-02-21 1:03
very dramatic angshu da,perfect timing,very well composed.
yquem46 (38750) 2012-02-21 1:15
Worth watching !!!? Gosh, you bet ! I've attended the Aarti each evening when I was in Varanasi, without missing a single one. I know this guy, he's the musician and I was moved down to the bones when he was singing
A good shot Angshu, especially given the difficult light conditions
have a nice day
ChrisJ (105359) 2012-02-21 2:18
A good upward pov from a low shooting angle with excellent sharpness & graphism. Well managed lighting in this difficult looking nocturnal shot. Good tonal range & natural looking colors. I'd clone out the white object top left. Tfs!
LOOOK13 (19046) 2012-02-21 2:34
Very nice scene.A very good atmospher with a beautiful colors.
BennyV (14689) 2012-02-21 3:50
Hello dear Angshu
Well balanced picture, with perfect use of the artificial light provided.
jhm (145040) 2012-02-21 4:03
This is very well done, truly a wonderful picture with a high quality value.
Nice enlightenment about the portrait of the man.
Excellent composition, nice presentation too. TFS.
sacimar (26205) 2012-02-21 5:55
good image and note of this ritual, I like the image, the light management is excellent, the picture mood is also interesting, well done,
Sergiom (68502) 2012-02-21 6:11
Une image très bien construite. Le cadrage est excellent ainsi que la gestion de la lumière difficile. Le moment est parfaitement gelé.
subhendu_bagchi (25975) 2012-02-21 7:01
another great shot in this 'Devotional Choreography' theme. Though I loved the previous one. That is the best. It is also very good and I have to say you managed the tough light really well and composed it superbly using this low POV. Very good tonal quality and acceptable sharpness. An excellent catch no doubt. Thanks for sharing.
holmertz (45889) 2012-02-21 7:07
The light details in the darkness are superbly captured. The light and shadows on the man look like they are painted. The low POV, capturing the smoke above, helps to give the view a spectacular atmosphere.
mesutilgim (89654) 2012-02-21 8:59
Very nice capture under hard ligth conditions.
Nice framing and interesting notes.
TFS and best regards
patdeph (35748) 2012-02-21 9:47
I have liked this Aarti very much, I came there 3 times.I know how it's difficult to get a good picture there, and you did it superbly.The golden colors in the night are superb!
Bluejeans (64249) 2012-02-21 10:23
Ola amigo Angshuman ,
Belo momento neste ritual Hindu com este homem nesta atmosfera de fumos , belos detalhes , parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
dkmurphys (53435) 2012-02-21 10:44
Spectacular night scene. Love the presentation and the wonderful captured moment. Well done, have a lovely day.
pierrefonds (60948) 2012-02-21 10:47
You have captured well the action of the young man doing the offering. The point of view is showing the details and colors of the action and of the participant. The subject is well framed. Using an ISO of 1600 has a special effect on the colors. Have a nice day.
adores (41548) 2012-02-21 17:46
Another good one to your series! The pov is very good and the light also - you have selected the ISO well! I like the atmosphere of the ritual!
aliabazari (16067) 2012-02-21 21:07
Hi Angshuman ...
Warm colors and excellent composition and very beautiful.
Graal (100466) 2012-02-22 0:14
an interesting scene, good shot. Image well composed. Fine POV and warm colours. An interesting informations also. Well quality at ISO 1600.
Have a nice day.
delpeoples (55194) 2012-02-22 4:41
Namaskar dear Angshu
Wow there's a remarkable lack of noise here despite the high ISO. And the image is quite sharp especially considering that you took this hand-held (and if I read correctly) from a boat! The ritual is fascinating, as is your note. And I think you achieved an original yet clear POV which shares with us the emotion and atmosphere of this intriguing moment in time.
Thanks for sharing
TopGeo (38216) 2012-02-22 5:13
Hello Angshu! Very, very impressive photo, very atmospheric, with a beautiful feeling! Technically ! Great composition and framing, outstanding light management, wonderful colours! Top quality photo! Congratulations!
angel66 (1006) 2012-02-22 7:31
very interesting photo. Nice management of light (night shots are not easy!) Good POV.
I also like how this image catches you. At first you really need to look into it and straight after read the note for help..what is he doing? Once understood it you wish to be there to watch and listen to him. Well done TFS
pajaran (55507) 2012-02-22 7:46
Vrlo interesantan i dobar tekst o mestu i trenutku ...
Dobar nocni snimak i prikaz, lepe boje.
Dobar rad i kompozicija, moje cestitke na ulovljenom trenutku.
Sve najbolje sa lepim secanjem na dogadjaj i 2009. godinu.
Very interesting and good article on the place and time ...
Good night shot and view, beautiful colors.
Good work and composition, my congratulations for the captured moment.
All the best with a nice memory of the event and 2009. year.
kordinator (20229) 2012-02-22 8:02
Nice Hindu ritual described in the text.
Excellent composition, see ISO sensitivity increased, I often I do it with the pictures at night, which I like a lot.
Perfectly capturing the movement and effects.
Really beautiful work.
Best regards my friend
vasilpro (41161) 2012-02-22 9:04
Wonderful scene from a low POV with an interesting theme, lovely light and colors, very good sharpness and clarity, TfS!
Warm regards, Vasilis.
Fis2 (90705) 2012-02-22 9:20
A very unteresting scene.
Good frame and light.
I like colours.
Photo has climate.
mkamionka (32807) 2012-02-22 14:10
amazing capture. Very interesting ritual. The man seems to be very focused on what he is doing. Great POV with the man and the fire nicely distributed in the frame. The dark background adds a further element of mystery.
Very well done,
ciakgiak (30423) 2012-02-22 14:58
It's incredibile how you were able to shot in these conditions of light.
The scene it's very interesting and pleasant, and at 1600 iso the result it's very good.
The colors and the light are excellent, the sharp it's perfect.
Congratulations and TFS
Didi (59144) 2012-02-22 17:10
Very interesting scene in black hour vith a very good management of the lights
You had a very good position.
nikkitta (17018) 2012-02-22 18:28
Great capture and very, very interesting and informative note
The light is perfect and gives lots of contrast ( orange and black)
Like the fire and smoke so well captured
Great scene, hope to return there to do what you tell , seat and listen him singing
Greetings and TFS
Nicou (131250) 2012-02-23 0:54
Il manque que le son superbe captage et compo mangigique image de ce joueur de batterie avec ces tons et la fumée et la flamme quelle captage grandisoe.
Bravo et amitié
josepmarin (58001) 2012-02-24 4:42
Namaste, my friend Angshuman,
this photo is a magnificent lesson about how to take a night photo of elements in action, and to reach an image with a high chromatic quality and a great sharpness in spite of the difficulties.
The scene is intimist, dynamics, and very rich graphically, and undoubtedly the configuration of ISO 1600 allowed you to work with 1/100 sec., which was a guarantee of success in the capture.
It is a great photo, and we can learn a lot of this good work.
PS: thank you very much for your nice words about my third grandson.
Afsanehbagheri (3228) 2012-02-24 6:26
سلام دوست من
bukitgolfb301 (37982) 2012-02-24 16:37
Hi NAMASTE my dear Angshuman
Sorry for my late reply, as I get a light pneumonia due to much fatigue, now getting well.
Another great solemn mysterious shot coming!
Very tasteful atmosohere you catch and convey under the severe condition. Perfect framework and so well considered composition! Thanks for your sharinig with finest work and have a good Saturday!
Takero from still cold rainy Tokyo
emka (87392) 2012-02-24 23:29
Hi dear Angshuman,
Another photo from this wonderful aarti ceremony. It seems that this man is always present there. I have him also on my photos. Funny that he wears modern watch. I think it is better to come earluy and then to sit with locals :) and to see the ceremony with all the boats in the background. besudes, in this way you can move and make shots from different POVs. beautiful close up.
PS. When do you go to Thailand?
Ricx (13495) 2012-02-25 23:21
Hi Angshu, you have caught this ceremenoy at night with exceptional quality.. excellent detail and lighting. the note is fascinating.. well posted my friend. Ric
nobuikehonda (3848) 2012-02-27 7:36
Hello Dear Angshuman-san!
A beautifully photographed night scene, the gentleman who manipulates the fire stands out from the darkness of the moment. The fire is captured as if it has its own life. I love how the gentleman occupies the lower right hand corner and how he anchors the entire image. One of the impressions, which is always present in your photographs, is the quality of the images and your commitment to it. Your true dedication to produce this visual quality impresses me very much. The overall quality of the image is first rate; the moment presented to us
is a true pleasure to encounter.
With my very best and kind regards,
Have a wonderful Monday evening, Angshuman-san
batalay (37185) 2012-02-27 16:15
Hello Mr. B,
Among your collection, it is such interior shots that I like the most, with golds, reds, black (and where possible smoke from burning incense). Beautifully composed, and perfectly exposed shot.
- Copyright: Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) (56664)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2009-02-19
- Categories: Decisive Moment
- Camera: Canon 400D (Digital Rebel XTi), Canon 18 - 55mm / f 3.5 - 5.6, RAW
- Exposure: f/4.5, 1/100 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Travelogue: Benaras - A Photographic Lesson
- Date Submitted: 2012-02-21 0:36