I went out on a hot hot Saturday to fill up some lingering rolls of film. At this Hindu Temple in Chinatown I shot with 3 different camera’s from across the street. As you can see I have horrible orientation with regards to a straight horizon.
What immediately jumps out is the extreme wideness of the Sprocket Rocket, I’m sure I could have included my dirty sneakers if I wanted to. When you put on a 30mm lens on a panoramic camera lens you get a 106 degrees of view. According to Wikipedia the human vision span is 120 degrees and most of that is peripheral vision. So as soon as I’m able to stuff some film in my brain, I’m ready to upgrade. Probably some Kodak Ektar.
Looking at the Holga plus wideangle adapter also gives you a wider view, but a considerable drop off in sharpness everywhere except the very center of the image. I know sharpness isn’t something that is emphasized when shooting with a toy camera with a plastic lens but it something to note.
At lastly there is the Lubitel 2, the only camera with a glass lens out of the three. A much more narrower field of vision and also more sharper result. No drop off in sharpness quality around the edges of the image. Pretty solid.
There you go, a quick and dirty comparison of 3 camera’s.
Thaipusam in Singapore in Video. Shot with my canon 500D. Pictures of this event are herehere and here. There is some skin piercing involved so if you are very sensitive to this, maybe you should skip this video. Right click on the video if you want to see it in 1080 HD on vimeo.
After my review of the Golden Half I realized I hadn’t used it in a while and I threw in some Agfa 400 color film, promptly forgot about that and mistakenly believed it was 100 film and went to Little India to shoot.
When you get of the Farrer Park subway station and head north along Serangoon Road you will come across 2 Indian Temples in close proximity to each other. Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple is the larger of the two and the starting point of the annual Thaipusam ceremonies.
I remember when shooting with the Golden Half that only the center image will be sharp and there will be a sharp dropoff in term of sharpness near the edges. This forced me a bit to center my subjects.
Overall I was happy with the images, it was just a bit frustrating not knowing for sure which images were paired together.
He was preparing when I arrived at the temple. I saw him from the beginning until leaving the temple with hooks pierced through the skin of his back. To me it is interesting to see non-Indians follow this Hindu ceremony.
It was interesting to see how he was almost in a trance-like state. With loud traditional music playing non-stop, and incence smoke all around the temple I fell I was almost in a trance for the time I was there.
The man in the back was shouting loudly in the guy’s ear as part of the preparation of getting his forearms pierced. He later asked the guy if he also wanted to have his chest pierced, but the guy declined.
When all the skewers are inserted and the kavadi is complete, I feel it is almost modern art how the skewers intersect and pierce the flesh.
This young devotee just got his forearms pierced and asked his mom to take a picture for him on his iPhone. That should make for an interesting Facebook status update.
This man was helping a devotee get his kavadi in order and his piercings in place. I found it interesting he was wearing a bluetooth earphone piece. I wonder if he would have taken a call if somebody rang.
“What?, yeah, kinda busy piercing somebody right now”.
“Huh?, yeah piercing his flesh with about 100 skewers”
” Hello? You still there?”
Another helper picking up small pots of milk to pierce into the devotee back and chest. I noticed he was wearing a power bracelet. I guess balance is important when doing a task this sensitive.
Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February).
The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a vel (spear) so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman.
On the day of the festival, devotees will shave their heads and undertake a pilgrimage along a set route while engaging in various acts of devotion, notably carrying various types of kavadi (burdens). At its simplest this may entail carrying a pot of milk, but mortification of the flesh by piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with vel skewers is also common. The greater the pain the more god-earned merit.
The above picture is taken of one of the first devotees I saw and he was the only one I saw that day who didnt have a kavadi with a belt. His heavy contraption was held on his waist by piercing his flesh.
I took a day of work and went to shoot in Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple. There was constant music playing with trance-inducing rythems, hypnotizing horns and incense smoke. I shot 3 rolls of film which I will post once I get these developed. One interesting note was the large amount of expat wives who were present to also photograph this event. I am still puzzled by this.
dip·tych \ˈdip-(ˌ)tik\: a work made up of two matching parts
In the pre-digital era these were created with half frame camera’s. I briefly discussed this before in my golden half review. Not everybody shot in this way, some people would cut the frame in two seperating the two images, but some would compose with a diptich in mind, making sure that the two separate picture arranged together create one stronger image.
Now in the digital era this is done with Photoshop and with that in mind I had a walk around the central business district of Singapore to create diptychs. I am not happy with the results but I had fun thinking of combining two elements and how to frame and arrange. I looked at other diptychs people had created on flickr and I liked the unbalanced aspect. Both images don’t have to be the same size this creates some tension which I enjoy.
I think the next time I go out to shoot diptychs I want to combine elements not so obviously related yet still function together to create one image. A portrait session with the intent of creating diptycs also sounds like a fun challenge.