Karthikai Deepam also known as “My brother owes me money!”

The festivities continue, as I had mentioned in an earlier post. There are very few months when  there is absolutely nothing on the festival calendar in India. Personally, I have always loved it, and its that much more sweeter if it falls on a thursday/friday -leading into a weekend. Karthikai, celebrates the birth of Lord Muruga(one of the sons of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati) and it falls on the full moon day succeeding Diwali. It is a much larger festival in the South of India than the North, and I am no expert in explaining why that is(considering, he is mentioned in the Gita and the Skanda Purana is dedicated to him). As much fun as it would be to explain how a festival came to be, wiki does a better job of that than I can hope to, I have a bigger reason to celebrate. On the day of Karthikai Deepam, it is customary for brothers to give money to their sisters….if my brother is reading this….you owe me, Dude! Somewhere, he is smirking as he reads this and is probably saying “You wish” or “Kiss my A**”!

So much for frivolity, the festival also calls for lighting lamps throughout the house – like we do for diwali. It is almost similar to Diwali in the way it is celebrated. All I can say is, if you missed out on certain photo opportunities during Diwali, this is the time to catch up, redo, or carry out fresh experiments. All of which I did. Hey, I don’t call myself – Photopportunist – for nothing!

I wanted to see if I could capture the swirls and circles that a sparkler makes when you move it around quickly. An added bonus were all the lit oil lamps dotting our balconies in the house. I obviously chose a slow shutter speed of 3 secs for the sparklers, kept my camera on a tripod and used a remote release on this occasion, because I did not want any shake. Of course, I completely forgot that the person wielding the firecracker will be moving at break neck speed. Even if I got that wrong, one pretty cool after effect (which I had not intended to capture) was captured – that of smoke trails from a burnt out sparkler! Sometimes, these little surprises are rather fun! The next time, I photograph sparklers, I will keep an eye out for those beauties. See! Each time I look through my lens, each time I see a capture on a screen – I learn something new! And that makes for a great experience each time, more than just reading about it in some book. I laud myself on a little aspect – which I now find invaluable – that I experiment. I may not post all my experiments, but I experiment a lot. With shutter speed, aperture, long exposures, lenses, filters, composition, crazy ideas ( like taking a picture of bubbles in a bubble top water dispenser which occurs only when you fill water, so try to fill water and set off a camera at the same time, for back lit bubbles – striving for some sort of studio effect! Aaarrggghh! ).

Reminder : Please click on pictures for an enlarged version, sometimes I do write a story or an anecdote to go with it. Please DO NOT reproduce pictures or words from this blog, without prior permission.

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Karthikai Deepam also known as “My brother owes me money!”