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  • Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

    I always dreamed of going to the annual Thaipusam Festival in Batu Caves, Malaysia. But many things pop out the last minute: work commitment or away from the city. TODAY, I've finally did it! I woke up 4:45 a.m., boarded the earliest possible train to Batu Caves. Call me a kiasu...but I was excited. Best of all? In conjunction with Thaipusam 2013 celebrations, KTM Komuter services for all lines will operate 24 hours service from 25 January 2013 to Monday 28 January 2013. You can now travel to Batu Caves any time!

    Check out the commuter train schedule HERE.

    It was one of the BEST experiences in my life - the deafening drum beating, the kavadi bearers the are lulled into a trance-like state by the beats, the colours, and of course the amazing food. 7 hours in Batu Caves today....the longest time I've spent for street photography.

    Here are some of the shots FRESH from my camera. Feel free to comment and critique.

    Photo 1: Blessed



    About: Couples who have been blessed with children over the past year will carry their babies in saffron slings suspended from sugarcane stalks. In this picture, a baby in the saffron was awoken by the crowd.

    Photo Technical Details:
    SHUTTER SPEED: 1/2000 s
    ISO: 400
    F-STOP: f/7.1
    FOCAL LENGTH: 62mm
    CAMERA: Nikon D3200

    Photo 2: The Sugar Cane Kavadi



    About: Husband and wife "If we were blessed with a baby within a year of our marriage, we would bring the baby to Lord Murugan on a sugar cane kavadi to seek his blessings".

    Photo Technical Details:
    SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1600 s
    ISO: 400
    F-STOP: f/6.3
    FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm
    CAMERA: Nikon D3200

    Photo 3: Cleanse



    About: During the Thaipusam festival, devotees hair is sacrifice to Lord Murugan.

    Photo Technical Details:
    SHUTTER SPEED: 1/100 s
    ISO: 3200
    F-STOP: f/5.6
    FOCAL LENGTH: 98mm
    CAMERA: Nikon D3200

    Photo 4: Clean shaven



    About: Clean-shaven heads is a symbol of humility and atonement. Later the devotee's head will be smeared with sandalwood paste.

    Photo Technical Details:
    SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s
    ISO: 3200
    F-STOP: f/5.3
    FOCAL LENGTH: 70mm
    CAMERA: Nikon D3200

    Stay tuned for more!
    Last edited by myphotoblog; 28-01-2013, 12:53 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

    Nice Series!! Post more photos.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

      Nice... Nice. The narration/story telling is Superb.

      Thumbs up from me.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

        Superb !!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

          Thanks peeps for looking and leaving your comments. Sharing more shots here

          Photo 5 & 6: Devotees (Young and Old)


          About: Believe it or not...The Batu Caves Temple Committee is expecting a sea of people, a WHOOPING 1.7 million local and foreign peeps! Despite the massive crowd, everything seems to be nicely organized - from security, flow of crowd and of course free flow of drinks. My only complain is the newly refurbished public toilet. Expensive (RM0.50 per entry) and should I say 'dirty' - not clean on schedule.

          The little boy in Picture 6 caught my attention. By midday, it was scorching hot here in Batu Caves. You need to climb the 272 steps that leads up to the temple. That kiddo in the picture was almost reluctant to complete the last few remaining steps - he preferred to crawl. But father grab his right arm and persuaded him to carry on.

          Picture 7 & 8: The people around you


          About: Being there in Batu Caves...it's not all about pointing my camera and shot and all the way. Along the way, I was able to met some new photog friends and had some fantastic chat with parents and workers. "Take a moment to get to know them, make conversation, build rapport and trust"...hehe that quotable quote portion was taken from a famous photog

          More pictures to come....

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

            these are the best series i have seen so far. Like them all.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

              An eye catching series! I enjoy the short but informative write up which to me adds 'life' to the photos. Very impressive work.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

                Keep them coming.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

                  Good afternoon and thank you peeps for dropping your C&Cs!

                  I really appreciate your kind words and support

                  Picture 9 & 10: The kavadi bearers



                  About: A single green lime may not weigh much, but when the metal hooks are connected to more than 50 limes down a devotee’s back, the feat involved an amazing wealth of devotion and tolerance!

                  Picture 11 - 12: Emotions


                  About: Kavadi literally means burden. The burden however can take many forms. A kavadi can be something as simple as pot of milk carried on the head to be given as an offering to Lord Murugan - Hindu God of War and Victory, but in some extreme acts of piety, followers will pierce their faces and bodies with hooks and spears. In Picture 12, two kavadi bearers seem to be 'battling' one another in a trance-like moves. They are guided by the drum beats at the head of the procession, oblivious to everything except the next step. The musical troupe urumee melam (Tamil: உறுமி மேள) plays an important element in the Thaipusam festival as it gives the kavadi bearers the energy derived from the musical beats. The kavadi bearers are lulled into a trance-like state by the beats.

                  Picture 13 - 14: More kavadi bearers


                  About: Often Hindu devotees carry brass jug of milk on their heads as a show of devotion and love to the God Lord Murugan – this is called a Pal Kavadi.
                  Last edited by myphotoblog; 28-01-2013, 01:54 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

                    The first photo is VERY nice. Good attention to details.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

                      Wow.... nice series!! what a great description of the whole celebration!! Very impressive!!
                      I once witnessed the piercing process and I was fascinated and it was totally an eye-opener!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

                        Picture 15: Meet the photographers



                        About: Some photogs waiting patiently for the 'IT MOMENT'. Did you notice the man carrying a wooden chair? It's a tough mission to carry the heavy Kavadi for kilometers towards the top of temple.The stools or chairs are for the kavadi bearers to sit whenever they stop to rest.

                        Photo Technical Details:
                        SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1000 s
                        ISO: 400
                        F-STOP: f/4.5
                        FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm
                        CAMERA: Nikon D3200

                        Picture 16: Up, close



                        About: It was a windy day at Batu Caves

                        Photo Technical Details:
                        SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1250 s
                        ISO: 400
                        F-STOP: f/5.6
                        FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm
                        CAMERA: Nikon D3200

                        Picture 17: The drum beat



                        About: Musical troupe known as Urumee Melam beating the drums raising the spirit of Kavadi bearers. Thunderous and infectious drum beat - it was lively and mesmerizing.

                        Photo Technical Details:
                        SHUTTER SPEED: 1/250 s
                        ISO: 3200
                        F-STOP: f/5.6
                        FOCAL LENGTH: 85mm
                        CAMERA: Nikon D3200

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

                          Picture 18: A long queue



                          About: Upon entering the caves, there were already hundreds of devotees queuing up, ready to offer milk, fruits and floral that they have carried to Lord Muruga.

                          Photo Technical Details:
                          SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s
                          ISO: 3200
                          F-STOP: f/3.5
                          FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm
                          CAMERA: Nikon D3200

                          Picture 19: Family devotion



                          About: A family fulfilled their vows by carrying pots of milk AKA Pal Kudam. The twins caught my attention

                          Photo Technical Details:
                          SHUTTER SPEED: 1/40 s
                          ISO: 3200
                          F-STOP: f/4
                          FOCAL LENGTH: 26mm
                          CAMERA: Nikon D3200

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

                            Picture 20 & 21: Love, Togetherness & Devotion



                            About: When I arrived at Batu Caves, I discovered that most devotees of Lord Murugan wore yellow or orange color. Orange is also a colour of renunciation, and is worn by those whose pilgrimage is a temporary path of asceticism. In this picture, a young kiddo was carried to the top of the temple. [Right] A faithful devotee on his way to the caves.

                            Picture 22: Street vendor



                            About: A carnival atmosphere prevails as vendors selling food, drinks and a myriad of other small items like trinkets, amulets, gemstones.

                            Photo Technical Details:
                            SHUTTER SPEED: 1/200 s
                            ISO: 3200
                            F-STOP: f/4.2
                            FOCAL LENGTH: 34mm
                            CAMERA: Nikon D3200

                            Picture 23: The entourage



                            About: It was a scorching hot afternoon with the sun blazing unforgivingly on everyone. The harsh weather failed to deter the pilgrims from from fulfilling their vows.

                            Photo Technical Details:
                            SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1000 s
                            ISO: 400
                            F-STOP: f/4.8
                            FOCAL LENGTH: 45mm
                            CAMERA: Nikon D3200
                            Last edited by myphotoblog; 02-03-2013, 09:27 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Batu Caves's Thaipusam The Ultimate Sensory Experience (2013)

                              great work seriously, and all this using D3200?

                              Comment

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