Wednesday, 9 May 2012

POV: Swords Are Closer Than They Appear!

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy- All Rights Reserved


I've been asked as to how close (or far) this particularly fierce looking and menacing Oracle devotee was to me whilst I made this photograph. After all, he's wielding a ceremonial sword with a curved tip that seems to threaten my well-bring...and, depending on what lens I am using, could be inches or feet away from where I was.

This is one of the photographs I made during the festival of the Oracles of Kodungallur celebrated at the Bhagawati temple, which was one of the highlights of my Oracles of Kerala Photo Expedition-Workshop this past March. It involved the sacrifice of cocks and shedding of the Oracles own blood, to appease the goddess Kali and her demons who are said to relish blood offerings.

Well, I was inches away from him and was so close that I felt the draft or the swoosh made by the whirling of the sword above his head. My eye was glued to my viewfinder, shooting like crazy...and since I was using my 17-40mm f4.0 lens, set at probably 17mm.... I "saw" him at quite a safe distance.

Though he seemed rather out of it, I think he was still very aware of me...so I don't think I was in any danger despite the proximity.

But the moral of the story is that when one is photographing something like that, shoot with both eyes open! You'd avoid a splitting headache.

For the rest of the Oracles of Kodungallur photo essay, the gallery of stills is here, while the audio-slideshow is here.