Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Ruben Vicente | Varanasi Ganga Aarti



Ruben Vicente was a member of my The Sacred Cities Photo Expedition-Workshop last month which saw us photographing in the ancient city of Varanasi, and in the sacred city of Vrindavan during the festival of Holi. He is a first time participant in my expeditions-workshops.

Ruben just published his first multimedia project of the photo expedition-workshop, and titled it Varanasi Ganga Aarti. The multimedia features photographs of the nightly religious ceremony, which is held on the banks of the Ganges, on the most popular ghat; Dashashwamedh Ghat.

The aarti is a devotional nightly ritual that uses fire as an offering, usually made in the form of a lit lamp, and in the case of the Ganges River, small "boats" with a candle and flowers is floated down the river. The offering is made to the Goddess Ganga, goddess of the most holy river in India.

Ruben tells us on his own blog that because of the awful artificial light illuminating the ceremony, he decided to convert his photographs to black & white. He recorded the audio on location, and despite the amplification distortion, managed to produce a compelling audio slideshow. I described one of his images of the pandit gesturing with incense sticks as magical...

See if you agree.

Ruben Vicente is travel photographer based in Lisbon who, apart from loving photography, is an IT consultant in the financial industry.