get fire to RAVANA

by Rajib Das

During Durga Puja Festival in India we have a special programme RAVANA (king of Lanka) PODI(fire). As Ravana defeted by God RAMA. We observe the day every year.

I took the picture at 11.30 PM with my compact camera, CASIO Z-2, having aperture 3.5, shutter speed 5 seconds, with a tripod. I love its colour.

Kindly comment.

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Ahh, night photography.

The world always looks a completely different place at night. The hustle and bustle of the city begins to fade as night draws its dark veil across the world.

Capturing night time images is a tricky matter however.

Most compact cameras come with a night mode, which can be roughly translated as ‘party mode’, because often all it does is turn the flash on and adjust the aperture a bit.

For the best night photography you need to plan a little in advance.

Rajib has certainly done the right thing by using a tripod. To get a good night time photo it is essential that the camera is stable because the shutter will be open for a long exposure. And it does help to have a good understanding of exposure.

The other thing to do is to ensure the shutter is open for quite a while. Rajib used a 5 second shutter speed. I would actually suggest a longer exposure – up to about 30 seconds.

I would couple this long exposure with a small aperture – smaller than Rajib’s 3.5. Better to go for as small as your camera will allow, and adjust the shutter speed to compensate if you have to.

By using a smaller aperture you can be sure of getting everything in focus, and because the shutter is open for longer you will get more trails of light into your scene.

A longer shutter speed will also allow more light from the sky to enter the photo. This means that the sky might not end up being black, but might become a dark blue.

To be honest, I think this often looks better than a pure black sky and I think it would have been worth a try here.

But there is a more fundamental issue here – and it’s the composition.

Take a look at all that empty blackness on the right of the photo, and compare it with the small size of the effigy. It would have been better to zoom in to the effigy much more and have far less black sky.

Of course, by having a longer exposure this might have allowed some light in to the dark right side of the photo so it wouldn’t have seemed so empty.

But you know what, all in all, for a compact, this is a good effort. I hope there are a few tips here that Rajib will find useful.

Thanks for the submission, and what a wild night it looks!

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