Vivaah Sanskar

On Sunday 2 November 2014 I attended my friend’s wedding. I wasn’t the official photographer but just had to take my new little el-cheapo lens along for a tryout.

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“A Hindu wedding is called vivaha (Sanskrit: विवाह[1]) and the wedding ceremony is called vivaah sanskar.[2][3] The Hindus attach a lot of importance to marriages, the ceremonies are very colourful, and celebrations may extend for several days. The bride’s and groom’s home – entrance, doors, wall, floor, roof – are sometimes decorated with colors, balloons and other decorations.[4]

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The rituals and process in a Hindu wedding vary widely. Nevertheless, there are a few key rituals common in Hindu weddings – Kanyadaan, Panigrahana, and Saptapadi, which are respectively, giving away of daughter by the father, voluntarily holding hand near the fire to signify union, and taking seven steps with each step includes a vow/promise to each other before fire.[5] The Hindu wedding ceremony at its core is essentially a Vedic yajna ritual. The primary witness of a Hindu marriage is the fire-deity (or the Sacred Fire) Agni, in the presence of family and friends.[6] The ceremony is traditionally conducted entirely, or at least partially in Sanskrit, considered by Hindus as the language of holy ceremonies. The local language of the bride and groom is also used.

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The pre-wedding and post-wedding rituals and celebrations vary by region, preferences or the resources of the groom, bride and their families. They can range from one day to multi-day events. Pre-wedding ceremonies includeengagement (involving vagdana or betrothal and lagna-patra written declaration),[3] and arrival of the groom’s party at the bride’s residence, often in the form of a formal procession with dancing and music. The post-wedding ceremonies may include Abhishek, Anna Prashashan, Aashirvadah, and Grihapravesa – the welcoming of the bride to her new home.

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In India, where most Hindus live, by law and tradition, no Hindu marriage is binding and complete unless the ritual of seven steps and vows in presence of fire (Saptapadi) is completed by the bride and the groom together.[7] This requirement is under debate.[8] ” ~ Wikipadia

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Dedication 2

If you are taking the time to read this post then please refresh yourself with Dedication 1 before continuing.

So as you would have now seen and read, HDR photography is not that easy and I have come a long way since attempt 1 in November 2012.

My post on 26 November 2012 stated: “One day I will look at my first two “HDR” photos and have a good chuckle!”. I am chuckling now (one year and two months later) and have done so in the past few months.

I believe that I am at least halfway to nearly three-quarters of the way there; there being when I surpass some of the HDR hotshots in the world.

Robin Sharma is partly to “blame”. He came to Durban on 27 July 2013. I attended his seminar and on the following Monday started waking up at 5 AM. Nothing really happened to start with. After a few weeks I started concentrating even more on my photography.

To continue with this story I have inserted an excerpt of an email I sent Robin Sharma: “The benefits of waking at 5 aren’t known until you actually wake at 5. Even then it still doesn’t click into place until you have a 5 o’ clock mission (something worthwhile to do).
I tried the reading thing and exercise. The latter worked well for me but not the former. Instead, I tried photography.
In summer in South Africa you have to get up at 3 AM if you want to travel and be setup for photos at 1st light.
My 5 o’clocks have now become 3 o’clocks on weekends if the weather plays game. Alternatively I turn on the computer and process photos. Both stimulate my creative juices and there’s a big bonus at the end if what I produce looks really cool.”
I went on to tell Robin that my photography has now met some measure of success, although I didn’t know at the time that three of my photos would soon place well in the VSS CREATIVE virtual camera club competition (more info here).
It’s been revealed that the TOP 10 of every month in every section will soon be published in the biggest “SA Creative Photography Book”.
I was taken aback when the photo below took 2nd place in November 2013.
VSS Top 10 Pictorial_2nd place

Truthfully, I was gobsmacked when the photos below ripped 1st and 2nd place in the same category and month.

Hein Waschefort of VSS, and director of the Photographic Society of South Africa, commented that he believed that it was the first time that someone had taken the top two spots in the same category and month.

Passion

The gobsmacked was 99.9% from being judged “ahead” of what I saw to be some super-hot works of art published by other photographers.

Blessing

The “hilarious” side:

Two of the photos were taken with my “old” Canon 550D camera that is now worth about ZAR 6,000.00 new. Only one photo was taken with my new Canon 6D which recently set me back ZAR 28,000.00.

As I said in Dedication 1: Have a lovely week at work and if the going gets a little tough remember: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

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Happy New Year

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Blessing, by John O’Donohue

“blessed be the longing that brought you here
and quickens your soul with wonder.

may you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
that disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.

may you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
to discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.

may the forms of your belonging – in love, creativity, and friendship –
be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.

may the one you long for long for you.
may your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.

may a secret providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.

may your mind inhabit your life with the sureness
with which your body inhabits the world.

may your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.

may you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.

may you know the urgency with which God longs for you”.

For information on the photo above click here.