Thaipusam ’11, Day 2

Thaipusam ’11, Day 2

Dancing in the Streets!

Thanks for all the positive feedback yesterday. Thaipusam is a festival, a party, as well as a pilgrimage by foot. To me, today seemed to be about movement.

As photographers human beings we get caught in patterns, ruts and favorites all the time. I am no different. But, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. A repeated use of something can be a crutch or it can become a tool or even a style.  The fact is, when I shoot nighttime or twilight street scenes I fall back to a useful tool; 2nd curtain shutter release also called rear curtain sync. I first did this when I shot Thaipusam the last time, then I used it when I shot the Kumbh Mela and I did it this time as well. I love this technique because it is flexible and can be very effective at communicating movement, even better than panning. So in these images from this morning, you will see I used it a lot. I make no apologies.  I also used my 85mm f/1.2 for some classic portraiture as well, what a surprise! I hope that these images communicate the feel of the event and bring you a little closer to my world.

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About The Author

Matt Brandon

Matt is a Malaysia based humanitarian and travel photographer. Well known as a photographer and international workshop instructor, Matt’s images have been used by business and organizations around the globe. Matt also on the design board for Think Tank Photo, a camera bag manufacturer. In 2013 Matt founded the On Field Media Project to train the staff of non-profits to use appropriate technology to produce timely as well as quality images.


  1. CathyTopping

    It’s a great technique, and highly effective! Lovely images as always, and lovely colours and textures.

    • Matt Brandon

      Cathy, I like the fact that that the amount of blur is proportional to the shutter speed. The flash can only stop so much if the shutters open for long time. So it’s really fun to be able to create all kinds of effects using this technique.

  2. Jeffrey Chapman

    Great stuff Matt! I can almost smell the fun.

    • Matt Brandon

      Thanks Jeff, it’s not the smells that I wish came through in these images. It’s the sound. The sounds were deafening. The Indian music, the drums from the street bands and the chanting of the devote these. It was crazy.

  3. Ray Ketcham

    They feel a little like trying to bottle chaos with the colors and motion. Fantastic images Matt I can almost hear and feel the pressures. I’ll echo Jeffery Great stuff!

    • Matt Brandon

      Thanks Ray. I think you pegged it. Bottle chaos, color and motion together and and some sharp needles and you get Thaipusam.


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