Nikon School

Shooting Temples

By : Nikon School Blog   |  14 Nov, 2014  |  71

For the photographers in India, the numerous temples offer wonderful opportunities to create amazing frames. The temples provide photographers with almost all they crave for – people, colours, and moments. If you're a photographer and have never been inside any Indian temple, you're surely missing out on ample photographic moments.

temple

Photographing temples requires all the abilities of a photographer – technical know-how, instincts, quick thinking and innovations. Here's what to expect when you're out looking for great images inside Indian temples, and a few tips how to capture them the best way.

Look for Colours

Colours draw your attention the moment you step into any temple complex. Bright reds or nearby shades are usually the dominant ones, but move around and you will find generous splashes of every other colour in the spectrum. Colours make framing so much easier; you just have to include contrasting colours to create attractive frames.

colour
colour
people

People

The bustling life inside the functioning temples must be in your hunt list while shooting in temples. The red or saffron robed priests, the ash-smeared sadhus, and throngs of people in bright attire can fill up your frame to create amazing visuals. You can use telephoto lenses to single out interesting portraits amongst a crowd of devotees.


element
element

The elements

Typical elements worth including in the frame include - smoke from burning fires or incense sticks, offerings of eatables and flowers, religious items like statues or colourful garlands for sale in countless shops, usually present around any major temple complex.

Temples also showcase the mastery of craftsmen of the past. Try to get closer looks on the sculptures, murals and architecture of the temples.

element
element

Moments

Inside temples , you need to wait for the right moment to fill your frame. It's much better if you visit during a particular festival or special days. The activity level goes up along with the numbers of priests and devotees at work, increasing your chances of getting the desired images.

moments
moments

Challenges

Often the biggest challenge is the light. Constant changes in exposure are needed to deal with the quick changes between bright exteriors and dark shades. Keeping ISO around 400 can deal with movements in low lit areas. Higher values may be required for very dark interiors.

All the prominent temples nowadays are under surveillance. Don't try to snoop your way in when a notice prohibiting photography is glaring at you. If you are not allowed to shoot something, just forget it and concentrate elsewhere.

challenges
challenges

Techniques

Simple rule – Aperture priority mode for bright areas and still subjects, like temple exteriors, sculptures, flowers, etc. Quickly shift to Shutter priority for any human element included in your frame.

Use the auto ISO feature in your camera and limit it to 1600.This way, the camera will be able to adjust ISO if suddenly light goes down.


techniques

Lenses

Zooms are the best, for shifting quickly between wide angles and telephotos. Something like an 18-140 or 18-200 will be very useful, but if you are anticipating challenging light, carry something like a 35mm f/1.8 or a 50mm f/1.8.

If portraiture is in your mind, keep a telephoto zoom like the 55-300 or the 70-300 in your bag.

Travel light as fast movement is crucial. Carrying tripods may be prohibited or impractical, so practice hand held shooting with shutter speeds of 1/15 or 1/30.


lenses

Comments (31)

 

Mr. Abhishek Kumar

Religious shooting.

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

useful

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

fine blog

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

superb

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

good information

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

nice

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Nice info

Mr. Abhinava Pandey

good content

Mr. Abhinava Pandey

very helpful

Mr. Vishnu Das

Good

Mr. Debashis Jana

Informative read

Mr. Debashis Jana

Informative read

Mr. Debashis Jana

Informative read

Mr. Debashis Jana

Informative read

Mr. Debashis Jana

Informative read

Mr. Athish Sanjay Itagi

vGood Article

Mr. Athish Sanjay Itagi

Good Article

Mr. Athish Sanjay Itagi

Good Article

Mr. Athish Sanjay Itagi

Good Article

Mr. Athish Sanjay Itagi

WOW

Mr. Athish Sanjay Itagi

WOW

Mr. mukesh sharma

very nice information

Mr. Madan Kumar

very useful....

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Informative...

Mr. Mohan Kumar

I am very much satisfied after understanding this article....Thanks...

Mr. Pratul Pal

Very helpful...

Mr. Juman Jyoti Kalita

very essential knowledge for any one

Mr. Nishant T

Since cameras are not allowed in most temples, i avoid carrying my dslr to avoid issues, however this is something which can be practiced if one is at a place for more time or there is a temple within manageable distance, this information is for sure inspiring for me to consider planning my trips to click some good snaps and getting darshan, thanks for sharing

Mr. Satish R Bansal

Very useful info for beginners like me...........This Diwali i purchased D5300 with 18-140mm DX VR lens kit with good quality tripod and has attended 3 classes by Nikon India @ chandigarh

Ms. Mamta Goyal

quite informative...

Ms. Shweta Berry

Thanks for sharing this informative blog on Temple Photography. Very useful.