Lakh Batti (Lakh meaning a hundred thousand, and Batti meaning lights) is a Hindu ceremony performed to bring upon divine intervention in order to change the course of one’s life. I was lucky enough to witness one of these ceremonies while at Soyambhu Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.
A purposeful ceremony, devotees produce an offering of lit wicks to worship the deity of their choice, and then come together as a family or community to conduct the ceremony. The ceremony includes lighting the wicks, fasting, dancing, drumming, and eventually feasting.
This ceremony is called Lakh Batti (AKA: 100,000 lights)
The above photo was taken at Soyambhu Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. This ceremony is performed for many different reasons in the Hindu religion including; remembering the dead, to change the course of one’s life, to give good fortune, to heal health problems and many other situations.
The fire is lit with tiny strings made of cotton (battis) which are soaked in sunflower or some other type of oil. The fire is lit and the healing begins.
This shot was taken at a shutter speed of 1/30th. I wanted to show movement in the flames and also wanted to make sure to draw attention to the main subject since there were many people passing through the scene. I wanted the people in the background to be blurry and the main subject to be in focus, which meant I had to catch her when she was completely still.
There are other ways of drawing attention to your main subject, such as using a large aperture or using leading lines, but the blur effect is what I was looking for in this photo. There were a few other photos I took where the people in the background had more of a ghosting effect, but I liked this one the best because of the placement of the main subject.
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