Onam is the biggest (or as I understand the only major) festival in the southern state of Kerela. The residential complex I live in has a number of families from Kerela who now choose to call Bangalore home.

We had a gala two day Onam celebration at the apartment complex. One of the highlights of the celebration was ‘Kathakalli’, a rare ancient art form from Kerela. The dancer has an elaborate dress with the face painted in a unique fashion. I have been told that entire getup can take upwards of four to five hours.

This is a snapshot of the dancers face with the intriguing expression. Captured with the Pentax 18-250mm lens on the Pentax K200D.

For hardcore photography enthusiasts: With the dance happening in low light and in the absence of a fast zoom, most of my snaps were getting blurred. I then thought of a devious ploy. I deliberately underexposed the pictures by a stop which gave me relatively faster shutter speed to avoid camera shake and then pushed it later by a stop during post processing. The important thing to note is that you should be shooting in RAW to allow the required leverage.


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