art photograph gallery

Praying hands

Photograph of hands - blessings

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Incense by richard seah

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MY 'BEST' IMAGES
PRAYER IMAGES
thaipusam 2008

THAIPUSAM
THAIPUSAM 2007
THAIPUSAM 2008

CATHOLIC CROSS

VESAK
VESAK 2005
VESAK 2008

PHOTOGRAPHS OF HANDS
art photograph of hands

PHOTOS OF HANDS
PRAYING HANDS
BALI BESSINGS

4 FEET

NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY
ABSTRACTS
fine art photograph - abstract

ABSTRACT
ABSTRACT II

SURREAL
SURREAL II

ABSTRACT WATER REFLECTIONS

B/W ABSTRACT

THE NATURAL WORLD
PEOPLE
STILL LIFE
buddha image

PICTURE OF BUDDHA

OLD MEDICINE BOTTLES

JOKER MASKS

CANDID STILL LIFE

VEGETABLES
CORN
CARROTS

WALKABOUTS
BLACK & WHITE
black and white photography

BLACK & WHITE

B/W ABSTRACT

FUJIFILM S5 PRO
fuji s5 pro

CHOOSING A DSLR

FUJI S5 PRO

WHY FUJI?

PROS & CONS I

PROS & CONS II

FUJI SUPER CCD

DYNAMIC RANGE

S5 PRO REVIEWS

OTHER EQUIPMENT
SONY DSC R-1

HP 8750 PRINTER

This praying hands picture forms part of a new photograph of hands series.

The photograph, of a hand lighting an incense, was taken with Fuji Provia 400 slides during Vesak 2005. a Buddhist festival that marks the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha.

There were endless streams of people lighting incense, and I just stood there and shot. A few people turned or moved away when the saw me, but if they realised I was just taking photographs of hands, they probably would not have minded.

As the incense is an essential part of prayer, not just in eastern religions but also in Catholicism and other "Western" religions, I thought this fits in nicely with the theme of hands in prayer.

This picture was taken just outside a huge prayer hall. The place was bright and well-lit, which suited my Nikkor 75-300mm zoom lens, but it also meant that the original pictures did not come out very interesting.

I was struck, however, by this particular image because of the way the fingers held the incense. I thought the fingers appear, on the one hand, gnarled and yet, on the other hand, elegant.

Having recognised the potential, this final image of praying hands formed in my mind almost right away.

Immediately, I knew what to do darken the image, turn it into black and white, but leave the flame in color and have the flame dish in parlial color that is, desaturated color.

Actually creating the image using Photoshop took quite a while, however. The main difficulty I faced was selecting and isolating the flame and the flame dish. I got tired after a while and wanted to give up the final step of having the area around the flame in partial, desaturated color. But I was glad I persevered and stuck with my oroginal concept.

This has become my new favourite photograph of hands.

For a long time, my absolute favourite was Blessings, which a prayer image that shows the praying hands of a Balinese priest blessing a bemo (jeep). That picture, too, has incense as a major element in the compisition.

That picture of praying hands was taken in the early 1980s and, for a long time, I worried that I might not be able to come up with something better. To my relief, finally I did.

Prints of this praying hands image are available for sale. Larger prints come in very limited editions, but smaller 5R and 8R prints are made very affordable to encourage the collection of fine art photographs by those with limited budgets.

All prints, including the affordable 5R and 8R prints, are signed by me, Richard Seah.
Click here to view other fine art photographs for sale.