How I shot this: Fast shutter speeds in shade

Water splash

I cherish this image for a lot of reasons, not the least the fact that I made conscious, deliberate choices. In fact, I must and I absolutely must borrow this line from Colonel Hannibal Smith in the movie "A Team": I love it when a plan comes together

Why do I find it special?

In ordinary circumstances, when I'm shooting outdoors, I choose a low ISO...because I'm outdoors and there's enough light for a decent shutter speed. Even if it's outdoors under an awning, in shade, or any place that is indirectly (usually by walls, pillars, foliage) lit by the sun. 

A visual spectacle, turmeric-water cleansing is an important ritual in Gounder or Kongu Vellalar weddings. It is also perhaps the best opportunity for photographers to make publish-worthy images. 

At this particular wedding, I was shooting the ritual in "shade". Without getting into the exact EXIF info of the shot, I can tell you that I had decent shutter speeds at 200ISO to make sure there's no blur in the image. Including the splash. 

But, I wanted to freeze the motion of the water...and bring out some detail and shape. So, without any second thoughts, I cranked the ISO up by a couple of stops and shot the scene with 4 times the original shutter speed. Enough to get what I wanted. And what I got was pretty good.