Traditionally Holi was celebrated in India to mark the onset of Spring and its brilliance in colors, but over the years it has evolved as the festival of love, warmth and friendship.
With its origin in Hindu mythology, Holi was said to be played by Lord Krishna at Braj (modern day western Uttar Pradesh region), but today’s Holi isn’t just a religious festival. It has transcended the boundaries of religion into a carnival of fun and frolic.
If you are a photographer, Holi is probably the best and the worst festival in India for you. Best for the exquisitely colorful frames you will encounter at every nook and corner and worst for the unprecedented damage to your gear, which might happen at any time, courtesy colored water and powders.
You can head to Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bengal or Orissa to observe Holi in its traditional forms, but in case you are stuck in any other region or city, don’t loose heart! Urban Holi is equally interesting.
Here are a few shots I took in Bangalore during last year’s Holi Celebrations.
Holi can reward you with some exceptional photographs if you dare to take you camera out. Here are my few tips on Holi photography:
1. Maintain distance – use a telephoto lens with a long zoom, so that you can observe and capture your subjects without getting too close to them.
2. Carry polythene bags – Make sure you have a stack of polythene bags at your disposal. Put your camera inside them, in between your shots from different positions. They might also help you in case of a sudden color attack.
3. Carry Brushes/Wipes – Carry a hard brush or a dry wipe so that you can immediately wipe off any color powders that might have accumulated on your lens or camera body.
4. Behave as a professional photographer – If you lug around a big SLR its easy to pass yourself as a pro, even if you are not. If you see any imminent color attack, say you are pro working for a publication, which the people around might recognize. I can assure everyone will allow you to click merrily and you might get a few unexpected poses as well.
Have a fabulous Holi wherever you are and don’t forget to share the links of your Holi Celebrations in the comments section.