Sunday, March 27, 2011

Holi (festival of colors)–A photo blog

Holi is a spring religious festival celebrated by Hindus. its actually a 2 day festival. Bonfires are lit the on the eve of the festival, also known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika, a demon in Hindu mythology) or Chhoti Holi (little Holi). The main day, Holi (Rang Panchami), also known as Dhuli Vandana in Sanskrit, is celebrated by people throwing coloured powder and coloured water at each other.

Ever since I took up digital photography (about 4 years ago), I always wanted to capture the holi festival because of its most colorful atmosphere. Also I had seen a very nice article on Pop Photography magazine, where the guy had used Canon 5D mk II to capture holi. I was impressed by a few thing

  1. His ability to bring out the mood of the festival
  2. The way the colors played out in the pictures
  3. His gear – which allowed him to really go close to the the action

I always wanted to shoot Holi like that, I had very good body E-30 and great weather sealed lenses. However my body did not have weather sealing. I purchased Kata rain cover, but still it’s a little cumbersome to use for extended period, especially when you have change settings. I tried doing it last year, but was too scared to go too close to action because everything is so unpredictable and also the rain cover put me off.

This year I was prepared. I had purchased E-5 and I had the good weather sealed ZD lenses. So I knew I will be able to capture the holi as I wanted it.

I tried to capture the full gamut of the holi celebration, the holi eve, which Holika dahan and the rang panchami the other day. You be the judge if I was successful.

Holi-09 Women performing pooja around the bonfire.
Holi-22 Bonfire burning bright!
Women go around bonfire pouring water and chanting a prayer. Its supposed to bring….well, no idea what its supposed to bring. Something good obviously! Smile
Holi-26 The decked up ladies for the pooja. They are pretty, aren't they? Smile
Holi-35 The bigger group! Smile


The colorful family!
Holi-14 Next day morning… Children cant wait to fill their “pichkaris” (water guns) with colorful water!
Holi-20 She was shivering like there is no tomorrow, and changed her clothes only about 20 times. but these small details didn’t stop her from doing anything she wanted that day Smile
Holi-62 The girls seems to be having a blast! Smile
Holi-67 My favourite Smile in the groovy mood!!!
Holi-75 The three musketeers…
The fast friends… Aayush, Adu and Laasya…
Holi-58 Always in the mood!! Adu at his best…. Smile
Holi-32 (2) Children getting their act together….holi the way it should be Smile
Holi-109 Can you recognize any them? No? neither can I… But I can assure you, at least 3 of them are in the pics above Smile
Holi-111 Men being men! oblivious of the surroundings Smile
Holi-118 Is there still some left?! Smile
Holi-135 You bet! Girls haven't finished yet Smile
Holi-147 Synchro!!!
Holi-148 As they say….there is nobody to shoot the shooter….
But Spare a thought for my E-5. I had to give her a shower… Smile


My Gear

Camera Body Olympus E-5
Lens Zuiko Digital 14-54 f/2.8-3.5
Grip HLD-4 vertical power grip
Verdict Absolutely fantastic weather sealing. Amazingly fast and accurate AF acquisition.
Most daylight photos above are shot in ISO 400 because I wanted faster shutter than normal to freeze certain action.
Color rendition is very true.
RAW development in Adobe Photoshop CS4 Camera RAW after converting to DNG.


Hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed shooting it Smile