Thursday, 22 December 2011

Xavier Zimbardo: Holi!




I first came across the work of Xavier Zimbardo a number of years ago when I bought his book India Holy Song, whose description on a book-selling website says that it included photographs made in "textile-dyeing factories of Rajasthan bursting with seemingly endless, undulating streams of saturated jewel-like fabrics in astonishing hues, from aquamarine to amethyst to the deepest ruby red". I mention this because I researched the location, and organized a photo shoot there on one of my early photo expeditions to Pushkar. It was quite a thrill to recognize some of Xavier's 'models' as workers in the factory!

This movie is exceptionally well made, and was a collaborative effort including many technicians. The explosions of color...the pink, the fuchsia, the neon-green and yellow powder accompanied by a pulsating soundtrack (which I believe was recorded live).  The movie was made with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L, and is featured on Canon France Vimeo page.

It's incredibly difficult to photograph and video in such an environment, and I wish there was some indication as to how the photographer and his team managed to keep their cameras and lenses safe from the hurled powder. While the 5DMark II is claimed by Canon to be weather-proof, its innards could easily be affected by the fine powder.

Xavier Zimbardo is a French photographer currently based in Sarcelles, a Parisian suburb. His work was featured in several European and international photography publications such as Zoom, Camera International, and Photographers International. He's a recipient of several grants and prizes, including those from the Kodak Foundation and the French government, and has had solo exhibitions of his work at museums and galleries throughout France, as well as in Athens, Sicily, Milan, Odense, and Montreal. His work is on permanent display in several museums worldwide including Paris's Bibiliothèque Nationale and Maison EuropĂ©enne de la Photographie.