Sunday, 26 February 2012

Jim Shannon: Holi Festival

Photo © Jim Shannon-All Rights Reserved
As Holi is about to be celebrated in India (and elsewhere) in just about 10 days, and I know a number of friends are planning to attend its festivities in Vrindavan and elsewhere, I found Jim Shannon's advice and past experience to be both very valuable and sensible, and hope they will as well.

Along with the monochrome photographs of Holi by Toby Devenson (who traveled with Jim to Vrindavan) featured on this blog just yesterday, today's post will provide more than ample inspiration and guidance to those who will experience Holi for the first time.

As Jim writes in his Holi Hunters article which appears in Sidetracked magazine:
"this is one of the few times caste and wealth is forgotten. By the time everyone is covered in dye, it's impossible to tell who is rich or poor".
Jim's advice on how to photograph during Holi, especially in Vrindavan., is a must-read. I noted he photographed in the Banke Bihari temple in that holy town, but urges caution not to cause grave offense by photographing the religious deity itself. He also recommends covering one's face and arms with thick sunblock, which seemed to help in washing the dye off a little more easily. He also recommends wearing a pair of goggles to protect one's eyes from the industrial dyes.

But what about protecting one's photographic gear?? Jim and others suggest the OP/Tech Rain Sleeves which is a polyethylene sleeve made to protect an SLR camera with a lens from dust and inclement weather...and dye powder.

Jim Shannon has traveled and photographed in 42 countries, and his photographs were published by Arte Fotogr√°fica, BBC News, BBC Countryfile Magazine, Guardian Weekend, Lonely Planet, Lonely Planet Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, The New Republic, The Observer, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Time Out, and Wanderlust, amongst others.