Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Holi | Altaf Qadri | LA Times

Photo © Altaf Qadri- All Rights Reserved
The colorful Holi festival is about to officially start in India on Wednesday, March 27 and I expect we'll be seeing more coverage from Indian and foreign photographers in the coming few days and weeks.

To kick off this event, I start with Altaf Qadri's photographs as they appeared in Framework, the photo blog of The Los Angeles Times yesterday. The photograph that appealed to me the most is the one of Hindu priests loading up their water pumps with colored water to spray the devotees.

Holi is known as the Hindu festival of colors, and is celebrated in Spring by people throwing colored powder and colored water at each other. The tradition is based on the legend of Radha and the Hindu God Krishna. The latter was envious of Radha's fair complexion and in a mischievous mood, he applied color to his beloved Radha's face.

In Vrindavan (which is the place to be during Holi), the festival is celebrated for 16 days in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna. Many of Altaf's photographs were made at Krishna's Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan. It's the most popular Hindu temple of Krishna in the city.

Altaf Qadri is a photojournalist based in Kashmir, who has been covering the conflict in Kashmir for several years.. His photographs and stories from events in Kashmir have appeared all around the globe including Time, The Guardian, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Washington Post and The Times among others. 

As I did last year, here's Jim Shannon's Guide To Photographing Holi for those of you who are considering photographing there this year. It's invaluable.