For years the colour and intensity of India's Holi festival amazed me and I knew it was only a matter of time before I found myself smack bang in the middle of it.
In March 2019, I was given the fantastic opportunity by Olympus Australia to take their new EM1X cameras and put them to the test against the harshest conditions possible. I got in contact with my friend and film maker Kieran Mellor and asked if he wanted to join me. Naturally, he said yes.
Fine coloured powder and endless buckets of water were no match for the incredible weather sealing of the camera and pro lenses. It meant that images such as the ones below were made possible.
The series is broken up into each day of festivities. It's long I know, but I hope you gain as much fulfilment looking through these as I got taking them.
Day 1 - Barsana
The first of the main pre-Holi events where the men of Nandgaon come to Barsana to take over the temple of Shri Radhikaji. The women of Barsana have other ideas and beat them playfully with bamboo sticks. The name of this tradition is Lathmar Holi.
The men dress in women's clothing and can defend themselves only with colour. The festivities begin early in the morning at the main temple and finish with Lathmar Holi in the afternoon.
Day 2 - Nandgaon
Day 2 sees a role reversal from the previous day where the men from Barsana come to Nandgaon and are covered in a barrage of colour and water. The entire temple is reduced to a wet arena where some of the most amazing festivities and sights are captured.
Day 3 - Phoolon Wali Holi
Possibly the wildest and most dangerous celebration of the entire week. Phoolon Wali (Flower Holi) is celebrated at the incredible Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan. What makes this celebration particularly crazy is that the whole event last for only 20 minutes and tens of thousands of people surge through the single entrance causing mass crushing and hysteria.
Once inside the atmosphere is electric and intense. Words cannot describe the view from above as thousands of people push against each to get to the front alter.
Video by Kieran Mellor
A massive thanks to my sponsor, Olympus Australia for making this dream a reality.
The entire series was shot using nothing but.
2 x EM1X Bodies
1 x M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 IS PRO
1 x M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.4 PRO
1 x M.Zuiko 45mm F1.2 PRO
1 x M.Zuiko 17mm F1.2 PRO
1 x 40-150mm F2.8 PRO
DJI Mavic 2 Pro + Nisi Filters
No rain covers or camera / lens protection was used.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series
If you love these images please drop a comment below and share it around.