Holi is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus which is more popularly well-known as The Festival of Colors. It’s primarily observed in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan but because New York is such a bubbling melting-pot, we here have the advantage and value of being a spectator to so many cultures. In this case, these vivid photographs of people frolicking in the midst of colorful dust has nothing to do with religion at all.
All these photographs instead have all to do with The Color Run which is a one of a kind experience that has less to do about speed and endurance and more about enjoying a colorful crazy day with friends and family. Apparently people from all over the country sign up in advance to be part of the exciting event which takes places in major cities.
It’s a 5K run and from what I understand, during each mile a different color is being sprayed on to the runners. The dyes are 100% safe and natural. The farther you push yourself through the race, the more colorful you’ll end up in the end. The race is not designed for anyone specifically. There were people of all shapes, sizes and age.
As a photographer, I realize during the event that you have 2 choices as far as documenting it. You can either have a long lens to capture expressions and reactions from afar so as to not risk getting too coated with powder or you can shoot up close and wide (16-35mm) while having your camera protected with something like a rain sleeve.
There were more people photographing with their iPhones or a disposable cameras than there were people dancing and jumping while lugging a DSLR. Either way, I would have loved to be part of the race itself but I found out about it too late and had I been in it, I don’t think I would have been able to dedicate as much time to documenting the experience as much. In the end, no regrets but rather excitement.
I would say the last time I felt as excited in covering a event where I didn’t focus on asking people for portraits was last year during a Rally Against War in Union Square. In both occasions I didn’t feel the need to break up the continuum of enthusiasm but rather capture it as it was happening.
All photographs of the event are organized in a set on Flickr.