A while back, I had the idea of using color to do a quick photoshoot with a friend, and was researching the best techniques to do this when I stumbled on a video showing the Holi festival in India. Seeing how amazing it looked, I wondered if the festival was celebrated in Ottawa, and to my surprise (and delight!) not only was there a festival of colors in Ottawa, but it was in two weeks! Naturally, I was very excited and eager to research a little about it! It turns out that Holi in Ottawa is part of the Festival of India Ottawa, which offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the culture and heritage of India. Holi is a festival of colors, where crowds gather and throw colored powder at each other in a very fun and colorful fight! The first and most important thing that I researched though, was how to keep my camera gear safe from the colored powder and dust, as they could quite easily damage the lens. To deal with this, I placed my camera in a plastic bag, cut a hole in the bag wide enough for my lens to come out, then taped the hole to the lens. I also made a small hole where the viewfinder was so I could use it.
The festival itself is a lot of fun! There were traditional stories told through interpretive dancing, classes on how to make crafts, delicious food and a very fun atmosphere! When it was time to begin Holi, they brought out a box full of colored bags, told us to go nuts and everyone began throwing the powder and chasing each other! The crowd was not as big as other Holi festivals around North America, but I’m pretty sure that it will continue to grow each year! It was an amazing and fun experience and I will definitely be back next year!