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Back at the Kumbh

The blog has been a little quiet as Ive been sick, yes again, this time with bronchitis which took me out of action for a few days. But after a course of antibiotics (I hate taking any type of pills) I feel 100% again. I´ve been sick a few times on this trip which is unusual for me normally I´m a pretty healthy specimen of a man, perhaps I´m just getting old.

Anyway back to photography. I returned to Haridwar to shoot the Kumbh mela again as I felt there were a few shots missing from my collection, like the one below.

I´m now in Amristar in Punjab and off later today to shoot the golden temple – sounds good huh? I´ll share the results in the next couple of days.

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    Holi in black & white

    While there is no doubting the main photographic attraction to the holi festival is the incredible vibrant colours, I have a collection of images that work well as black & white images, I love the simplicity of black & white images & how the eye isn´t distracted by colours and therefore more prominence is places on shapes & lines. Even without the colour this is still a very interesting event.

    If you´ve been following the blog regularly you´ve probably seen all the shots already but I thought I should let you know that I´ve also updated my Holi gallery with the latest photographs, in full amazing colour.

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      Holi – The festival of colours

      I think the title says it all. The festival of colours & you can certainly see why it’s called that. Among several other things this festival celebrates the arrival of spring and the colour is comes from fine powdered paint known as gulal that fills temples and towns all across India.

      From here I’m off to Delhi for a couple of days before returning to the Kumbh Mela, so I should have some more pics very different celebration soon.

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        Holi 2010

        Holi 2010, finally over after 5 days of total madness & ridiculous colour, things here in Mathura have calmed down somewhat & the clean up has begun. I wanted to get at least one image up on the blog as soon as possible, so here it is. This was was shot inside a temple a couple of days ago and I was blessed with some great streaks of light. Expect more photos tomorrow.

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          Holi 2010 – A postcard from Mathura

          Finally back online after what seems like ages.

          I’m in Mathura, Northern India. It’s said to be the birthplace of the Hindu god Krishna & the place where Holi is celebrated on the grandest scale, & from what I’ve seen its true. The celebrations for Holi slightly differ in different regions but the main concept stays the same, the concept of throwing brightly coloured paint over absolutely everything, particularly tourists & those carrying expensive camera gear (… Ohh what fools ;) )

          Here’s a quick shot I took yesterday, of course I’ll be adding more over the next few days but if you can’t wait that long check out my gallery from Holi in 2007

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            Kumbh mela – Online gallery

            The observant of you will have noticed that I now have a Kumbh Mela gallery on my site, I’ll be adding more images to this if all goes well.

            Last Friday saw the first of the royal bathing days for the Kumbh mela, this one was called ‘Shivratri’ – the birthday of the Hindu god Shiva. On these sacred days thousands of naked and semi clad naga sadhus proceed to the ghats to bath in the Ganges. Naga sadhus or naga bubas are said to spend most of their lives with out even the most basic of possessions including clothes. In reality most have blankets and jewelery while  a few have mobile phones and some, get this, even have the luxury of  a TV in their tent, my hotel room didn’t even have a TV!! anyway I digress.

            Its really is a spectacular sight to watch these ash coated warriors walk, run & dance to the ghats for bathing, although difficult to shoot as an estimated 2 million pilgrims were in town to watch the procession.

            I’m now in Delhi, sorting out a few personal things, washing my laundry for one, before heading off to khajuraho for a traditional Indian dance festival. If all goes well I’ll share my images with you shortly.

            As always I’d love your comments.

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              Kumbh mela 2010 – just a couple more pics

              Nothing really exciting to report but just wanted to show a couple of  pics from recent days. They show the 2 main events of the mela. The first being morning bathing in the Ganges to purify your body and spirit, the second be the processions by the naked naga sadhus, who are considered the holiest of all sadhus and I’ve found them to be extremely hospitable, inviting me into there camps to share food and tea.

              More photos can be seen in my previous posts :

              Here & Here & Here

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                More ways to connect & more from Kumbh mela

                The observant of you will have noticed an increase in the amount of little coloured square boxes in the menu bar over the last couple of weeks. These are all the different ways you can now keep in touch with me.

                Let me give you a quick run down of what each one is for.

                Rss feed – Use this one to be automatically updated every time I make a new blog post. Try it here. Cool huh?

                Twitter – Instant messaging with a difference. Follow me here

                Facebook – I think we all know what facebook is, if not ….. well don’t worry about it. Become a fan here

                LinkedIn – Business orientated networking tool Connect here

                Skype – make and receive Internet phone calls. Install Skype and call me here – Its free !!

                Google wave – Its not a completed product yet but promises to be massive combining, email, Instant messaging and so much more, it’s by invitation only at the moment, if you’d like an invite just let me know. Or if you’re already on board add me as a contact TomBourdonPhotography@googlewave.com (note: This is not an email address, I know, I know it looks just like one but its not – I’ve tried)

                Meanwhile back at the mela and the crowds here at the Kumbh mela are really squeezing in as pilgrims arrive from all over India for Fridays procession. Already there have been a few smaller processions and here and I thought I’d share a few pics taken earlier in the week. I had afew days away ffrom here but glad to be back.

                If you missed my 2 previous posts on the kumbh mela you can catch up here

                Kumbh mela 2010 – a first look & Kumbha mela 2010

                http://tombourdon.co.uk/index.php/2010/02/01/kumbh-mela-2010/
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                  Off to China(town)

                  I ‘m currently packing to head to London tomorrow to shoot this weekends Chinese New Year celebrations, and from what Im hearing its pretty cold there, it will make a change from these clear blue skies and temperatures up to 20°C here in Barcelona. Its the first of many festivals I’m planning on shooting this year and I’m sure I’ll share some of these new images with you over the next week or so.

                  Wish me luck.

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                    Tomatoes and mangos

                    Apart from the new site, another thing that I’ve been working on ever the last couple of weeks is a picture story for the stock agency Solomango who specialise in selling complete packages of work images and text to magazines who can fill a few pages without actually having to think too much or commission anyone. The story Ive been working on is the tomato throwing festival of Tomatina that happens every year here in Spain, its a very colourful event and I’m quite proud of the images I have from last years event as its not the easiest of places to be with thousands of euros worth of camera gear.

                    Below is an image shot at the end of the festivities as a local woman peers out of her front door to survey the mess.esp_27-08-08_1162

                    1/320 sec, f/3.2, ISO 160 @ 30 mm (cropped in Photoshop)

                    27 August 2008

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