I have just come back from the front line of a very special “war”, from where I came out dirty, destroyed, happy and colorful. I photographed “The Color Run” in Echternach, Luxembourg, an event now widespread around the world and inspired by the famous Indian Holi Festival, but applied to the race. The main theme of the event is, therefore, the colors that are thrown on runners when they pass through dedicated and monochrome spots.
Obviously, such an event can gift original and special photographic opportunities, so I did not miss it.
“If your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough” – Robert Capa
But, let me tell you few thoughts I’ve recorded after the event, based on what I’ve seen…
During the race, I saw so many professional photographers in action, sent by newspapers, TVs and websites, and one thing I particularly impressed was:
to not see any of them get dirty and dive into the heart of the scene, except one, fool, with the camera completely dusty and stained by the colors: me. And I’m proud of it.
Everyone is free to be a photographer as best they believe, of course, but I see too many photographers who just observe and do not tell. I mean, too many comfy and lazy photographers. Seeing those fully camouflaged, protected, covered cameras and then see them off the “dirty” area, safe and clean, well, it made me laugh a bit. As perhaps they laughed or scoffed at me, surely.
In my humble opinion, a “reporter” photographer has to be in the center of the scene, can not photograph at its margins. The photographer has to touch with hands what happens, feel it on his own skin.
You can not tell a story standing comfortably behind the window to observe it passively.
Most importantly, in such a dynamic and moving situation, you must dive inside and live it. It’s even more fun.
But then we damage the camera!?
No, you’re the slaves of your camera. It is the tool that has to adapt to you, not the opposite. And the camera does not get damaged (internally, I mean), if you comply with simple rules, like not to change the lens while it is immersed in a cloud of dust.
I can tell you, my cameras and lenses come back stressed, dirty and full of signs at the end of my travel or reportage. Just as me…
They are not memorable to keep immaculate inside a vacuum, clean and perfect. No. They have to live and get scratches, bring the signs of a thousand trips and keep memorable memories of unforgettable stories.
So, dear friends photographers and enthusiasts, to tell a story, leave home cleaning kits, air blower and protections and get inside, get dirty you and your gears, breathe the moment.
Maybe your pictures will probably be dirtier, but certainly more alive and emotional.
My 25 pictures of the Color Run
For this reportage, I used the Canon EOS 5D Mk III with the EF 24-70mm f2.8 mkII zoom lens. I chose this lens because it allowed me a lot more flexibility and versatility in a situation where I knew I could not change the lens during the action.
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And what’s your favorite picture among these? I would like to read your opinion and preference.
Thanks for reading,
This post is also available in: Italian