Sometimes a photography series takes months of planning. Other times - as was the case with Oleg Tolstoy’s project 'Holi Daze’ - opportunity hits you smack bang in the face.
“I was shooting in Pune in western India, when a sudden burst of blue powder thrown from a moped totally covered me in pigment. I gave chase and discovered a local Holi party in full swing.” explains the photographer. Holi, the Hindu festival of colour and thanksgiving that marks the end of winter has been held annually for centuries across the Indian subcontinent. Coloured pigment powder is thrown, smeared or splashed over anyone and everyone in the vicinity, resulting in a brilliant, vibrant spectacle that unites revellers of all ages in joyful celebration.
For Oleg, whose work is often typified by its bold colours and in-your-face energy, it was a match made in heaven. Curious to discover how young modern Indians celebrate this ancient religious festival, he quickly got out his camera and started shooting. This was no place to watch from the sidelines, so Oleg dived into the crowd to shoot one of his most kinetic and dazzling series yet.