PHOTO STORY - Carnival at Galaxidi, Greece
Apokria (carnival) is a heady mix of wild costumes, loud music and giddy abandonment. The name roughly translates as "without meat". It's a religious period that marks the start of lent. And the time you enter into a period of fasting and contemplation. And while that is both healthy and edifying for the soul, there's nothing quite like a big old party to get yourself in the mood and that's essentially what this time of year offers.
By far then most spectacular part of carnival is "Moutzouromata the colour festival at Galaxidi. Everyone parades through the streets throwing brightly coloured flour at each other and letting off vibrant technicolour smoke bombs. Dressed in a mixture of fancy dress and overalls and with painted faces it's like doing street photography on acid, in a real life Mad Max movie set.
As a place to improve your photography it is fantastic. The bright colours that fill the air and the general chaos and sense of fun make capturing compelling images fun and with a little know how, easy to learn. Not a lot of post production is needed either, beyond a bit of clarity in Lightroom to bring out the dust, and a basic curves adjustment for contrast. You might as well give up on any white balance ideas as every shot will be different, depending on what coloured flour gets (literally) thrown at you!
Obviously the kids adore Moutzouromata. It's sanctioned mess-making and you get to chuck stuff at grown ups. It's a family friendly battle zone. A place to channel your inner war photographer, without the bullets. But remember to wrap you camera in plastic and wear old clothes. This stuff gets everywhere!