#013: Notting Hill Carnival

The 2018 Notting Hill Carnival. Loud. Fun. Rowdy. Wet. Sunny. Colourful. Music. Drinks. Food. Jerk. Afro-Caribbean. Feathers. Glitter. Wild. Street Party.

The Notting Hill Carnival is one of the world's largest street festivals and has the reputation of being Europe’s biggest street festival. Celebrated over two days over the August 'bank holiday' long weekend. Over a million people were expected to have been there over the long weekend.

Got drenched on the first day (Sunday), as it rained from the moment I got there till the moment I left. All in all, I spent about 4 hours "enjoying" the festival in the rain. I had a raincoat and an umbrella to make sure the camera didn't get soaked. I met up with some guys from the London Street Community Facebook group and we ventured into the carnival together. Everyone was just drenched that day. Raincoats, ponchos and umbrellas everywhere. But that didn't stop the spirit of the carnival, everyone was joyous as ever, the party just carried despite the rain. I got separated from the group and ended up spending the last couple of hours by myself. The EM1 paired with the 12-40 Pro lens did get wet but it came out all fine, thanks to the amazing weather sealing that they both have. I am thankful that the camera survived the first day. I was worried when I got home after the downpour on Sunday that there might have been some water damage. Getting caught in the rain is one thing, staying in the rain for four whole hours is another.

Monday's weather was much more suitable for a street festival. The temperature was nice and cool and although it remained overcast for the most part, it was mostly dry. The total opposite of the day before. I met up with my friend Steven this time and we took to the streets of Notting Hill together. we decided to go in the opposite direction of the parade, worked our way around all the closed streets, and got to the staging area and managed to get lots of nice shots of the parade people. The parade people were out in full force. Men and women were out dressed to impress in full carnival gear. So many wonderful and daring outfits on display, full of colours, glitter and feathers. No more ponchos covering up their fancy outfits. It is a very open and happy festival with almost everyone willing and happy to be photographed and performing for the cameras.

I ended up spending another three hours or so at the carnival on Monday, capturing the moments and just enjoying the atmosphere. Yes, there were scenes of rowdiness and a lot of drunken behaviour, but I didn't want to focus my camera on that. The police were out in full force too, conducting random searches and keeping some of the crazy people in check. The gallery below hopefully highlights the wild fun that is the Notting Hill Carnival. :) 

All photos were taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12–40mm 1:2.8 PRO lens.