As Thaipusam approaches, Hindus are not the only ones preparing to make the journey to Batu Caves. The religious festival is a riot of colour, crowds and noise, making it an obvious attraction to photographers and filmmakers too.

But for first time shutterbugs, where do you begin? We found this handy blog post by Sean Liew with tips on what to look out for, where to start, and how to prepare yourself for the day. Since the festival can be an overwhelming experience, it’s worth heeding some of the practical advice here.

We were also inspired by this film that we dug out from the archives (ok, YouTube) by Sanjay Perumal. His short film “Thaipoosam” combines powerful images that capture different parts of the cleansing ritual – from hair shaving to bathing and kavadi bearing. Strikingly, the film uses black and white and slow motion effect, which give it a meditative sense of stillness amidst the crowds and colour of the day.

Image courtesy Creative Commons, HooLengSiong