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Holi 2020 And More: These Tips Will Help You Take Vibrant Photos From Your Phone

A scene from holi being played in Barsana, shot on an Apple iPhone 11 Pro. (Photo: Rohit Vohra/Apple)

A scene from holi being played in Barsana, shot on an Apple iPhone 11 Pro. (Photo: Rohit Vohra/Apple)

With smartphone photography being our de facto practice at festivals, here are the best practices to help you ace the photos of Holi.

Holi, the festival of colours, is possibly one of the best and trickiest days of the year for the budding photographer in you. With vibrant splashes of colour all around you, if you have a budding hobby in photography, this is the best day for you to be out and about shooting candid moments on the streets. On this note, smartphones today have become excellent photography tools, with their triple, quad and even penta-camera setups being great camera units for budding hobbyists to start their trysts with photography. However, it is also important to be careful, since Holi is a precarious time where you may be doused with a massive splash of water from your vicinity. With all of these factors in mind, here’s looking at five key factors that can help you ace smartphone photography, this Holi.

Keep your phone safe

Before everything else, it is imperative that you keep your smartphone safe from incidental damages. No matter which phone you are shooting with, check its ingress protection (IP) rating to see what kind of external elements is it rated to withstand. Beyond this, even if your phone is rated to resist splashes and dust, it is better to avoid such elements from entering your phone’s ports. As a result, keep your phone inside a zip lock pouch for as long as possible. Be sure to carry multiple lint-free cloths to wipe the screen and the phone camera’s lenses, in case colours and water fall on the device. Every now and then, wipe your phone gently so that no residual water or other foreign objects remain on your phone screen.

Be sure to carry multiple lint-free cloths to wipe the screen and the phone camera’s lenses.

Charge your phone carefully

It is important to be very careful about charging your phone while out shooting photos in Holi. With a very high risk of incurring water splashes on the phone, the biggest threat goes to the charging port. If water accidentally enters the port and you put your phone on charge, you stand the risk of permanently damaging your smartphone. As a result, be sure to charge your phone fully before you go out, and try to last out the day on a single charge. Once back in dry conditions, leave your phone out in the open to dry. Gently tap the phone downward from its charging port to remove traces of water from it, but do not try to blow dry your smartphone’s charging port.

Pick the right photo settings

In terms of pure photography performance, it is crucial to get the settings right. With many devices getting a ‘Pro’ shooting mode today, use it to select the right shutter speed to freeze a moment of water being splashed. Toggle with white balance settings to add just the right amount of warmth, so that the vibrancy of the photographs make the colours pop out. You can also tweak ISO to ensure minimal noise and pixelation in photographs, and even take focusing into your own hands to ensure beautifully blurred backgrounds and spot-on focusing in your Holi photographs.

Take focusing into your own hands to ensure beautifully blurred backgrounds and spot-on focusing in your Holi photographs.

Using smart framing and techniques

Beyond the right settings, the one factor that will get you the best Holi photographs is by framing your moments right. While looking for spontaneous and candid moments, try to get the right frame by following the rule of thirds. Leave some breathing space in your photographs, i.e. empty areas in your frame that add some relief to the colour-heavy picture. Enable the photography grid from your camera app’s settings in order to help with the framing. Additionally, use techniques such as burst shots extensively when shooting in Holi, because this will give you great flexibility in terms of choosing the perfect shot later.

Taking phone photography to the next level

Take your smartphone photography to the next level by using specialised apps for shooting and post-processing your photos. Use apps such as Filmic Pro, Camera MX and Google Camera on Android, and Halide, Pro Camera and Moment on iPhones, for getting the widest range of settings for phone photography. Also use the likes of Adobe Lightroom for the best post-processing techniques, giving you the ability to shoot RAW images, adjust all possible settings and editing your photographs too, all through your smartphone.