Holi, the festival of colours, is just a day away. The festival calls in for a celebration with friends and family. However, capturing the memories each year is always a task for someone behind the camera. Smartphones today are equipped with meaty cameras that can help you rest your expensive DLSR in the cabinet, keeping it away from the damage of water and colours during Holi. Not only do phones perform as good, many are also water-resistant. So why not go all out and capture the fun and feast in full colourful glory this year? While most smartphones, especially flagship smartphones, such as the iPhone X or the iPhone 8, can take great shots by simply pointing and shooting, the art of framing the event lays in the hands of the photographer. If you think you are a noob in photography, fear not — we have you covered. Here are some opinions from some professional photographers who sent us a few tips on how to get the best shots using your iPhone X or iPhone 8.
“It’s light, versatile and most importantly, always in my pocket. Having a camera with you at all times enables you to take shots when you are least expecting opportunities and it allows instant uploading to email and social media. I've now even started using the device for taking pictures for photo assignments as well as making videos,” says Travel Photographer Siddhartha Joshi. He goes all out to share his expertise with us.
Bring them in focus: It will help you bring out the colours of Holi and make them stand out like never before! I love taking pictures of those colorful faces and now with iPhone X's rating of IP67, it is water resistant and you can fearlessly shoot pictures. Portrait mode on iPhone X, 8 Plus and 7 Plus adds a depth-of-field effect that puts your subject in sharp focus against an artfully blurred background - making for a stunning picture. I not only use it on people, but often for food as well as a sometimes even for nature photography. Now that portrait mode is also available on the front camera in iPhone X, you can also make some awesome selfies.
Go to the Camera app and swipe to Portrait mode. iPhone X has the added advantage of Portrait Lighting. After you take your photo, tap Edit and choose from Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light, or Stage Light Mono. The effects can go from subtle — making sure the subject’s face is well-lit when they are in shadow — to dramatic — the Stage Light filter makes your subject look like they are spot-lit against a dark background.
Make them slow: These are my favourite for Holi. Water splash and throwing of Holi colour powder are best shot on slo-mo video.
Capture the Burst: Another great trick that can help you capture impressive images on your iPhone is to use the Burst Mode, which allows you to capture up to 10 pictures per second. You can simply use the Burst Mode and get several clear and sharp shots, so you can pick the best frame afterwards. These are great when things happen really fast and to get shots of colours frozen in air!
Get random: Don't just shoot at eye level, get down and dirty as well. I especially love the small reflections on the puddle and a mobile device allows you to get really close to the ground to click them.
Go blind: Shooting in dimly-lit areas can give you some of the most dramatic images. However, doing so on most smartphones often gives you well-exposed but shaky images. Don’t hesitate to use your iPhone to shoot in low-light areas as its optical image stabilization (OIS) system on both rear cameras lowers the chances of image blurring, even when shooting handheld.
Never zoom: There is a 2x mode on the iPhone X, 8 Plus and 7 Plus — use this optical zoom to get closer to the subject. When you pinch and zoom, it's only a digital zoom and the quality deteriorates significantly.
Keep it clean: Use a clean cloth to clean the lens after every few shots. Both colour and water on the lens can give you blurred shots.
And finally, after you’re done with the shoot, give your device time to dry up well. It will be ready to shoot again within minutes!
Bangalore-based Photographer Ashish Parmar adds capture emotions and interactions between two people playing and don’t just shoot faces, shoot finer details like the arrangement of powder, food and other decorations. He gives his work a more drama, and the images stand out on their own, talking to the viewer like telepathy.
Free your fingers: While you can take a photo using either the volume buttons or tapping on the screen, it may be more convenient to turn on a timer and let the camera snap away — saving you from pressing buttons. At the top of the camera screen, hit the timer icon and select from a three- or 10-second timer and you’re set.
Automate it: You’ve taken that selfies, but it could use something more… maybe a bit more panache! The auto-enhance wand is here to help. In ‘edit,’ tap the wand in the upper right corner to instantly improve your picture’s exposure, contrast, saturation, and other qualities. It's the fastest way to make your selfie even more amazing.
Give your Selfies some life: Want some motion in that selfie? On iPhone X, try using Live Photo to create a looping image. First take a selfie with Live Photo turned on, select the image in Photos, and then swipe up to reveal Live Photo effects like loop and bounce.
While these are some casual, yet important and crucial tips sent across by the two professionals, they also believe that photos can get even better after post processing. Well yes, you need to take them off your phone and run them through expensive software on equally expensive hardware to get the best out of your shots. However, they also reveal that you could beat the rush. The pros go ahead to reveal what they use when they have less time, or don’t have their expensive post processing gear at hand. The iPhone X has a powerful internal hardware that can do (almost) what your powerful desktop can.
Apps recommended for stills:
Enlight: The most comprehensive, highest quality photo editing app so powerful and user-friendly it’ll be the last photo app you ever download! smoothly handles everything from quick tweaks to creating that double-exposure masterpiece.
Snapseed: Amazing app for editing, colour correction.
VSCO: With a minimal interface and a wealth of inspired photo-altering tools, VSCO is a great photography app. Behind the crisp design, there’s easy-to-use editing tools, a vast range of stylish film-like presets, and social features.
Apps recommended for videos:
Clips: An iOS app for making and sharing fun videos with text, effects, graphics and more.
iMovie: Browse your video library, share favourite moments, create beautiful movies. And with the iMovie extension, it’s fast and fun to make every video more memorable — directly in the Photos app.
PLOTAVERSE: innovative app gives you the tools to easily animate any image in minutes while adding video overlays for next level effects.
So don’t hesitate to use your iPhone this Holi. Now that you have some gyaan from the best in the photography industry, head out this year with a peace of mind and capture your precious moments. Happy Holi!