Published: March 9, 2020 5:04:03 pm
Holi 2020 is here and there’s no better time to click more colourful pictures in India. Thankfully, smartphone photography has evolved considerably over the past few years, and it has gotten a lot better. One major change is the sheer number of cameras at the back with triple or four cameras becoming standard.
The iPhone 11 Pro series has triple cameras, the latest Galaxy S20+ comes with four cameras, even mid-range budget phones such the Redmi Note 8 Pro, Realme 5 Pro, Realme 6 Pro all come with four cameras at the back. What this really means is that now it is possible to take more kinds of shots or pictures with your smartphone. We list out some tips and tricks to get the most out of your Holi pictures.
Compose that shot, try and get the action: Holi is a great time to capture action shots, especially when people are smearing colour over each other’s faces, or just about to throw water. These are the moments you should try and capture when creating your Holi 2020 album. One way of capturing action is to use features like Live Photos on the iPhone, which actually creates a little video, instead of a still picture. Samsung and Google also offer something similar on their phones, which can be handy to use.
Get the exposure right: If you are taking pictures of people playing Holi during the day, make sure too much sun does not play spoilsport with the colours in your photos. If the photos are appearing burnt or overblown, reducing exposure helps and you don’t need to go to the Pro mode to fix this. Most smartphone cameras will manually let you control the exposure in the auto mode.
Before taking the picture, as you tap the screen to get the focus right, you will see a symbol appear to control exposure. On the iPhone it is sun symbol and you can simply slide your finger up and down to increase or decrease exposure. On Samsung phones, Pixel phones and other Android devices, there’s a slider that appears with plus and minus symbols, which you can use to control the exposure. When shooting in very bright sunlight, it might be best to reduce exposure just a tad bit to get the colours to be more accurate at times.
Try out all those lenses: If your smartphone has three or four lenses at the back, Holi is a good occasion to put all of them to use and bring variety to your shots. The ultra-wide lens on your smartphone will let you capture a lot more in the same frame. Phones like Redmi Note 8 Pro, the new Realme 6 Pro, Samsung Galaxy M31, Vivo S1, vivo U10 and many other budget options have an 8MP ultra-wide camera at the back.
Premium flagships like the iPhone 11, the Galaxy S10, the new S20 series, OnePlus 7 series all offer the option for shooting in an ultra-wide mode as well. When shooting in ultra-wide mode, you will notice the zoom level says 0.5x and the lens also switches. One advantage of using this at Holi is that ultra-wide will also let you capture more people in the frame than the regular lens.
Some phones also come with a macro lens, which let you get really close to an object, in some cases as close as 2 cms or others support up to 4 cms. Now, while many of these macro cameras might not deliver in low-light when it comes to details, they do give better in daylight. If your phone has a Macro Lens, try these out to on Holi to see some really close up shots of that thaali with gulaal.
Portrait Mode: This is possible on most phones, even those with single cameras such as the iPhone XR. The Portrait mode will blur the background, though each company has a different name for this. On Samsung phones, it is called Live Focus. Portrait shots are also available on the front cameras of most smartphones. When clicking someone in Portrait mode, make sure the person is at an optimal distance and there is good lighting. Some cameras will also prompt if you need to move closer or further away to get the best results.
Some phones also let you change the background of your Portrait shot after it has been clicked, so you can add more effects, without having to download any kind of specialised app. Portrait shots are a good way of capturing your friends and family in Holi and creating some good memories.
Burst mode: Burst mode is also a quick way of taking lots of photos quickly, and then choosing which is the best picture later on. The advantage is that when shooting your friends or family at Holi, who are unlikely to stay very still, you can capture multiple moments with this mode. If there’s a lot of happening at once, burst mode can be a very handy feature. On the iPhone, just keep the shutter pressed and it will automatically go into burst mode, taking a number of shots as long as you keep the shutter pressed. On the S20+, you just have to swipe the shutter button down and it will take burst shots.
On Xiaomi’s phones, the Burst Shoot mode is available to take such kinds of shots, though you will have to go to the Settings to make sure it is activated. Once this is turned on, you can just press and hold the shutter button to take a number of pictures in quick succession and later on choose the best option from the gallery. Interestingly, the Pixel 3XL replaces the burst mode with Top Shot, where the camera pictures the best shot, though you need to keep the Motion feature on if you want to try this out.
However, it might be a good idea to later delete the shots you don’t want to keep.
Videos on Holi: When it comes to video, many phones are now offering 4K resolution, though very few actually deliver the results that one would want. And there are plenty of video recording apps as well that you can rely on. When shooting videos, try and keep your hands steady, check the resolution the camera is shooting at. You can always switch to a higher resolution and frame-rate, which does deliver excellent results.
Many phones also support slow-motion video and you can use these for creative effects, especially when there is action involved like someone throwing a water balloon or when capturing people putting colour on each other. Slow-motion can result in some funny videos as well, providing you time them just right.
Protect the device and the Lens: Don’t forget this while taking photos during Holi, especially if your hands are covered with colour. Keep the lens of your smartphone clean at all times, perhaps carry a separate microfibre cloth with you to wipe the lens. Keeping the lens clean will ensure less blurry shots.
Also, use a sturdy case with your phone. While some flagship phones do come with water protection rating, if someone dunks your phone inside a pool, it might not be able to survive. Keep in mind water-resistant ratings such as IP67 or IP68 are mostly on flagships such as the iPhone and Samsung’s premium devices. The ‘splash’ resistant coating you see on some budget devices like Redmi Note 8 Pro, is okay for accidental spills and splashes, not if the phone falls inside a big tub of water.
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