An Associated Press photographer snaps a buzzy photo by focusing on the details during Holi

GUWAHATI, India (AP) — Anupam Nath has been covering Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Guwahati in northeastern India for two decades. In that time, he’s mastered navigating the large, vibrant celebrations, which allows him to focus on the small details. In this photo one can even see the colored powder used by revelers on a swarm of bees. Here’s what Nath said about making this extraordinary image:


I have been covering the Holi festival, where hundreds of people gather and celebrate together, since 2004. Every year I try to find at least one interesting face to photograph. This year, I was looking for some interesting people and this person with color smeared on his face suddenly caught my eye. When I saw a swarm of bees attack the man, who appeared drunk and couldn’t find his balance, I knew I had my image. I did not waste time and immediately started clicking.


I climbed up on a stage where a DJ was operating the music system. To protect my gear I stood in an area that was safe from the color and dust. From that spot I also had a better view for framing my photos. I carried two cameras with different lenses. I took this image with my Sony A1 camera with 70-200mm 2.8 lens to get a close and clear frame. It is a full frame which I have not cropped.


I believe that viewers prefer and appreciate unusual and interesting frames rather than common images. Some photos you can previsualize and plan accordingly. Some you can’t. You have to make decisions instantly about how you will capture the moment, with which camera and lens. So, I think this works because it is an unusual image that I captured instantly.


For more extraordinary AP photography, click here.

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