5 Simple Tips to Photograph the Independence Day Parade

India is gearing up to celebrate its 70th year of independence from the British Raj, come August 15th. The independence day parade held in the capital every year is a huge spectacle and draws in hordes of enthusiastic Indians. The parade is watched by millions of Indians and its photos are circulated widely. If you are in Delhi this independence day and are photographing the event, follow these simple hacks to get beautiful pictures of the parade.

1. Know the parade route

Do a through research of the parade. Know the start point, the end point and the route the parade is set to take. If possible, scout the area a day prior so that you can pick an appropriate spot to photograph from. Get to the location early so that you get the front row. It’s going to be incredibly hard to shoot images between people’s heads.

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2. Make a list of platoons participating in the parade

Try to get information about all the platoons that are participating and the order they will pass during the parade. This will help you plan your shots better. Knowing what kind of formations these platoons usually pass in, will also help you pre-determine the kind of lenses you need to use.

3. Incorporate different perspectives

Shooting from a variety of perspectives can change the meaning of a photograph. Take eye level shots to capture the details on the floats and the platoons. Shoot from above to get an overall view of the parade. However, getting access may be difficult to capture aerial shots. You can make use of a tripod, hold it high and use a remote shutter to get the desired shots. Shoot from a low ground to make the floats and the people look grand and larger than life.

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4. Experiment with shutter speed

You can manipulate your shutter speed to get some creative shots of the parade. For instance, use a slow shutter speed to blur the background and emphasize the subject. Alternatively, you can drag the shutter speed to blur a motion. This makes a shot look creative and unusual.

4. Capture the reaction of spectators

Photograph the reaction of the spectators to add to your photo story. Capture the laughter, the awe, the surprise, the excitement other beautiful moments during the parade.

Photo by: Ravindran N

5. Camera settings

There’s never a fixed formula of camera settings while photographing a parade. There are several variables in play such as lighting, parade speed, crowd and the weather. That said, below are a few standard practices you can follow.

Shutter Speed: Since the platoons and the floats are in motion, use fast shutter speed to capture sharp photographs. Ideally, a shutter speed between 1/250 and 1/500 is good for freezing motion. However, you may have to use faster shutter speeds for freezing faster motions.

Aperture: Use a smaller aperture if you want the entire scene to be sharp. On the other hand, if you want a shallow depth of field, you must use a larger aperture.

Exposure Modes: Use auto ISO as you may not have the time to change the settings. Let your camera worry about the ISO as you work on choosing the right shutter speed and aperture for a particular shot.

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