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An AP photographer finds a buzzy photo by focusing on the small details during Holi

A swarm of bees attack a drunk man during celebrations marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Guwahati, India, Monday, March 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

A swarm of bees attack a drunk man during celebrations marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Guwahati, India, Monday, March 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

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Anupam Nath has been covering Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Guwahati for two decades.

In that time, he’s mastered navigating the large and vibrant celebrations, which allows him to focus on the small details, the personal. In this photo, one can even see the colored powder used by revelers on bees.

Here’s what Nath said about making this extraordinary image.

Why this Photo

I have been covering Holi festival in this place 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 smeared color 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.

How I made this photo

I climbed up on a stage where a DJ was operating the music system. I stood in a safe zone to protect my gear from the color and dust. From that spot I also got 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.

Why it works

I believe that viewers prefer and appreciate unusual and interesting frames rather than common images. Some photos you can previsualize and can 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.