Despite the early sunrises, late sunsets and harsh daytime sunlight of summer it’s still one of our favourite times for photography.
Being outside with your camera in the warmer months just feels so good. If you’re struggling to come up with creative ideas during summer, however, our friends and guest bloggers at Photoventure have a few summer photography tips that might help.
1. Head to the beach
Some might argue that beaches are more dramatically beautiful during the stormy winter months, but they’re usually more pleasant, less bracing destinations in summertime. And there’s lots of activity to photograph.
When you’re planning a photographic trip to the beach it’s a good idea to check the tides times as well as the weather as the best time for beachscapes is often just after high tide when the pristine sand is gradually revealed.
Arriving at low tide on a popular beach will often mean that the sand is churned up and covered in sun worshipers and their footprints – although these can make great photos.
Before you step onto the beach, think about what type of shots you want to take and fit an appropriate lens, ideally you want to avoid changing lens once you’re in the sandy environment.
A telephoto optic is great for shooting seaside activities from afar, but you may want something a little shorter if there’s someone you’d like to shoot as portrait subject.
A wide-angle lens, however, is ideal for giving a sense of space.
2. Have a picnic
A summertime picnic with a few tasty treats puts everyone in a good mood and increases your chances of getting a few nice family portraits.
If you take along a tripod you can also get a few shots of the whole family together having fun.
For the best results, arrange the family on a blanket in dappled shade and use a flashgun to brighten things up and inject a little sparkle.
If you have a wireless remote, or your camera has Wi-Fi connectivity built-in so you can control it remotely via your ‘phone, you can trip the shutter from within the scene.
Even so, make sure you’ve set the camera to self-timer with a 2 second delay so you have time to hide the remote.
Alternatively, set the camera to the 10 or 12 second delay and run into the scene – that can be more fun anyway!
3. Have a little flare
Flare is something we often take great pains to avoid, but it can be very attractive and it screams ‘summer sunshine’, so why not try taking a few shots that actually make use of it?
It can work very well in portraits and some landscape or detail shots.
If you’re shooting around the middle of the day you may need to shoot from a low angle (unless you’re using a very wide lens) to get flare.
In extreme cases you may want to include the sun in the frame, but on others you just need the sun to be shining across the front lens element to start some light bouncing around inside the barrel.
4. Play with a polariser
Blue skies can be turned almost black by using a polariser and although it’s probably not a look that you want very often, it can produce some interesting results and it’s fun experimenting.
A polariser can also help bring out the white clouds in an otherwise blue sky, cut down on reflections in water and boost saturation.
5. Travel light
One of the great things about summer is that there’s so much light during the day, even when it’s not especially sunny or you’re in a shaded area.
This means that you’re more likely to be able to use small apertures and still have hand-holdable shutter speed than you are in the winter, so it’s safer to leave your tripod at home.
Why not take advantage of this extra freedom and go out with just one lens on your camera?
Carrying less gear will mean you can travel further on foot and explore more photographic opportunities. You can always return on another day with an alternative lens.
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