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Summer Stories

Does summer mean picnics, building sand castles at the beach, car rides with the top down, or playing Frisbee with the dog? Do you think of blue skies, blazing heat, and cornfields? Is summer a time to spend at the cottage with your family, fishing, swimming in the lake, and roasting marshmallows on the camp fire? Does it mean eating ice cream, soaking up the air-conditioning at the mall, and wearing flip flops?

Whatever summer means to you, it is memories that you want to capture. These are the memories to share with friends and family, now and in the future. These images are the story of your life.

Think about what summer means to you, and strive to capture that in your images. You want your images to tell the story of summer and how it makes you feel.

These activities can all be turned into iconic images that capture the mood of summer. The most important thing is for you to make your images personal and to photograph the subjects that represent summer for you.

These are a few ideas and suggestions on how to make those memories stand out.

The kids, grandkids, neighbor kids, and so on, are out of school. They are running around having fun. Get in there and have fun with them, Get them used to you having the camera with you, so you can capture those candid moments that mean so much, rather than the posed, “I don’t want to be here” moments. When you do take that picture, get down to their eye level, it’ll instantly change the way your photos look.

Look for cloudy days to shoot. The light isn’t as harsh, and the shadows can be a real challenge. Cloudy days actually produce a diffuse light that’s more balanced and flattering for people shots.

Get active with your camera in the hour before sunset when natural light is especially gorgeous. Sunlight comes toward the earth at a very low angle, leading it to be much less harsh and more flattering than in the middle of the afternoon. Similarly, the light just after dawn is also particularly great for shooting photographs (except for the obvious fact that it also requires getting up at dawn).

Get close to your subject; as close as you can. Do not rely on the zoom to get close, get up and walk closer.

A good rule of thumb for most shots is that light should always be coming from behind the photographer, or at least in front of the subject.

Take the shot. In fact, take lots of shots. With digital, you just erase the bad ones and you’ll be surprised how many good one you will get. But if you don’t take that shot, it’s gone forever. The best photos often come from unplanned moments, so explore places you’ve never been to before; look at the everyday in a different way; have some fun with your camera.

Summer photography offers almost unlimited opportunities to practice photography morning, noon, and night. The weather is warmer and the days are longer, there are festivals for everything. almost every weekend. If you’re having trouble coming up with something to photograph check out local town’s websites for their calendar of events, there is a good chance something is going on near you.

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