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Summer Photography tips

Summer it’s still one of my favorite times for photography. Being outside with your camera in the warmer months just feels so good.

Summer photography offers hundreds, if not thousands, of 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 towns websites for their calendar of events, there is a good chance something is going on near you.

Here are some ideas and tips to get the most out of capturing all those wonderful summer memories:

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 flash to brighten things up and inject a little sparkle. If you have a wireless remote, or your camera has Wi-Fi connectivity built-in you may be able to 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!

Play with a Polarizer

Blue skies can be turned almost black by using a polarizer, 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 polarizer can also help bring out the white clouds in an otherwise blue sky, cut down on reflections in water and boost saturation.

You can use your [non-prescription] polarized sunglasses for this. Just hold them in front of your lens and rotate them until you get the desired effect.

Shoot a childhood summer

Think back to your childhood summers, what do you remember? Exciting voyages of discovery on your new bike perhaps? Or maybe day trips to the coast, meeting an elephant at the zoo or exploring an ancient castle with an ice-cream quickly melting over your hand?

Your kids or grandchildren are creating their childhood memories now, and shooting them would make a great summer project for you that they will thank you for in about 20 years time.

If you don’t have any youngsters in the family, why not recreate your own memories and shoot them?

Take some self-portraits

The habitual problem for photographers is that they are always taking the photographs and are rarely in them. Resolve to put this right this summer and take photographs of you and your significant other (or just you) wherever you go.

Don’t be tempted to just use your phone and shoot everything at arm’s length though. Use your proper camera and take care with the composition, tripping the shutter remotely or using the self-timer so you can be in the shot. Don’t forget to use fill-in flash.

Shoot monochrome

Blue skies and summer flowers all make for great summer shots, but the bright sun and deep shadows can be great for monochrome images, especially in cities.

Set your camera’s Picture Style or Picture Control to monochrome.

Shoot summer sport

There are some great summer sports out there to shoot.

You could try your hand at shooting water skiers or jet skiers or even the kids tubing behind the boat. Remember to set your camera to the “Sport” mode or use a fast shutter speed to stop the action. You should also zoom your lens so that the subject fills the frame, or perhaps cast your net a little wider and investigate the photographic opportunities at the Geneseo Air Show or the Conesus Lake Association Arts and Crafts Festival at Long Point Park

The sport itself is an interesting subject, but the supporters can also be fun. Take a nice long lens to enable you to frame your subjects nice and tight.

Make your own postcards

If you’re not going away this summer you could still try shooting images suitable for turning into postcards.

The challenge is to find the perfect locations for the shoot that shows what’s best or most beautiful about your location and then shoot them in a way that makes them look great.

Don’t just pop out and take a few snaps, think about the best time of day, the ideal weather, which viewpoint to use

Photograph In Bad Weather

Bad weather can be a bummer, moods get bent and plans are spoiled. Most people pack up their gear and head home (or don’t go out at all) if the weather is anything but perfect. Take advantage of the warmer weather and plan a photo outing next time the weather looks foul.

Plan to visit places that are normally bustling with people for an opportunity to capture unique shots. When bad weather strikes you’ll have an opportunity to capture people scrambling for a dry place or reflections in puddles. Alternatively, you have an opportunity to capture photographs of places that are normally busy, void of life (think empty sidewalks in the city).

If anybody has any questions they would to see discussed, please contact me through our Facebook page @LakeCountryEcho or my page at @MrEPhotographer.

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