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Summer Photography Tips

As the Year Gets Hotter, Photographic Lighting Changes. Summer moves in, the days get longer and hotter.  Photography is all about lighting and as the days get longer, the type of natural light that you have available to you changes with the season.  So, how will the summer days affect your photography?

summer photography tips, summer photography ideas, summer photography

Earlier Dawns

Summer days start earlier than fall and winter days.  This not only means you would have to get up earlier to get those dawn shots, but you’ll also have to take into account the intensity of the sun.  As the sun comes down on a summer morning, it can often be intense depending on the weather.

summer photography tips, summer photography ideas, summer photographyStrong Midday Sun

Midday is not generally the best time for photography.  The sun is harsh and can often complete wash out a great shot.  From noon to about three o’clock in the afternoon, you’ll find the sun is very strong.  Although, strong sunlight can make your strong colors appear more brilliant while you’re lighter colors seem more pale and washed out.  Depending on what you’re shooting, high noon in the summer may be a good time to shoot certain items depending on their colors.

summer photography tips, summer photography ideas, summer photographyLater Dusks

A summer evening is not only cooler, but it comes much later.  This provides you with a little more time in the evenings to shoot.  You’ll find that the summer can often offer amazing sunsets depending on your location and the weather at the time.  The color of the sunlight also changes drastically throughout the day during the summer and can offer excellent opportunities for getting unique shots.

It is generally better to shoot during the late afternoon or early evening of the summer, as the shadows produced are usually longer and softer.  This often creates a better photo than your bright midday.  However, at the same time, you need to be careful that the shadows do not cause your photos to be overexposed.

Don’t Let Your Camera Get Fooled

Almost white bright winter snow, bright summer light can cause unique challenges to your camera.  The bright sun can fool your light meters, which causes your images to look dark in your photos.  The result is often that your photos are underexposed.  You can compensate for this by manually setting your camera to have a wider opening of between 1 and 2 F-stops.  This will usually provide you with the ability to take clearer photographs.

summer photography tips, summer photography ideas, summer photographyReducing Flair

Another issue that often occurs is that a flare occurs in your shots.  You can try to compensate for this by blocking some of the sun with your hand or moving into a position where another object blocks some of the direct sun causing the flare.

By considering your lighting and using these tips, you’ll be able to find great summer shots and you’ll be able to preserve all of your summer memories in excellent photos.

About the Author

Amy is an multi-award winning photographer from Australia. She teaches enthusiast photographers how to take beautiful, professional photos in easy, plain English. She has a monthly photography emagazine and ebooks to help you create stunning images every time. DigitalPhotographySuccess.com

Comments (13)

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  1. Kaitlyn says:

    Do you think that winter photography is the same but just opposite principles applied? What is the difference between summer photography and winter photography? DO you have to do different things or just shoot as normal?

    • I’ll post an article about winter photography here and I’ll explain what the difference is. Anytime you have different light, you are wise to handle the shot differently. You have got to work WITH light, not try and skip the principles associated with it. Great question, thanks.

    • Not really, because it depends on the light. You can’t really “reverse” the principles because it’s always only ever about the light. Thanks for your great question.

  2. Francis says:

    Photography is an art that requires passion, an eye for a detail, a camera, and a subject. Nature Photography is not about taking a picture of a leaf or a waterfall but it is about how detailed the picture is, how beautiful it looks, and what impressions it produces for the observer. It is never as easy as it seems and to take pictures of cascading waterfalls, meandering rivers and snowclad mountains can require a lot more than a good camera and passion for photography.

    Nature photography also known as landscape photography comprises of a number of elements, and how you bring these elements together to present a whole picture is fundamental to this art. A photographic composition includes visual elements comprising of a photographers vision and the ability to see, identify, arrange, and frame a finished or complete image. This is definitely a distinct skill and if you think you have such a skill then landscape photography will be a great experience and career for you.

    Lets look at some of the basic elements that will play a major role in defining the final picture. The first element is Scale. If you take into consideration images of nature then you will find that most of them differ by the scale of the scene captured. The three different categories to be kept in mind are:

    1.Grand Scenery: This includes huge expanses of landscape

    2.Intimate Scenery: This is one of the most elusive of all sceneries, as you will have to isolate a “scene within the scene” and keep only the important part.

    3.Macro Scenery: This includes enlarging the elements, which are small in nature and cannot be noticed otherwise.

    It is very important to examine and interpret each of these scenes distinctively to get the best picture. The important thing to understand is that you should not block your mind or vision to a particular scale you need to have an open mind so that you can add variations and use the opportunities to your advantage.

    The second important element of nature photography is Raw Material and it is further composed of subelements like:

    1. Light: Very important element, you need to identify and adjust its direction, color, and angle

    2. Shape: It consists of the outline as well as the surface of different objects in a particular scene

    3. Lines: There can be straight, and curved lines, which may be pointing out or in from the frame towards a given object

    4. Textures and patterns

    5. Colors and tones

    6. Frame boundaries

    The third important element that you need to work on is Complexity. In any landscape photograph there is an underlying concept that drives the composition of that particular image. The concept will help the viewer to understand the picture or image with various connotations, and help identify the relationship between them and the image. This is why an image should neither be too simple nor be too complex but at the same time, it should be complex enough for the viewer to delve deeper into the composition to find the hidden meaning to make him/her think.

    The last element in Nature Photography is Perspective and it can be defined as the visual relationship between the scene portrayed and the point from where it is being viewed.

    Once you have understood the importance and impact of various elements required of landscape photography, you would be able to create the magic that will hold the viewer spellbound.

  3. Bob Johnson says:

    A great piece – thank you so much for posting it. I would definitely recommend thet every one else should have a look at it.

  4. Jane Willis says:

    I understand the point that you were trying to focus on, good post, I liked it.

  5. Annie Jackson says:

    I love summer photography, it’s the only time in the year I have to really relax and do something I love. Great post, thanks Amy. Love your site by the way, lots of useful tips. They really help. :)

  6. Cheryl says:

    What a great article! Thanks for posting. It’s always summer where I am working, but as soon as I get back to CA I’ll be applying your techniques. I’m a big fan of your work Amy, I bought your ebook package and love it. It’
    s the most comprehensive photography ebooks on the internet, best I’ve ever read. Thanks a million! -Chez.

  7. Harry Betsen says:

    Do you think the light at dusk is the same as light at dawn?

    • Hi Harry, It is similar yes, but you do still have some varying degrees of tonal range at each end of the day. The light at dusk is warmer. It does depend on the seasons though, and of course the weather on the day.

  8. Daisy says:

    I highly vote for this site. Good tips, and a quality content to read.

  9. You’ve got great insights about photography techniques, keep up the good work!

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