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Summer Photography Tips


Tips on taking summer photos

For travellers, summer is the perfect time to get out the camera and capture all those sunny days and blue skies.


But capturing those shots perfectly can take practice, so our photography expert Becky is on hand to share some tips for getting the most from your camera in the summer months.

Happy Snapping!


1. Have fun with lens flare

lens flare

Lens flare is something most of us try and avoid in bright sunlight, but it can add a really fun effect to your images when captured deliberately.

Basically, lens flare happens when strong light is captured and bounces around inside the lens system of your camera. To capture it deliberately, try shooting from a slightly lower angle and pointing the camera slightly upwards. If you can get the sun shining across the front of the lens itself, there’s a great chance you’ll capture that perfect summer sun flare.

If you can’t manage to capture the flare, don’t despair – it’s actually pretty easy to fake it (a little) and add in the flare using Photoshop or another image editing app.


2. Travel Light, Less Gear

It’s summer. It’s hot, sticky and sweaty – unless it’s raining of course.

On a hot summer’s day the last thing you want to be doing is carting around a load of heavy gear in a camera bag. When that happens, you’re far more likely to ignore the camera and not get it out quite so often, just because it’s such a faff!

Try taking just one lens with your DSLR – a good, flexible lens will be suitable for landscapes, portraits and even close-up shots. And don’t forget your phone can often be a great camera, especially in summer when the light is so much better – it’s an excellent chance to experiment with your phone camera’s features and settings.


3. Play with Black and White

Summer is a lovely time to capture colourful shots, but did you know that the bright sunlight and deep shadows you get during summer create high contrasting images? These are perfect for creating really striking black and whites. Try looking through the camera at shapes and textures that you can capture and turn into black and white photos – you’ll probably end up with the sort of images you’d struggle to capture in the winter months.

 Black and white seascape


4. Switch your cards

If you’re travelling during the summer months, it’s more important than ever to not take chances with your images. Hot weather and high humidity can play havoc with camera kit, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to memory cards – always carry two spare cards, in different places. Check whether you can wirelessly transfer images as you shoot them, to a cloud back-up service, or consider investing in a portable hard drive so you can back up images on the fly.

5. Avoid harsh shadows

As photographers, one of the main challenges you’ll face during the summer is shadow – strong sunlight means harsh shadows! There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to take a picture of someone on a beach and finding their face is hidden in shadow.

The quickest (and most obvious) fix is to move everyone into the shade, so you can get the sunny background without the shadows and squints. Alternatively, try to make sure everyone has their backs to the sunlight, and on your camera, set the exposure for their faces, not the background.

6. Treat the Beach with caution 

We love the beach. Of course. But as a photographer, the beach is my nemesis. There’s nothing worse for your lens than getting up close and personal with those tiny, impossible to clean grains of sand. Grrr. Changing lenses on the beach isn’t a good idea if you want to keep your camera sensor spotless, either.

So what can you do? Try and find one lens that will work on the beach, to avoid risky lens changes. If you are going to change lenses then keep the camera face down, and don’t hang around – the quicker, the better. Consider carrying a plastic bag and cosmetics brush in your camera bag to help keep everything clean, dry and sand-free.

Just remember that your lovely DSLR is not always best friends with the beach. There’s nothing worse for your lens than getting those tiny and impossible to remove grains of sand inside your lens. Changing your lens on the beach isn’t the best idea if you want to keep your sensor spotless.

7. Beg, Steal, Borrow

If you’re travelling somewhere new then consider asking the locals where is the best spot to get a view of a particular landmark, or to watch the sun rise. Look at postcards in local shops – where were they taken? You can borrow someone else’s inside knowledge and then use your skills to go and capture your own, unique images in a great location.


[Photo credits: Shutterstock and Ar-Blog]

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