Summer is the perfect time to get out the camera and capture all those momentous summer occasions. What summer would be complete without shots of sandcastles on the beach, ice pops in the garden and splashing in paddling pools?
With us all reaching for our cameras we thought we’d give you a couple of new things to try and a few tips for when you’re out and about getting snap happy this summer.
1. Have fun with lens flare
Lens flare is something we often try to avoid but in summer why not play around with it a little? A lens flare is what happens when strong sunlight is captured and bounces around inside the lens systems.
If you’re shooting during the day you may need to shoot from a lower angle than usual to get a lens flare. Try and get the sun shining across the front of the lens itself to get that light bouncing around inside and give you that perfect summer flare.
Don’t be disappointed if you’re flummoxed by flare, you can always add one in afterwards on Photoshop really easily. It’s a fun summer effect perfect for this time of year.
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. Try just taking one lens with your DSLR, or take a compact camera for the day. Your phone can often be the best camera and when the light is so good in the summer it’s an excellent chance to get to grips with the basics of your gear.
3. Play with Black and White
The bright sunlight and deep shadows that you get during the summer create high contrasting images. These high contrast images are perfect for black and whites. Look at shapes and textures and try turning these shots black and white, you’ll probably end up with something amazing that you just can’t get as easily in the winter.
4. Switch your cards
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to your memory cards. If you’re going on a trip make sure you’ve got more than one memory card and don’t keep them all in the same place. There was a time when memory cards used to cost the earth, but now you can pick up a 16gb memory card fairly cheaply.
There’s nothing worse than that feeling of knowing you’ve lost pictures, so the easiest way to have peace of mind is not to shoot all of your holiday on one memory card. If you’re away for a little while why not swap cards every day and leave one in the hotel – just in case the worst happens.
5. Avoid harsh shadows
One of the main problems we have in the summer are the harsh shadows the sun creates. There’s nothing worse than trying to take a picture of friends and family on the beach and everyone having harsh shadows on their faces.
The quickest fix is of course to move everyone into the shade, that way you still get the summer sun in your background but you avoid everyone squinting. Alternatively, you can make sure everyone has their backs to the sun and then expose for the faces of your subjects.
6. The Beach is not your friend
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.
If you’re taking your DSLR to the beach why not just use one lens? Don’t change it while there is salt spray and sand around. If you’re going to change lenses then keep your camera faced down and do it as quickly as possible. You can always give everything a good wipe down afterwards – in fact some people keep an old make-up brush in their camera bags to give everything a quick brush over after a beach session.
Of course summer fun isn’t always about taking your ‘big camera’ everywhere so if this all sounds like too much of a headache just relax, have fun and use your phone camera for the day.
7. Steal and Borrow
If you’re on holiday in an unfamiliar area and you want to know where the best pictures are in the area then look at the postcards. Go check out and where the postcard snaps have been taken and then go there yourself. You can borrow someone else’s expertise and take stunning pictures in what you know are the best locations.
Need some inspiration?
[Photo credits: Shutterstock and Becky Day]