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5 Essential Outdoor Photography Tips For Summer

Techniques/ Tips

5 Essential Outdoor Photography Tips For Summer

Summer is finally here, and it’s time to make the most of it with your camera. With the winter cold and spring showers behind us, the weather is definitely in your favor for the next few months. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges to shooting in summer. Here are five outdoor photography tips for a successful season of shooting:

Work Around the Sun

The blazing sun high overhead is easily your biggest obstacle of summer, especially when shooting portraits. Take advantage of the diffused light provided by shade and cloudy days. If you must shoot at high noon under a clear blue sky, be sure to keep the sun to your back and not your subject’s.

“When the sun is at my back, I have the subject look off camera (away from the sun) and get very nice results,” says photographer James Pickett. “Another great trick is to wait for a cloud to move in front of the sun; this usually creates a very bright yet contrasted look.”


Make the Magic Hour

The magic hour, also known as the golden hour, is the half-hour or so before sunrise and sunset when the natural light is ideal for shooting. During these times, you can compose beautiful landscapes and portraits without having to duck for shade or wait for clouds. What’s better? This app tracks this magical time of day for you.


Use a Wide-Angle Lens

Summer is the perfect time to go hiking, boating or just plain exploring. Have a wide-angle lens on hand to capture landscapes and scenery, and don’t forget our sun rules from the first tip, especially if you’re bringing people into your shots. Some extra insight from Exposure Guide:

“If it’s bright and sunny, remember to underexpose and use a polarizer filter. If your subject is dark because of a shadow, use fill-in flash.”


Shoot Concerts in Manual

There’s nothing better about summer than outdoor concerts. They’re a blast to go to, and they’re even more fun to shoot. But between daylight, twilight, nighttime and stage lights, you’ll want to jump off of auto mode and shoot in manual so you have more control over your shots.


Capture the Enjoyment

Picnics, BBQs, beach days, pool parties, riverfronts and lakeshores – these are all places to bring your camera and shoot away. The easiest yet most important tip for outdoor summer photography is to capture our communal enjoyment of the outdoors. After all, many of us will be bundled up and hunkered down again before we know it.


Have tips to add? We’d love to hear them – tell us in the comments below and we’ll include your tip in a follow-up post.

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