8 Tips For Awesome Summer Snaps

20th July 2015

Summer is officially here which means fun times outdoors, longer days and lots of sunlight! Perfect! However you choose to enjoy the lovely weather, here are a few things to think about when taking photographs.

1. Use fill in flash

Don’t be turned off by the techy term ‘fill in’ flash – it’s very simple to master. It does sound a little backwards to use flash when there’s plenty of sunlight but this is one of the best times to use it.

The harsh summer sun usually results in a lot of squinty eyes and shadows across faces, but you can avoid this by positioning your subject so the sun is behind them. This creates a nice back light, then you can use your flash to fill in any shadows for a perfectly exposed image.

Young girls in sunshine

2. Get action shots

With summer comes action, so be prepared to snap moments as they happen! There will be plenty of running, jumping and splashing to capture so make sure you have auto focus set on your camera to keep a moving subject in focus.

Set your camera to shutter priority and use a fast shutter speed if you want to freeze your subject, and a slower shutter speed if you want to create motion blur.

Boy jumping off dock

3. Experiment with silhouettes

The summer sun gives you the perfect opportunity to try out silhouette photography and you can get some brilliant results.

To do this you need your camera facing the sunlight, with your subject directly in between facing you (so the sun is behind them) Move the lens above your subject and press the shutter button halfway down. This will take a meter reading of the background. Keep the shutter pressed halfway in, bring the lens back down, position your subject in the frame and shoot!

You’re basically tricking your camera into thinking you’re taking a photo of the sky, then when you bring the lens back down your subject will be overexposed leaving you with a perfect silhouette.

Surfer in silhouette on beach at sunset

4. Take family photos

There’s no better time to get a nice photo of the family than in the summer. If you’re somewhere fairly scenic, try positioning your crew slightly off centre so there’s a bit more of the background on show.

I also like to take a sneaky photo when no one expects it. Take a second photo straight after the first and you’ll get a really nice natural shot.

Happy babies in red trailer

5. Be prepared

We may love a day at the beach but our camera unfortunately doesn’t! In fact the beach is a camera’s worst enemy. Splashes and mist from the ocean, corrosive salt in the air and a whole lot of sand that can get in every nook and cranny imaginable. Sand in your camera or lens can potentially kill it so take extra precautions.

  • Make sure you’re putting your camera back in the case in between shots, and ideally put the case in a sealed waterproof bag.
  • Take some wipes along with you to clean your hands before handling your camera.
  • Never change your camera lens while on the beach.

When you get home give your camera a good wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any salt.

Tourist with camera

6. Wait for the golden hours

Dawn and sunset are the golden hours, so the first hour of light in the day, and the last hour of light in the evening. At these times, the light is soft, diffused and absolutely beautiful. Definitely worth the wait!

If you’re not getting the same golden shades on your camera screen, slightly underexpose the shot, or use ‘cloudy’ or ‘shade’ setting to keep the colour saturation.

Boys on beach at sunset

7. Don’t forget the details

When you’re out and about on holiday take some time to shoot the little details. It’s a great way of telling a story when you compile your holiday photo book. Include images of the journey there, arriving at the hotel and local cuisine so you can build a story. It’s these little details the memory tends to forget!

Try close ups. Footprints in the sand, sea shells or driftwood on the beach would look great on a canvas, or could make an interesting background for your holiday photo book.

Handful of seashells

8. Be proud of your photos

Probably the most important tip of all. Be proud of your holiday snaps and make something of them. I firmly believe photos are there to be printed, shared and admired, not skipped through on a screen.

There are plenty of ways to get your special memories printed, from photo books to canvas prints or even the classic photo print.. just make sure they’re not left to linger on your hard drive or camera.

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