Summer is one time of the year where we can head out with our camera in tow, knowing we have plenty of daylight hours and light to work with. But summer, just like any other season, poses its own set of obstacles to overcome. Thankfully, we are here to help. Here are our 8 tips and gear recommendations to capture summer photos with the whole family, and prepare you for all the fun you and your little ones are going to have this summer.
1. Avoid the midday sun if you can help it
While it’s tempting to go out in the sun during summer, it actually isn’t the best time to snap your photos. It’s a hot tip that shadows are much darker when the sun is shining bright, which can be tricky to photograph. Our summer photography tip for dealing with shadows is: avoid shooting at midday when the sun is directly overhead. For the best results, plan ahead for some golden hour summer photos. If you’re not familiar with this gorgeous time of day, it is the period right after sunrise or just before sunset when the sun shines a beautiful golden colour, and it’s the best time of the day to capture beautiful family portraits.
2. Shoot with the sun at your back
Understanding the sun’s direction and how sunlight impacts your photos is a great way to add a more professional edge. By positioning yourself so the sun is at your back, there is every chance your subject will be well illuminated. We recommend experimenting with the direction of the sun. From directly behind you, the sun will light your subject from the front, which can look
unflattering and will make it difficult for your subject to keep their eyes open. But if you stand at an angle, you can achieve some gorgeous photos for summer, especially if you’re taking portrait photos.
3. Or shoot into the sun for stylish silhouettes
If you want to capture dramatic silhouettes, summertime is just stunning. All you have to do is ignore everything we have said above and shoot directly into the sun and position your subject in between. The overwhelming light coming from behind your subject will underexpose your subject, thus preventing any detail from being captured. What you end up with is a gorgeous silhouette.
4. Use a lens polarising filter
We’ve all stared deeply toward a warm, summer landscape image and fallen in love with its deep blue sky. But if you want to take a photo of that same rolling vista, you might want to grab yourself a polarising filter to really get the most out of your summer pics. Circular Polarising filters are easy-to-use, screw-on filters that help produce a more saturated colour palette. That means brighter and more vibrant colours. Commonplace inside any photographer’s tool kits, polarising filters can also reduce the appearance of reflections on water, which makes them handy for summer photos at the beach.
5. Select the best summer photo camera settings
For beginner photographers, chances are you’re still getting used to all the buttons and gizmos. But once you start getting a feel for photography, it might be time to venture out of auto mode and start tinkering with the manual settings. Although all modern cameras are incredible machines that can automatically pick the ideal settings for any given photo, it’s not as creative as manual. If you’re game enough to switch that dial in your quest for brilliant summer memory
photos, have a read of our top camera setting pointers.
● ISO determines how sensitive your camera is to light. Typically starting at 100, the higher the ISO number, the brighter the image will be. However, since we’re taking photos for summer, you’ll want to select a low ISO to avoid overexposing your shots and introducing noise (photo grain).
● Shutter speed is how long the physical shutter on your camera stays open when taking a photo. The longer it stays open, the more light captured, the brighter your image will be. During summer, light is more abundant, so play around with faster shutter speeds by working your way
up from about 1/50 to 1/60 of a second.
● Aperture is a name given to the opening at the end of your camera lens. Referred to f-stops, the lower the number, the larger the hole, and the more light captured. Low aperture settings can also significantly impact the depth of field in an image or camera blur. A word of warning, though – because we are shooting in summer when the sun is typically the brightest, a wide-open aperture will likely overexpose your photos.
6. Use an ND Filter
If you want a wide-open aperture but don’t want to overexposure your summer photos, we recommend picking up an ND filter. Like the polarising filter, ND filters screw onto the front of your camera lens and reduce the amount of light entering. This will allow you to use lower aperture settings for a shallow depth of field.
7. Play with white balance
White Balance is the setting on your camera that determines what white is. You might read that and think, isn’t white, white? Not always. To keep things simple, the colour white can change depending on the temperature of the light. Photographers generally use white balance to achieve accurate colours. However, with a bit of fiddling, you can create some exciting moods too. Adjusting the white balance can give your images a cooler or warmer feel, depending on your desired outcome. While you can certainly fine-tune your selection, modern cameras typically have a bunch of preset options, such as shade, sunny etc. Play around with the presets and have fun taking summer montage of photos.
8. Capture the essence of summer
If you want your Instagram feed to be the talk of summer, you should treat every summer outing or activity as a photo op. We’re talking snapshots of your family outings, close-up images of your little ones’ feet in the sand at the beach, family picnics on the green grass, or your view along your late-night evening strolls. That’s right, even your smartphone is a welcome companion for some beach summer pics. But if you’re looking to upgrade without sacrificing portability, we recommend taking a closer look at Ted’s camera stores Mirrorless range. Tiny but mighty, mirrorless cameras are taking the world by storm. Considering how small the new Sony A7C is, there’s no telling how much more portable they’ll become.
Get ready for summertime with Ted’s
If you’re after the latest and greatest photography equipment, alongside more easy photography tips, then visit Ted’s Cameras and their blog. With new gear constantly arriving, you’ll need to keep a close eye on our new releases section to see for the very best in camera gear and equipment in Australia. Browse their website today or shop in person at your nearest Ted’s Cameras store.
If you want your Instagram feed to be the talk of summer, you should treat every summer outing or activity as a photo op. We’re talking snapshots of your family outings, close-up images of your little ones’ feet in the sand at the beach, family picnics on the green grass, or your view along your late-night evening strolls. That’s right, even your smartphone is a welcome companion for some beach summer pics.
But if you’re looking to upgrade without sacrificing portability, we recommend taking a closer look at Ted’s camera stores Mirrorless range. Tiny but mighty, mirrorless cameras are taking the world by storm. Considering how small the new Sony A7C is, there’s no telling how much more portable they’ll become.