5 tips for better summer photography

Thistle on a sunset.
Photo by Anna Omelchenko/Shutterstock

It’s that time of the year again when venturing out with your camera is that much more appealing with clear blue skies and sunshine as your backdrop. There’s so much to see, whether it’s people watching on the bustling streets of the city or calm lake waters under a setting sun. Summer means something different to everyone, so tell your story—your way.

Summer to me is…

A man pouring a glass of wine into a woman's glass on a picnic.

Photo by nada54/Shutterstock

Camping. Picnics in the park. Going up to the cottage. Napping in a hammock in your backyard. Sitting by the pool. Maybe it’s a combination of all of those things. Your summer experience is personal and unique to you and who you are—take a minute to think about all the wonderful activities you enjoy doing during the summer months and capture all the little moments from your own perspective. You’ll enjoy looking back on them when the snow falls and you’re missing the sun’s warmth blanketed around you. Consider printing your favourite photos and displaying them around your home or even on your fridge.

Stay away from harsh light

A photo of two teenagers with harsh sunlight behind them.

Photo by Zurijeta/Shutterstock

Even though those gorgeous rays of sunshine feel amazing on your face and body, they’re not the best for taking photos. Harsh streams of light create shadows on your subject’s face, so it’s important to move out of the direct sunlight when shooting. Another option is to use a diffuser, a translucent material that scatters rays of light, to reduce glare and harsh shadows. Instead of buying a diffuser, you can also have a friend hold up a white bed sheet between the sun and your subject. For a soft and beautiful time of day to shoot, think about the “golden hour,” which is a half hour before and half hour after sunrise or sunset.

Embrace colour

Colourful carousel in the park.

Photo by dugwy39/Shutterstock

Summer is a very colourful time. From blooming flowers of pinks, purples, and reds, to vibrant amusement park carousel rides, warm and dynamic tones are everywhere. When much of the year in Canada is grey, white with often colder, darker hues, summer is the ideal time to have some fun with colour. Get close to your subject, whether it’s a loved one in a bright, red dress, or a blade of grass in a big field. Take risks and photograph everything that catches your eye!

Take selfies

A woman holding flowers in a field portrait photo.

Photo by Krizek Vaclav/Shutterstock

If you find yourself surrounded by natural beauty, go ahead and snap a shot of yourself. Taking photos with your phone is limited by arm length and it won’t grant you the best composition either. Set your camera’s timer and create a memorable self-portrait within the environment or next to something interesting you may have stumbled upon. Say cheese!

Patience is a virtue

A water droplet with reflection of forest in a puddle.

Photo by Bryan Pell/Shutterstock

Patience in life is key, but it’s also vital when it comes to photography. Any professional photographer will tell you to stick with a scene and work with it. That might mean waiting until the perfect subject enters your frame, like a person walking by, a passing bicycle, or an animal if you’re taking nature shots. Stay at your chosen scene and try taking pictures from a variety of angles—shooting from a range of perspectives will offer diverse results and tell very different stories. Don’t rush away. Consider setting up your camera and spending some time waiting for the subtle changes to take effect, like the changing colours of the sky.

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