Would you believe we are almost at the longest day? June 21st. Just where has this year gone?!
Whatever your plans are this summer, we all love the long light evenings. It seems possible to do so much more than in the winter, and everything just seems that little bit better.
In this digital age this also means that there are yet more opportunities for taking and sharing photographs. But it can be really difficult to capture good photographs in the sunshine. The light looks great to us but can cause glare on the camera. Yet on the other hand if we take pictures in the shade they just look all dark and gloomy.
So to help us all get some brilliant summer shots, here are Venture Studio’s Top Five Tips for successful summer photography.
Location location location
Don’t just point and shoot. Do take account of the light. Location is everything. So you may need to move either yourself or your subject - or both - so that they are not in the full glare of the sun and that you control the angle at which the light hits the subject.
Sometimes it pays to wait until the main glare of the sun has gone. This may be caused by clouds drifting overhead, or it may mean waiting until just before sunset. But either way, you are likely to achieve a much better result if you are prepared to wait rather than feeling pressured to get the shot now. Of course sometimes it isn’t possible to wait, and in this case you may need to create some artificial shade (for example using an umbrella) in order to get a decent shot.
Shooting with flash - yes, even when outside - can add to the natural sunlight in your shot and ensure that the subject is not underexposed. If you are using photographic equipment that is more sophisticated than just your camera phone (good though these are) then you have an even wider array of gadgets at your disposal. For example you could use a camera filter. Either a neutral density filter or a polarising filter can reduce the amount of light getting into your camera. A polarising filter also reduces reflection and enables more accurate and rich colour representation in your photograph.
Use the lens hood
Some digital cameras come with a lens hood or lens shade. This is a device that you can use on the front end of a lens to block sunlight and prevent glare and lens flare. You can create a makeshift lens hood by either using cardboard and duct tape or by just using your hand to shield your lens from the light. Any of these will help to improve the quality of your photographs.
Get a good balance
You will get a better quality photograph in the sun if you take a wide shot rather than a close up, as this will reduce the impact of shadowing. Also make sure that you have a good balance of content and white space in the photograph, as this will make it look better. If the lighting is not right to get a face on shot, then consider alternative shots such as silhouettes, and focus the camera on the background not the subject.
Enjoy the summer, and we hope that the above tips help you to enjoy some successful summer photography.