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Capturing Summer

Summer may be quickly fading, but there is still plenty of time to capture all those gorgeous summer moments. Here’s a list of quintessential shots to capture along with some helpful tips to make your images look great!

1. Beach Pictures

The beach presents you with an exciting array of photographic opportunities, but it can also be a challenging location for photography in terms of light and the vast expanse of open space. First off, I usually wrap my camera bag in a towel just to be extra careful of sand and elements. One helpful tip when taking pictures of the landscape of the beach is that you should always include a focal point in your image. You need an interesting point of focus that will give the viewer a place for their eye to rest, it could be a person, a boat, a pier, a rock, a sandcastle, a lifeguard tower, footprints in the sand – anything that gives your photo meaning. The beach is full of subjects moving in unpredictable ways, such as crashing waves, squirmy toddlers, and big kids riding the surf. This is where burst mode is invaluable to help you capture just the right moment. To activate burst mode on a iPhone simply hold down the shutter button for half a second or longer, and the iPhone will start taking photos one after another. 

2. Swimming

Outdoor swimming is a true sign of summer and a wonderful opportunity to capture those idyllic summer moments. To capture images at the pool, I use a combination of a high shutter speed and small aperture. The fast shutter speed keeps the image from being over exposed and freezes the motion of the swimming/running/jumping child while the wide open aperture means the other people and items at the pool are out of focus and don’t pull attention away from my subject.

3. Food

Summer is all about cookouts, ice cream, smore’s, and corn on the cob. Be sure to capture your meals at least a few times over the course of the summer. Food is an integral part of the human experience and including photos of the foods we eat in summer are wonderful memories to have. I don’t usually worry about getting my daughters to look at the camera if they are eating something. I simply let them do their thing and I move myself around to get the shot I want. Try both up close and pulled back images.

4. The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour refers to the amazing light you will get right before sunset. I have learned that the best light for golden images isn’t a full 60 minutes before sunset, it’s closer to 15 minutes before sunset. When the sun is just kissing the horizon, that’s when the light is soft enough to achieve the glowing look. When shooting at this time remember that your subject can be directly in between your camera and the sun, but they don’t have to be! Try angling the sun off to the far left or right of your subject, either having it still in the frame or out.

5. Full Sun

We all know shade and sunsets are great, but real summer life often happens at 12:00 p.m. Which is why  I do not shy away from shooting in full sun! To not have an over exposed image, shoot at a fast shutter speed with a closed down aperture and when needed, get in very close to your subject so that you create your own shadow and use that space to photograph details.

6. Get in the Picture

Hand your camera to your partner or trusted child and have them snap a shot of you. I love to bring along a travel tripod or do the self timer thing. You don’t even really need a tripod. The picture below of my entire family, I took by placing my camera on a picnic table and propped the lens with a rolled up sweatshirt. Just make sure you are not always the one behind the lens. And yes, Summer means swimsuits and shorts… but that shouldn’t stop you from getting in the pic!

What photos did you capture this summer? Do you have any tips to share?

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