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When the weather starts to improve and you start looking ahead to warm days with your friends at the beach, sitting outside your favorite restaurant enjoying dinner and endless adventures in the great outdoors, have you also thought about the endless possibilities for your photography during the summer season?
In Philadelphia for 3 or 4 months of the year we are blessed with the best of weather and light conditions so don’t miss out on the great opportunities to capture the season, the action and your adventures! Typically every summer, I go camping a few times (Stokes and Pocono Mountains are my favorites) and also go to the Jersey Shore (hit Atlantic City on the way).
When the sun is out and the weather is beautiful it’s hard to beat the beach for those iconic summer photo ops, so head down with your camera and your imagination!
There’s a wide range of shots you can snap down at the beach. In the colder winter months you might head to the coast to capture dramatic storms and heavy waves on the seas but during the summer months it’s something a little calmer you’ll be looking for!
There are many ways that you can express your creativity and take great pictures at the beach in the summer. Try taking a picture of your feet in the sand on the tideline, build a sandcastle and snap a photo, and focus on the tideline where you’ll find interesting shells. Look for boats, rocky features and other unique points of interest along the coast to pick out in your photography. Remember also that the coast line presents wonderful opportunities to practise your minimalist photography.
Travel and Road Trip Photos.
If you want to explore the country during the great weather you will be bound to find some incredible photo ops on your travels. So whether you’re going to head out of the state or just take a trip around your local area making some plans ahead of time will help you to concentrate on your photography! For longer trips make sure that you have packed everything you need, keep an eye on the weather forecasts and always be ready to follow your instincts and head off down the small country tracks to see what you can find!
When you’re travelling try to be as flexible as you can afford to be and while you are in a new place try to speak to the locals who will be happy to give you some hints and tips on the best places to eat, stay and visit for your photography.
Summer Camping Trips.
No summer is complete without a camping trip, with all the ups and downs that comes along with it! Despite inevitably forgetting to pack something you will always be able to improvise the situation but whatever you do don’t forget your camera! Camping trips are a fantastic opportunity to take some group portraits round the campfire, capture the beauty of the natural world while practicing your landscape photography as well as bonding with the people you went with. Getting out into nature will open up a whole new world of possibilities for your photography so be prepared to explore the area to find some really unique shots.
Look for Bright Colors and Strong Contrasts.
When the summer sun is high in the sky and the weather is clear you can really make the most of the great natural lighting by looking for bright colors that will stand out more and really shine through in your work.
You can set this up yourself in the form of still life photography by placing the items such as flowers, pottery, china and other curios on a table in the sun or else you can look for bright compositions around you. Keep an eye on the fauna of your area because there’s nothing that says summer like bold colorful flowers that bloom in the warmer months.
Portraiture and Silhouettes.
The summer is the ideal time to get into portrait photography with people outdoors in interesting spaces and looking vibrant and healthy in the sun. You can take an unforgettable portrait at the beach, in the woods or by the pool. Practice taking your portraits using your friends and family while you’re out together, or if you are working professionally you can hire a model for an outdoor photo shoot. Remember it’s always fun to use props in your portraits especially if they represent the personality of your subject.
During the summer months you can create powerful silhouettes in your work that can look stunning, particularly at sunrise and sunset. Silhouettes look fantastic at the beach, in the city center and when you’re on the road travelling.
Summer Photography in a big city.
I live in Philadelphia. There are 1.6 million people who live within the city limits alone (not counting the millions who live in the immediate suburbs, including places in Southern New Jersey). So the city is always crowded irrespective of the weather conditions. But in summer, there is more action on the streets even late during the day. There is outdoor dinning. Parks like Rittenhouse Square and Fairmount park will see much more sunbathing and picnicking. You will see people fishing in places like Schuylkill Banks. Then there is Phillies baseball. As someone who lives in Center City, I enjoy street photography during summer.
3 tips to get your creative juices flowing with summer photography.
Catch the ‘golden hour’ of the day to create rich and deeply colored compositions. The ‘golden hour’ is the last hour of the day before the sun sets when you’ll be able to capture some really warm images. Shadows also lengthen at sunset and give you the chance to take some stunning pictures.
Make use of a Polariser in your work. Using this optical filter will give your summer photography a boost by deepening the blue of the sky and helping the clouds to stand out, reducing glare and improving the overall color saturation in your photos.
Between 8 am and midday the sun is bright in the sky and creates a harsh lighting that you can use to your advantage. Try taking some high rise photography during these hours to get fantastic stark images of the buildings towering up around you.
Make the most of your summer and take some great photos to remember it by!
If you’re spending some time travelling this summer make sure you take some unique photos but even if you’re staying at home this year you can take some fantastic family portraits at a Barbecue party, out at the beach or during a gentle family walk in the woods.
The bright light and better weather that summer brings allows you to take vivid images and make great use of shadows and contrast. It’s the perfect time of year to take some outdoor still life pictures and it’s always fun to spend time in nature taking photos.
What types of photographs do you take during summer?