Guest Post: Summer Photography Does and Don’ts


The Young Photographer 8/14/10 by Dianne Cordell on Flickr

The following is a guest post by Expansys. Do you have some photography tips or tricks that you’d like to share with our readers? Contact us and we’ll look to get your article up on the site!

When summer arrives the world is full of colour, daylight hours are longer and many people head off on holiday. It is this time of year, along with Christmas, that many people make the most use of their camera, taking photos of family and friends and places of interest.

Photography has been described as painting with light and it is the quality of the light in summer which makes all the difference to the quality of pictures a photographer takes. With the longer daylight hours the light changes over the course of the day with softer light at each end of the day, making these ideal times for taking pictures of landscapes, buildings and sunsets.

In the heat of the day the sun is very bright and there is a risk of over-exposed photographs in which colours are washed out and details lost. Many digital cameras have special programmes for shooting in bright sunlight which automatically compensate for this, on others shutter speeds or f stops can be changed manually to ensure correct exposure. Polarising filters can be used to help keep the colour of blue skies and water saturated.

Beach scenes are especially susceptible to under-exposure in bright light as the reflected light from the sand can trick the camera’s light meter into thinking there is more light than actually exists, leading to photos which are too dark. Selecting ISO 100 and manually overriding exposure if your camera allows will avoid disappointment.


It is also important to consider where shadows fall during this time of day as images can end up with very high contrast between light and dark areas. Shadows will appear stronger in the picture than in real life. This is especially important to consider when photographing people; where overhead sunlight shadows can be cast across faces.

Another point to consider when taking portraits in bright light is that people will tend to squint into the sun so for really good portraits ensure people are well positioned without the sun in their eyes.

Taking photographs is all about telling a story and thinking about what the picture is saying is as important in summer as anytime. The mood of the photo can be changed by camera angle, composition and use of light and the joy of using digital cameras is that experimenting with all of these things comes at no extra cost.

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