Five Ways to Get The Most Out of Your Summer Photographs

1. Pay Attention to Light


In photography, paying attention to light can make all the difference. There are three times a day that can make a moment or subject go from "Okay" to “whoa." 

  • Sunrise: We know, you don’t want to get up that early on your break, but it’s always worth it. If you’re on vacation, this is an ideal time to visit popular spots.

  • The Golden Hour. This occurs twice a day - right before sunset and right after sunrise. The effect of this kind of lighting gives everything a gold cast and the shadows are drawn out longer. It's called golden hour for a reason!

  • After Sunset: When people are going to dinner, spend an extra half hour outside to capture the most vibrant, complex colors.

2. When in doubt, go to "Camera Neutral." 


We hope that everyone sets up their camera to prepare for their shots, but sometimes a moment happens and then it’s gone! When this happens, it might be worthy to ask to recreate a picture when appropriate.

Previous students know what our method of camera neutral is, but to refresh some of you it’s 1/200, f3.5, ISO 800. This is not a magical solution to photography woes, but it is a good start. After taking a few photos with these settings, you can see what kind of adjustments you need to make. 

3. Get Tripod Friendly


Even if you plan to shoot without a tripod throughout the day, having one handy might make your summer night. Long exposures (or slow shutter speeds) are needed in a lot of low-light situations, so a stable foundation for your camera to rest on will be required. Once the sun starts setting, you might notice the motion of sparklers or lightbulbs becoming more streaky; you can stop this by attaching your camera to a tripod and setting up wherever needed. 

4. Tell your story

Taking good photographs often doesn’t happen by accident. Some forethought on location, what that location means to you, and what kind of emotion you’d like to bring out in your photo should be your challenge! Contemplate each shot but don’t ignore potential photos because the subject isn’t “interesting” enough. You might have a few keepers. 

5. Get off the beaten path


Whether you’re revisiting your hometown or exploring a new city or trail, you can still find some hidden gems in those hard-to-reach places. Summer weather creates safer and more predictable conditions that most times of the year cannot guarantee. Take advantage of that and go on some serious photo walks!