Give your sum­mer pho­tog­ra­phy a kick

Now is the per­fect time to get snap­ping, but you could do bet­ter

The Tribune (NZ) - - BACKYARD BANTER -

Sum­mer is one of the most fun sea­sons of the year. The hol­i­days, fes­tiv­i­ties, out­doors weather and ex­tra hours of light are an in­spir­ing com­bi­na­tion for any­one with a cam­era or smart­phone. Here are some quick tips to kick start your sum­mer pho­tog­ra­phy:

1. Shoot what you love. It doesn’t mat­ter if you or­der mas­sive prints to dec­o­rate the walls of your house or sim­ply post to your favourite on­line so­cial site, you are im­mersed and at­ten­tive, stim­u­lated and in­spired when you pho­to­graph sub­jects you’re most pas­sion­ate about. Try pho­tograph­ing a cause that makes you an­gry; the child that makes your heart swell with pride, or the gold­fish whose gulp­ing an­tics make you gig­gle. When you con­nect with your sub­ject you cre­ate pho­to­graphs that your au­di­ence will con­nect with too.

2. Switch up your per­spec­tive. We see the world from eye level and it’s easy to shoot from a stand­ing po­si­tion. If you want to cre­ate an im­age that is unique and stands out try chang­ing your per­spec­tive. Get down on your stom­ach, climb a lad­der, jump in a kayak, shimmy up a tree – find a new an­gle to pho­to­graph from. Aerial pho­tog­ra­phy from dronemounted cam­eras has soared in pop­u­lar­ity be­cause it has opened us up to the ea­gle’s eye view of our planet. Now we can see fa­mil­iar scenes from new an­gles. Change your per­spec­tive and show us our world in a new way.

3. Just add wa­ter. All life de­pends on wa­ter so it is an at­mo­spheric el­e­ment that we’re drawn to. Look for ways to work wa­ter into your pho­tos. Ex­per­i­ment with shoot­ing the kids un­der the sprin­kler in the back­yard, body­board­ing at the beach, fos­sick­ing in tidal rock pools or snorkelling in a marine re­serve. Splash­proof cam­eras and wa­ter­proof hous­ings are read­ily avail­able. A word of cau­tion, re­mem­ber that wa­ter will al­ways find a way and doesn’t mix well with elec­tron­ics. It pays to test a man­u­fac­turer’s wa­ter­proof claim be­fore you chuck your cam­era in the sea.

4. Pho­to­graph close to home. That once in a life­time trop­i­cal snorkelling ad­ven­ture isn’t the best place to learn how to use a new cam­era. You want to be ready to start snap­ping away not work­ing out what all the but­tons do. Pho­tograph­ing what you love about your neigh­bour­hood is a great place to start.

Here’s a sum­mer photo chal­lenge for you – you have to cap­ture the essence of your neigh­bour­hood in five pho­tos for a for­eign friend. What would you pho­to­graph? To har­vest ideas about what’s so great about your neigh­bour­hood make a post on Neigh­bourly.co.nz. What are your neigh­bour­hood icons? Get cre­ative, think peo­ple, places, events, mo­ments, emo­tions, colours, light. Look for dif­fer­ent ways to cap­ture th­ese and en­cour­age your neigh­bours to do the same.

Sum­mer should be fun and so should your pho­tog­ra­phy. Don’t spend the sea­son with your cam­era glued to your eye socket. Do make time to en­joy life, and have your cam­era at the ready to im­mor­talise some of those magic mo­ments.

A lit­tle bit of cre­ativ­ity can pro­duce stun­ning re­sults for your photo al­bum over sum­mer.

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