10 golden secrets for great summer shots
Get set for sun! Chris George reveals 10 of his favourite photo tips for getting great shots during the longest days of the year – at home or abroad
Chris George helps you get more out of your summer photography
Summer may seem like the best season for photography... but few pros would agree with this, even if they did not agree on which particular season was better. While the warmer weather and sunlight are looked forward to by people who live in temperate climates – for photographers the summer months are scorned upon because of the harsh overhead lighting, the ridiculously early dawns or the overpowering green of the vegetation. Us photographers can be a miserable bunch, can’t we?
Reasons to be cheerful
But there are plenty of reasons why the camera enthusiast should be happy that summer is here – the first of which must be the long hours of daylight. You can shoot dramatic landscapes and cityscapes in the heart of winter – but those moments where you luck out with the light are hard to come by; and some days everything is just grey, before turning to darkness midway through the afternoon. The longer the day, the more chance you have of great lighting conditions – whatever the weather – stacking the odds in favour of your nailing a worldie of a shot.
The second reason is that every season is unique, and particularly so when it comes to matters of nature. Summer brings with her a cornucopia of flowers that we don’t see at any time of the year, making this the most colourful time of the year in the garden. And the multitude of multicoloured blooms also brings out butterflies, bees, and migratory birds. For the nature photographer, summer is therefore one of the busiest times in the calendar.
Third, the summer brings a number of seasonal outdoor events – rock festivals, cricket, baseball, country fairs and much more – each offering great opportunities for the photographer. Warmer weather signals the time for outdoor activities big and small. It is the best time of year for mountain treks or a stroll in the country – with your camera in your backpack, of course.
Last but not least, for many of us summer is the time for a well-earned holiday – a chance to unwind, rest, and discover new places. And for us photographers, it is this time of work or study that gives us time to really engage with our photography, to try out new techniques, and be at one with our camera.
Here on the following pages are 10 techniques or mantras that are designed to help anyone get the most out of their picture-taking over the summer months.