16 Great Ideas for Summer Photography

Summer’s here! And with it comes nicer weather and days spent outdoors! For photography enthusiasts, there are plenty of great opportunities to get out and capture exciting new images.

If you’re hoping to make the most of this summer, and improve your photography skills or master a new technique that you’ve been meaning to try, now’s a great time to get started.

Grab your camera and start snapping! Here are sixteen fun summertime photography ideas that you’ll want to add to your must-capture list this summer.

1. Have Fun With a Polarizer

If a polarizer filter isn’t yet part of your everyday photography kit, it should be! A polarizer can be used to boost color saturation, which means that it can help to render the blue summer skies a deeper, more vibrant shade.

It can also help to draw the clouds out; defining them and separating them from the blue background. Polarizers are also useful for cutting down on reflections on the surface of the water.

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2. Try Out a GND Filter

Speaking of filters, summer’s a great time to try out a GND filter. A GND filter, or graduated neutral density filter allows you to capture images where the sky requires one exposure and the ground something different; especially ideal for sunsets, or any scenic shot that involves a bright sky and a darker foreground.

3. Capture Golden Hour Shots

The golden hour; that time of day just after sunrise and again just before sunset is a much-sought-after time of day for photographers. During golden hour, the sun casts a beautiful warm glow on everything, resulting in images with a rich, golden hue.

This is a great time of day for portraits and landscape images alike, and during the summer when sunsets and sunrises tend to be longer, and more dramatic than the winter, it’s an ideal time of year for capturing these images. Get ahold of an app like Magic Hour to see what time Golden Hour is in your area.

4. Head to the Beach

Winter is the time to capture dramatic storms, but summer is an ideal time of year for taking amazing images of the beach; and there’s usually plenty going on and a lot of activity to photograph.

Just remember that you’ll want to check the tide times – and the weather forecast – before you hit the beach. This will help you to plan and capture the type of images that you’re hoping for. For instance, a sunny day and a low tide would mean lots of people on the beach, while high tide means less of the beach to photograph.

5. Try a New Lens

Summer is a great time to try out some new gear. The weather’s great and longer days mean more usable hours in the day. Whether you’d like to try your hand with a wide-angle, or experiment with street photography using a prime lens, now is the time to do it. Lens rental websites, like LensRentals, are a great way to try out different lenses before you commit to buying one.

6. Take Travel Images

If you’ve caught the travel bug, or are looking to create some exciting images that are a bit different from your usual fare, then traveling is an ideal solution. Whether out of the state or just down the road, getting out of your usual surroundings and capturing some unique and different images can get your creativity flowing and challenge you to capture some exciting images.

7. Capture Bubbles

Photographing bubbles? Why not! These little orbs make ideal macro images. Or, if you’d like to capture some portraits, bubbles can help to add something special to your images; especially if young children are involved!

8. Photograph Raindrops

After the rain, head out with your camera. The water droplets that can be found on leaves and flower petals after a storm make great features for your macro images. Sometimes you’ll even find reflections inside of these minuscule droplets!

9. Look for Color

Color is the essence of summertime photography. When you’re out with your camera, keep an eye out for colorful objects that you can photograph, or use as a background in your images.

10. Make a Splash

Speaking of color, make a splash with high-speed fruit splash photography. This type of imagery can be difficult to perfect but with the right technique you’ll end up with some great images.

11. Do Some Still Life Photography

Or, consider staging a still life photography shoot – outdoors! An outdoor arrangement of flowers, fruit, and some china or pottery would look beautiful against a bold green backdrop.

12. Get Into Portraiture

If you’re not currently doing portraits, summer’s a great time to get started. There are so many different opportunities for creative portraits during the summertime, especially if children are involved! Capture your young subjects splashing in a pond or playing with a tent, or with some of their favorite outdoor toys; the opportunities are limitless!

13. Take Wildlife Shots

While some creatures stick around year-round, others are only seen during the summer. Depending on where you live, birds, insects, and even bigger animals like deer and bear can all be seen during the summer months. So grab that telephoto or your lens of choice, and start snapping!

14. Get Some Long Exposures

Long exposures are fun images to capture, with water being the most popular subject. Photograph a waterfall, river, or the ocean with a slow shutter speed; or gently blur the motion of the clouds or even a field of wheat rippling in the wind.

15. Capture a Summer Storm

Summer brings its own set of storms – often lightning and dramatic skies are rife during the summer months, presenting some great opportunities for unique photos. If you enjoy capturing storms, consider investing in a light-sensitive trigger. It’s the easiest way to capture these shots since lightning is unpredictable.

16. Create Silhouettes

While sunrises might happen a bit earlier during the summer months, sunsets are extremely doable! The long, drawn-out days mean sunsets will be slower too, giving you more time to capture them. This is also a prime time for capturing silhouettes. Place a subject or position yourself behind an object that’s partially blocking the sun. Then focus on the brightest part of the image and press the shutter halfway down.

Then reposition your camera to frame your shot and press the shutter. Your camera will think that the bright part of the image is mid tone and expose the darker areas, your subjects, as shadows.

Finally, the best summer images are anything that captures your interest! Head to the beach, go camping, or visit a carnival or busy pier. Or stay out late and capture the evening light. Look for opportunities for unique summertime images; and have fun creating photos that are different from anything that you’d capture any other time of the year.

What summertime images do you enjoy capturing? Please share your stories via Facebook or Twitter!

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