Photographing the Seasons – make the most of the last of the sunshine

We’re grasping on to the last few weeks of sunshine, and desperately hoping that the Indian Summer will stay around – if you want to make the most of photographing the season before the explosion of reds, browns and golds that Autumn will bring, read on to find out top tips from our guest blogger, Maria Slough.

”When you think of summer what comes to mind? Is it traditional images of summer fete’s on village greens; strawberries and cream; hazy sunsets that come at the end of a hot day or perhaps it is a favourite view taken on your summer holiday or day out?

Below is my ‘Summer Wall’, a collection of photographs from my private albums and professional portfolio along with ideas for creating great gifts from your existing pictures and top tips for capturing memorable pictures as we head into a forecast ‘Indian summer’ in September.

MariaSummer1 Summer Light

Harnessing light, when photographing summer, plays a vital role in capturing the atmosphere of the season. The long daylight hours allow the Earth plenty of time to reach warm temperatures and make for spectacular sunset shots. Experiment with composition for different effects. As the sun is setting look for striking silhouette and reflection opportunities. Work with a tripod if you have one and shoot continuously as the sun is setting or steady your compact camera or Smartphone by resting on a stationery object.

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To make the most of the summer evening light amongst the clouds, fill the majority of your picture with sky. A top tip is to keep photographing after the sun has set. This is when the light is at its most spectacular and the colours in the sky are at their best.

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Sunlight during the day in the summer months can be harsh. If you have one, work with a Neutral Density filter to help reduce the amount of light coming into your camera or a camera hood to help block a harsh light source and avoid lens flares. Capture the sunlight by photographing shady areas with sunlight puddles breaking through. Work without flash to keep the contrast exact.

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Summer light offers up great reflections. Water acts as a natural reflector so experiment with bouncing sunlight back into your picture.

Look for interesting sun patterns such as from the hat below to add an extra dynamic to your shot.

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Summer Holidays

A summer holiday may come but once a year but with great photos you can relive the spirit and the vibe of those memories long after the holiday is over.

With today’s ever increasing social media culture a huge majority of holiday snaps are taken on a Smartphone’s and tablets and shared in real time. Pack a spare power adapter if you are travelling abroad and consider buying a second battery for your phone. If you are working on a camera take extra memory cards so you can take pictures of every aspect of your holiday including detail shots of food, signs and footprints in the sand. Scatter detailed shots across main pictures to create a Photo book of your summer holiday. Remember to include your pets in your holiday snaps as well.

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If you find a view that you love that you want to look at forever like the one below, take your view home with you and create a canvas print or poster.

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Summer Scenes

Wimbledon fortnight, feeding the ducks, a summer wedding or simply the changing landscape of your garden all make for great things to photograph. Making bold decisions on filters and effects will transform your summer scene into a timeless picture.

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You don’t have to go far to photograph summer. The flowers and wildlife in your garden will offer up multiple opportunities for great pictures. Set up a tripod and stool in your garden and photograph what you see. As you take the time to really watch your ‘garden grow’ you will amazed at just how busy nature is. Look for bright colours against contrasting backgrounds. Shooting with the sunlight side on will add extra depth to the shadows in your final pictures

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Summer Challenge

My final images are from a professional shoot with the actress Lily Travers. On location in London we took some time out to capture ‘Summer in the City’ in as many ways as possible. Using accessories and a variety of backdrops Lily bought summer to life with ‘Floral Beauty’ ‘Cooling Down’ and ‘Urban Summer’.

Before Autumn arrives, wherever you are set yourself a similar challenge and see how many ways you can capture ‘Summer’ with your camera or smartphone.

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All images © Maria Slough Photography www.mariasloughphotography.com

If you’ve taken any superb shots this Summer, share them with us in the comments below 🙂

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