Speaking to photographers about their favourite season it is rare that one will mention summer. This may seem strange due its long days and light at its strongest. However, in reality, it can mean overcrowded streets, harsh light and hazy weather. A look out over a landscape can look postcard perfect or scorched. A town can become overwhelmed with heat and pollution.
However, it's not all bad news. Just like any season if you accept the conditions and keep an open mind you can walk away from some breathtaking photography. To get your creativity flowing we have explored the top 5 summer shots not to be missed!
When people think of Bokeh they think of artificial lighting or using the evening glow. But don’t underestimate the strong summer sunshine. Glistening water on leaves or grass can give you a perfect natural bokeh backdrop. Or simply the light shining through a window or branches on a tree can give you a softer silky feel to your photographs. If you’re struggling to get it just right, make sure your lens is wide open and create more distance between the camera and subject. The further the background is, the more out of focus the background will be.
Put your subject in the shadow and create a gorgeous silhouette. This can often leave the audience feeling like they are getting a sneak peek into something very personal. You are sharing with your audience a view that looks pasts the subject and into the distance. This can be a very strong powerful image or even a message for your audience, sharing something they may have missed. But if your focus is on the subject in question, use the silhouette to create a romantic, intimate feel to your photographs.
Capture the shadows
Harsh summer light works to your advantage. Yes really. Use your photographs to capture something unique. By using your photographs subjects shadow it can leave you with a striking image where the subject's shadows become part of the composition. This can also work extremely well with objects with interesting structures and lines. Use natures natural shadows to show a soft smooth angle. Or the edge of building, to offer a harsh yet strong shadow. But if you’re looking for something with more abstract, then why not change the photo from coloured to monochrome?
Looking at the distance your favourite skyline can change over time. However, when summer is here a skyline can offer you so much more. A burst of fresh colour, clouds telling you a story, or the simplicity of a clear sky. Why not look over your skyline and take the same photo at a different time? These images collectively can highlight a story. The red of a gorgeous sunset, the pastels of a summer flower or a rich blue sky which could simply be a block colour backdrop.
A beautiful summer reflection. There is something quite peaceful and calm about the stillness of a natural reflection. You may be tempted to stay away during the sunny weather as direct light on water creates glare. But if the direct light falls on your subject, their reflection is strongly mirrored in the water which, should be in the shade. You have choices when it comes to shooting a reflection too, focus on the subject and its reflection; just the reflection; still water and blurred water. Each will give you a beautiful still summer reflection.
What do think? Have you used any of these ideas before? Let us know in the comments below.