6 Easy Summer Photography Shooting Tips with Big Results

6 Easy Summer Photography Shooting Tips with Big Results

Shooting in the middle of the day is a photography no-no but sometimes, especially when traveling, you have no choice but to make the most of the harsh light. Here are 6 methods for getting better images in the heat of summer without having to carry a lot of extra tools with you. Turn Your Back on the Sky But Face the Sun It seems counterintuitive but you want your subject to face away from the sun. Light coming from behind your subject separates them from their background in a pleasing way. However, your subject’s face may be dark. To counter this, use Exposure Compensation or Meter specifically for your subject. This may overexpose your background a bit but it beats having a squinting, raccoon-eyed subject. Having a big open space behind you, as opposed to trees or dark buildings, will help keep your subject’s face bright even when they have their backs to the sun. The best combination is to find a location where the sun can be behind or at an angle to your subject while placing them against a dark background – like the very trees you’re trying to avoid having behind you. In short, a great formula for outdoor, high-noon portraits without additional tools is to have open sky behind you and the sun’s direction behind your subject, preferably filtered through darker scenery. Want to improve this even more? Put a reflector in front of your subject. The sun coming from behind them will hit that reflector and bounce that light back into the front of your scene. Seek Out Environmental Reflectors Beach sand, those creepy...
4th of July Shooting Tips for Beginners

4th of July Shooting Tips for Beginners

For most photo enthusiasts, 4th of July is more than a holiday – it is a day to practice some challenging shooting situations beyond just capturing fireworks. Here are 5 tips/shooting ideas for beginners (and reminders for seasoned shooters) that will help advance your skills over 4th of July. 4th of July Shooting Tips for Beginners 1. Show Parade Action with Slow Shutter Speeds 2. Light Write with Sparklers 3. Take Advantage of Selective Focusing 4. Shoot into the Sun 5. Capture Context During a Fireworks Show Show Parade Action with Slow Shutter Speeds Our instinct is to freeze moving objects but then they look stationary and the image feels flat as a result. Many parade photos end up looking boring for this reason. Practice slowing down your shutter speed to something longer than 1/100th of a second (experiment). If you’re out in the bright sun, you will need to increase your aperture to compensate and prevent extreme overexposure. See this section of our sports post for more details on panning settings. Light Write with Sparklers This is a fun activity that is explained in full in this post and this post but here are the quick basics for light writing: • Put your camera on a tripod. • Put your camera in “bulb” mode. This will keep the shutter open for as long as you want. If you do not have bulb mode, start with an exposure that is 30 seconds long (available on most cameras, including point and shoots). Below is an example of the bulb mode setting on a DSLR body and a mirrorless body. • Put your lens...
Ivan Makarov on Being a Dad and a Photographer

Ivan Makarov on Being a Dad and a Photographer

Being the family photographer is both a blessing and a curse – you’re afforded the rare opportunity to constantly preserve memories while also trying to balance that with experiencing them first-hand. Ivan Makarov understands this well. As a father of four, Makarov has been documenting his children’s lives since the moments they were born: “I shoot them wherever they are, doing whatever they’d like to do. My end goal is to document their childhood, as it starts and as they turn into teenagers and then adults.” In celebration of Father’s Day, we’re sharing some of our favorite family images from Makarov’s collection and providing 5 of his dad photographer tips that fellow shooters of all backgrounds can appreciate. Makarov’s 5 Tips: Tip #1: In a rut? Try switching to a new camera system. These days I shoot with Leica M and mostly with 35mm and 50mm lenses. I was a Nikon guy ever since I started in photography almost 10 years ago but I made the transition to rangefinder photography a couple of years ago when I was feeling stuck and uninspired with the process and with what I was producing. Leica gave me a new method of shooting because it’s quite different to shoot with the rangefinder and it also reignited my creativity to a point where I now can’t stop shooting! It’s been this way ever since I got the Leica. The original idea was to get a smaller camera that I can carry with me alongside my kids. It had a very surprising and positive effect on my creativity. I don’t think it matters all too much...