8 Tips and Ideas for Amazing Results

In this article, I explain how you can capture great summer photos, regardless of your experience level and whatever your gear.

Concretely, I share:

  • My favorite type of light for great summer photos
  • An easy mindset change to improve your photos
  • My favorite way to find summer photo shoot locations
  • Lots of summer photography ideas to inspire you

So if you’re ready to create stunning photos, let’s dive in, starting with:

1. Pay attention to the summer weather

If you want to capture consistently great summer photos, you need to learn how to master the lighting – and that starts with paying close attention to the weather.

Before you go for a photo shoot, ask yourself:

  1. Are there clouds?
  2. Where is the sun positioned in the sky?

The clouds will diffuse the light, creating soft, even lighting that’s perfect for portraits, flower shots, and forest landscapes. Clear skies, on the other hand, will produce harsh, high-contrast light that’s great for street shots, but bad for just about everything else.

However, if the sky is clear, you can still get good light by taking pictures early in the morning or late in the afternoon. These hours, known as the golden hours, feature soft, golden light that creates long shadows and reveals many details about the subject.

summer photography ideas and tips

For this reason, wildlife photographers, bird photographers, portrait photographers, and landscape photographers all like to work during the golden hours, and I bet you do too. Making this one change – that is, committing to working at sunrise and sunset – can dramatically improve your images.

2. Shoot fireflies at night

summer photography ideas and tips

Fireflies are a classic summer insect, but they can be tricky to photograph – unless you know a handy little technique.

You see, to photograph fireflies, you should not try to capture individual insects. Instead, you should use a long exposure to photograph many fireflies in minutes (or hours).

So mount your camera on a tripod and point it at a firefly hangout. Set the camera to Bulb mode (if your camera supports it). Then choose a long shutter speed, which will give the fireflies enough time to fly around your garden. You can start at around five minutes, but you can always increase or decrease the shutter speed depending on your results.

And catch fireflies!

3. Do an underwater photoshoot

Summer and aquatic pleasures go hand in hand, so why not organize an underwater photo session?

For this summer photography idea, you’ll need an underwater housing (or waterproof camera). You will also need swimming gear; If you’re going for a long session underwater, a snorkel or even scuba gear is a good idea, but you can always start by holding your breath, diving, and shooting.

summer photography ideas and tips

Underwater photography offers many subjects, including:

  • Underwater landscapes
  • Fish
  • Abstracts of light and water
  • Underwater portrait sessions

You’ll need to be very careful with your camera settings – it’s much darker underwater! – and if you find you enjoy underwater photography, you may even want to invest in an underwater flash.

4. Shoot the same subject for a week

Here’s a fun summer photography idea, which will help your photos improve by leaps and bounds:

Choose a subject, such as a type of flower, tree, car, landscape, or person.

Then shoot the same subject over and over, every day for a week.

Try to vary the time and/or weather you shoot, so you have plenty of unique opportunities when you go out each day. And don’t use the same compositions, lights and settings every day. To mix together!

summer photography ideas and tips

If you shoot at noon on the first day, return at sunset on the second day. And if you use shallow depth of field on day three, use day four to experiment with depth of field effects. Make sense ?

After the week is over, if you enjoyed this challenge, you might want to continue. Try photographing the same subject for a full month. You will be amazed at how far you are progressing!

5. Shoot deliberately

Given the incredibly cheap cost of storage and impressive burst modes offered by modern cameras, it’s often tempting to hold down the shutter button and shoot. permanently.

But this “spray and pray” approach will simply result in hundreds – if not thousands – of photos, most of them bad. To find the correct ones, you’ll have to sift through them all, which can be a huge chore.

summer photography ideas and tips

So instead of holding down the shutter button, once you find a potential subject, take a deep breath. Ask yourself: is my subject really worth photographing? Am I really interested in this shot? Did I use light and composition to get the best possible results?

I’m not saying you should never use your camera’s burst mode. Quick Shot is very useful if you are shooting birds, wildlife, sports or even street subjects.

But you should learn to work your Burst mode with parsimony. Use it only when absolutely necessary.

summer photography ideas and tips

6. Play with different focal lengths

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors, and it’s also the perfect time to explore different lenses!

Start by thinking about the lenses you’ve used most frequently over the past year. Then make a conscious effort to leave them at home.

And bring out your overlooked lenses, the ones that sit on the shelf and rarely get much camera time.

summer photography ideas and tips

Challenge yourself to take great photos with these overlooked lenses. Put them in your bag, mount them on your camera and see what you can find.

Working with different focal lengths is a great way to get out of your comfort zone, which can produce some very creative images.

A word of advice, though: if you have a lot of unused lenses, choose two or three and stick with them. Working with too many lenses will prevent you from really knowing an accurate focal length, which will hinder your photos.

7. Explore your area

summer photography ideas and tips

The summer weather is perfect for walking, jogging, hiking, biking, boating and more.

In other words, summer is the best time to get outside, have fun in the sun and appreciate the power of nature.

That’s why I recommend that you spend at least half an hour every day exploring the surroundings of your home. You can start by taking a walk or a bike ride. Then see where you end up!

If you have good parks in your area, consider going camping. Be sure to take lots of photos and spend time going off the beaten path.

Pro tip: If you’re looking for places to shoot near you, check out Flickr, 500PX, or Instagram. You can simply search for your location and then scroll through the photos until you find something interesting. If the location isn’t fully disclosed in the image caption, you can always try messaging the photographer!

8. Shoot in bad weather

summer photography ideas and tips

Bad weather can be a bummer – if you’re planning a summer BBQ, that is. But if your goal is to make the summer photographybad weather can actually be very helpful.

You see, bad weather causes crowds to disperse, which means you can visit normally busy places. It’s a great way to get tourist-free snaps of national park classics, and it can make the experience more enjoyable.

Bad weather can also create interesting puddles, lots of cloudy drama, interesting light, and more – so the next time you smell bad weather, be sure to get outside!

Unfortunately, bad weather tends to darken skies, so you’ll often need to shoot with a wide aperture, high ISO, or a tripod. Otherwise, you risk camera blur.

Beaches are a great place to go just before or after a storm; threatening clouds and rolling fog create ultra-dramatic scenes. However, you will need to be prepared for rain and/or strong winds. Consider packing a waterproof cover — or using a DIY cover — to keep your gear dry. (And whatever you do, don’t change lenses in sandy, windy, and/or wet conditions! You don’t want to end up with debris inside your camera lens.)

Summer Photography Tips and Ideas: Final Words

Now that you’ve finished this article, you’re ready to have fun with photography this summer.

So remember the tips and ideas I shared. Appreciate the weather. And good luck!

Now your turn :

What are you planning to photograph this summer? Do you have any summer photo ideas? Share your opinion in the comments below!

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