Hints for Summer Photography

0141.  DSC_3093Here are Marg’s hints from the June meeting:

Tip 1: Same Place, Different Time:
It’s time to master light.  Your photography will improve in leaps and bounds with the mastering of one specific element – Timing.  Knowing where the sun sets, where the sun rises and how this light will illuminate various subjects during different times of day will help you master your timing.  The sun rises in the East and sets in the West, if you know which direction you are facing when the sun is directly above you, you’ll have a better idea what time of day to photograph any interesting subjects or scenes you may find.  There is a program that you can download, called “The Photographer’s Ephemeris“, that allows you to find out exactly where the sun will be at any given time.  This is priceless if you are visiting a place that you may never return to in the future.

Tip 2:  Be Specific.  Don’t Spray and Pray
Do you need a fresh 16 GB SD card every time you take a photo walk?  Maybe you take 100 photographs in the hoped that one will end up being acceptable.  Before you take a photograph ask yourself if it’s really that interesting.  Is it throwing a unique shadow? Does the light hit it in a way that will catch viewer’s eyes?  This summer, challenge yourself to contemplate each shot. Think about whether or not it is interesting enough to take the time to photograph.  What you will find is that you will take the time to contemplate a shot before you press the shutter.  You’ll have less overall shots but more”keepers”. While it can be tempting to capture everything your eyes see, with photography less is definitely more.

Tip 3:  Use a Different Focal Length
Get out of your comfort zone and force yourself to use a different focal length this summer.  If you don’t have multiple lenses then use a different focal length on your zoom. By doing this you are forcing yourself to think before you shoot and also forcing yourself to compose the image in your mind before ever putting the viewfinder up to your little peepers.  By zooming in and out and moving left and right, you remove anything from the frame that doesn’t compliment your subject.

Tip 4:  Roam Free Like Buffalo
Get off the beaten path.  The summer’s dry weather creates safer hiking conditions as well as longer days, which allow us to venture further off the beaten path without worry of being eaten by wolves in the dark.

Tip 5:  Photograph in Bad weather
Bad weather can be a bummer, moods get bent and plans are spoiled.  Take advantage of the warmer weather and plan a photo outing next time the weather looks foul.  Plan to visit places that are normally bustling with people for an opportunity to capture unique shots.  Beaches are great places to go right before or after a storm, the ominous clouds and rolling fog create dramatic scenery. Be sure to be prepared for rain, and/or strong wind and sand from damaging your precious gear.  Try not to change lenses in windy, sandy and wet conditions.

Summer photograph offers hundreds of opportunities to practice photography morning, noon and night.  The weather is warmer and the days longer. Don’t just look – see.