Make the Most of Summer Light

We’re still a few days away from the official start of summer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t already be taking advantage of the seasonal sunlight. In fact, from now until June 21st, the Northern Hemisphere will be experiencing the longest days of the year. Hopefully, the extended daylight and mild temperatures will encourage you to get outside to snap frame worthy shots of nature at its best.

There is no better time of the year to exercise your outdoor photo skills, as summer’s natural light provides a variety of incredible opportunities. Sunlight can be used as a primary light source or a secondary one; either way you are assured a stellar shot if you manipulate it to your advantage. For example, if you are planning to take outdoor portrait shots this summer, then time your sessions for the very early morning hours or late evening when the sun is closest to the horizon. Avoid taking pictures during the mid-day hours when the sun is shining directly down on your subjects, creating harsh shadows.

If you are forced to shoot when the sun is situated directly above your camera, redirect the light by reflecting it or moving your subject so that he is not staring straight into the sun. Squinting subjects don’t make for great portrait shots. To avoid scrunched up faces and squinty eyes, consider investing in a reflector to bounce the light onto your subject. Reflectors are relatively inexpensive and are readily available at photo supply and camera shops. If you don’t want to shell out for a traditional reflector, then just use a white foam core board. When set-up correctly the board acts like a mirror by redirecting the light from behind your subjects onto them. When all else fails, simply place your subject and your camera in the shade before taking the shot.

Related Articles:

Basic Photo Tips for Digital Camera Owners

Cameras: Knowing When To Upgrade

Telling A Story With Your Shots

This entry was posted in Techniques, Tips & Tricks by Michele Cheplic. Bookmark the permalink.
Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.