Summer Shooting in the Great Outdoors


Summer weather is finally here; time to celebrate with outdoor family adventures. Whether it’s a trip to the beach, a picnic at the park or a backyard barbeque with family and friends, there’s no time like the present to get your camera out of hibernation and start shooting a slew of summer memories.

However, before you take aim in the great outdoors, there are a few tips to remember so that your photos don’t come back underexposed, overexposed or blurry. For starters, most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a preset white balance setting. If you are shooting on a cloudy day, this feature will introduce a warm yellowish tone to your shots in order to make them more appealing. If you are not familiar with adjusting the white balance manually, it’s best to simply use the auto mode.

For more advanced photographers, shooting outside allows you the opportunity to experiment with colors and moods. If you are shooting with a DSLR, consider employing a UV filter. This add-on acts as a shield by preventing ultraviolet light from coming though the camera’s lens. If you don’t want to invest in a UV filter, consider purchasing a polarizer. It eliminates the reflection of light on tiny water droplets and dust in the atmosphere and gives you the image of more saturated and slightly darker skies. A polarizer also helps capture stunning images of the ocean or lake by adding more depth to the color of water. In addition, polarizers enhance the transparency of water, so on a clear day you can snap frame worthy shots of crystal clear seas.

Finally, don’t forget about composition. If you are taking picnic shots, use contrasting colors with your plates and napkins and try to vary the shapes and sizes of your photo subjects. In addition, try shooting from several different angles. Don’t be afraid to experiment while taking pictures outside this summer. After all, when you are shooting with a digital camera, all you have to do is press “Delete” if you are not happy with your results.

Related Articles:

Shooting the Perfect Portrait

Telling A Story With Your Shots

Natural Framing

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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.