"Think outside the box. Summer doesn’t necessarily have to mean blazing sunshine and a bucket and spade."
Rob MacNeice shares his Top Tips for shooting Summer:
Summer is a lively season that is full of colour, so make the most of this when looking for your shots. Bright beach huts, flowers in bloom, ice creams in a multitude of different flavours – look for the extraordinary in every day scenes and then consider your shooting angle to create an image with impact.
Think outside the box. Summer doesn’t necessarily have to mean blazing sunshine and a bucket and spade.- British summertime can often mean dismal weather. If the heavens have recently opened, take a look in your garden for photo opportunities – raindrops on roses can make beautiful pictures, for example, and you don’t even need to leave your house!
On bright days, if you are shooting in the direction of the sun, be sure to use your lens hood to reduce the possibility of lens flare on your images. This said, you may want to deliberately use lens flare in your images to add interest – artistic lens flare can make a picture! Remember not to look at the sun through the viewfinder, especially when using telephoto lenses! If you are including the sun in the picture for any reason, always use live view.
Check your exposure. When you’re shooting into the sun, it’s going to cause the camera to underexpose, forming a silhouette of whatever is in the foreground. You’ll need to check the image on the LCD from time to time and if it’s too dark, add some exposure compensation. Use the histogram, too - look for highlight clipping ( a heavy concentration of jagged peaks on the right side of the histogram.) If the sun is in the picture, chances are that some of the highlights will be clipped, but in many cases that’s not a problem.
If you can move your subject and yourself into the shade then that’s the ideal scenario. If your photographing something you can’t move, try creating your own shade with your shadow or an umbrella or a reflector. Alternatively, experiment with your shooting angle until you discover the best light.
Try using Nikon D-Lighting - this selectively brightens shadow areas to bring out detail and preserve highlights in backlit or underexposed shots, while leaving correctly-exposed areas untouched – a great setting for very bright summer scenes.
If your camera equipment is exposed to intense heat or humid conditions for long periods of time, remember to keep it covered when it's not in use, as cameras can overheat!
A polarizing filter will enhance colours on a sunny day making the sky a much deeper, richer blue, and subjects will become more vivid and stand out from the background. For optimal results shoot at 90 degrees to the sun and rotate the filter until the desired effect is achieved.
Rob MacNeice, NPS Senior Consultant at Nikon UK, has been working in the photographic industry for over twenty years. As head of Nikon Professional Services, Rob supports a vast array of professional photographers with technical expertise and product knowledge.
All photographs taken by members of the Nikon School UK team.