Helpful Tips for Taking Amazing Advantage of Cheery Summer's Beautiful Photo Ops

August has arrived, all torpid temperament and ardent attitude. Sluggishness hangs in the air like Spanish moss from ancient Georgia trees, while the sun above breathes heat around the edges.  It's a lazy month, a time to kick back under shade trees with a cold one or two, a chance to soak up the final delights of summer.

There are still plenty of weeks remaining before summer fades to autumn and there's no better way to preserve memories of this sunny season than with photographs. The beauty that defines the landscape and the faces delighting in sunshine and flowers around us are images worthy of preserving for the future.  With so many opportunities  during these cheerful days, I thought it might be interesting to highlight a few examples and share some expert advice on how to perfect them.

• At the Beach: This one is a no-brainer. Those picture perfect moments during vacations at the lake are as abundant as shells on a shore. Since there's nothing more refreshing in the summer than a visit to the shoreline, there are endless ways to capture the bliss. Of course, among the most popular are sunset shots. One of my favourites over the years was a moment between my two youngest kids at the fading light of day. It reflects not just the beauty of the scene but of the moment. Here are two resources to help you get the most from your beach photography:

iPhone Photography School's Beach Photo Tips

Beach Photography Tips From Digital Photography School

• Sports: Getting great action shots will puff out the chest of any photographer. Some require an eye to make them special.  The billow of a sail and surge of the wake from a sailboat or the graceful swoop of a paraglider can be amazing pictures in the hands of a talented and imaginative photographer.  Others present their moments in a millisecond— in the aggressive dive of a beach volleyball player or in the grimace of exertion on the tennis court.  For me, the greatest success came in my newspaper days while covering a swim meet. A close up on the competitor's face turned out nicely enough that the chest did swell just a little. This link offers tips on how you can get those great sport shots: Sports Photography Tips

• Outdoor fun: There is no end to the fun and games we enjoy during the summer months. From picnics to street parties, we are everywhere celebrating this golden season of sunshine. Among my favourite pictures over the years are the ones of the faces I adore, graced by expressions of joy and pleasure. Here are some tips for getting pictures out and about of folks you know and those you don't:

Street Photography Tips

Tips for Perfect Picnic Photography

10 Ways to Take Great Candid Pictures

• Birds and Bees: They flit, they fly, they dance away. The nervous nature of our feathered friends and insects makes them among the most difficult to capture. Getting close isn't an option and they are uncooperative about posing. As I've mentioned in this blog before, one of the best pictures I've taken, of any subject, ever, was of a cluster of butterflies at a lakeshore. Proof that it can be done. If help is what you need, here are some terrific tips:

How to Photograph Insects

Photographing Insects

How to Photograph Birds

• Flowers: Each summer we are surrounded by the riotous colours of gardens in bloom. They produce a veritable bounty of subjects for photographers. From macro to landscape there is nothing but loveliness to be seen through the lens. The favourite flower photo in my collection was of  hydrangea bushes bursting with luscious blooms. While it wasn't exactly a macro shot, I did fill the frame with verdant leaves and hot pink flowers. Taken in early morning, sunlight sparkled on dew making the end result even better. If you're still trying to do justice to these summer beauties here are some helpful tips:

Digital Photography School's Tips for Photographing Flowers

Tips for Creative Flower Photography


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