the right kit
For the best chance of success you need to look, feel and dress the part
Donning the trendiest outdoor clothing won’t elevate your photography, however it does pay to invest in some practical outdoor garments. The right clothing will protect you against the elements and enable you to shoot for longer in comfort. Summer isn’t always sunny, so think about dressing for wet and stormy weather, as well as heat and humidity. Whatever your budget, opt for versatile, water-resistant and lightweight clothes. Look at how well ventilated they are and whether they can be packed away in a camera bag. Pockets are a great asset too, providing easy access to lters, cards and smaller lenses.
Where can you look for new shooting locations? Be inspired, but try to be original too…
The world is a big place, so it’s best to have a rough shooting area in mind when you start your research (whether this is a holiday destination, or somewhere closer to home). Your local area might seem dull and familiar, so try looking at it from another point of view. What spots would you recommend to a fellow photographer if they were visiting? If you’re able and willing to head somewhere more exotic, you can glean location ideas from travel brochures and guides. Make use of online photo communities for inspiration too. The Flickr World Map (www.flickr.com/map) allows you to scroll around and nd photos that have been uploaded and geotagged, and you can enter your own location to narrow the results down. 500px (www.500px.com) is a stunning inspiration source, but don’t feel like you have to travel to far- ung places for great results!
Do your homework
Make use of popular apps as well as traditional maps to make your pre-shoot preparation count
ForwarD planning is key for landscape photography, as you’re reliant on the weather and light direction being just right.
By researching locations thoroughly at home, you’re more likely to be rewarded with favourable conditions when you arrive with your camera. The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) and The Photographer’s Transit (TPT) are two apps that are ideal planning companions. TPE displays how the light will fall on the land at any time of day in any location, so why not use it to work out the time and direction of sunrise and sunset in your chosen spot? TPT also provides a great way to check if your planned focal length will capture your scene effectively. Don’t neglect paper maps – as well as Google maps – in your logistical quest. Although they’re not as pocketable as a phone, they can be spread out on a table
to really help you visualize a landscape in more detail.
Use the whole day
There’s more to shooting in the summer than getting up early and staying out late
The great thing about shooting in the summer months is the long days and amount of daylight available for you to take advantage of. During the day, however, metering can become tricky. Have you ever looked onto a glimmering ocean view, gone to capture it with your camera, and been disappointed by the result? This is because the human eye can see the equivalent of about 14 f-stops of dynamic range, while Canon DSLRs are limited to around eight. Don’t be disheartened though. As long as you choose the right subject to photograph (under the right conditions), the season can be just as rewarding as any other. Here, we’ll encourage you to use the whole of the day
– including in the harsh, high and bright midday light. You could try to shake up your composition to avoid contrast completely, or use shade to your advantage. It’s time to make friends with midday…
EmBraCe BaD weather
Too inclement to go out shooting? Change your outlook for moody results
There’s no such thing as bad weather quintessential summer blooms, which day and your location, but as a general (for landscape photography, at least). will add a bold splash of colour. Despite rule, set your lens to manual focus and
Even in the rain, it’s possible to capture stunning images that still have a hint of summer about them. Try to include seasonal clues in the foreground of your images, such as oral details or vegetation. Poppies and sun owers are top tip
its sunny disposition, the summer season also has a darker side – thunderstorms. Lightning presents dynamic photo opportunities, but only if you can capture it quickly enough. The speci c camera settings needed depend on the time of focus it at in nity. In Bulb mode, start with an aperture of around f/8 and ISO of 100. Then, keep the shutter open long enough to capture the strike!
hit the Coast Go beyond traditional beach images
next time you’re beside the seaside
summer days can seem endless and dreamy, reminiscent of childhoods spent roaming the beach under a hot sky. A wide-angle lens is the go-to choice for photographing coastal scenes, and even a kit lens can be put to good use here. Don’t feel limited to these expansive views of sand and sea, though. Why not use a telephoto lens to hone in on footprints in the sand, or boats bobbing about on a sparkling ocean? The light quality can indicate to a viewer where and when an image was shot, so you don’t always have to include obvious visual clues.
nail your exposure
Heed these hints and tips to really get the most from tricky lighting situations
iT woulD seem as if everything is on your side in summer: fair weather, clear skies and long days. However, as soon as the sun does rise, it rises high and fast in the sky. The morning shadows quickly retreat, and this diminishes any sense of depth in the landscape. At the same time, contrast can be a big challenge for accurate exposure. There’s nothing inherently wrong with photographing in high-contrast conditions, but they can be very hard to meter for. In an Evaluative metering mode your Canon’s meter will measure the light intensity across the whole frame, then come up with an average value.
In bright, contrasty conditions, this often renders your actual subject too bright or dark. If you switch to Spot or Partial metering mode, bear in mind that you’ll need to be able to judge tones accurately to get the most from them. Follow the three step tutorial, below, to take back control of the way you expose such scenes.
Know your ND from your UV? Here’s our quick guide to using lters
high-qualiTy lters are a must-have accessory for improving your landscapes in-camera. When used properly, a lter not only enhances scenes, but saves you time editing your shots later, and is also useful for protecting your expensive lens’s front element from accidental damage. We’ve listed the most important lters for photographing summer landscapes below, explaining the conditions where you’ll want to use each one. Companies like Lee Filters offer premium options – at premium prices – but choose a lter system that matches your budget.
Be DiFFerent Take an alternative approach
while a warming summer landscape is pleasing to the eye, there’s always scope to try something more dynamic. We’ve already touched upon using a telephoto lens to compress the perspective of the landscape, but bear in mind how your shooting angle also effects the result. Crouching down low in foliage or owers gives a much more intimate feel. So, too, does widening the aperture and throwing the background out of focus. For a really drastic feel, give infrared a go. Blue skies and uffy white clouds look great with this effect, as the harsh and contrasting sunlight creates a surreal, bleached look.
eDit to perFeCtion
Follow these quick tweaks to really polish off your shots
Summer landscapes top
when you nd yourself shooting in bright sunlight, a good technique is to underexpose slightly so that you retain highlight detail in the skies. As you can see from our starting shot, however, this approach often renders the overall shot very dark, drab and dull. The good news is that it’s easy to liven up the nal photo when editing, even just with a few quick tweaks to the highlight and shadow levels, to recreate the gorgeous summery scene that your eye saw in a jiffy!