Here at OXO, summer is one of our favorite times to take photos! With all of the vacations, graduations, weddings, parties, and beach time in store, we want to share with you the best tips we’ve found for summer during our celebration of May’s National Photo Month, so you can own your camera and smartphone at the pool, aquarium, auditorium, or resort!
Here are our Top 5 Tips for taking your most amazing photos ever this summer:
1. Power Your Summer Smartphone Photography with Apps
Your smartphone probably has a great camera already – but if you download these mobile apps, too, you’ll be able to turn even the most basic photos into amazing keepsake images.
For top-rated shooting, try ProCamera, which offers manual controls, including exposure, focus, ISO, and white balance, so you always get your shot right the first time. Pick this one up for only $5 on iOS. VSCO Cam is free, and includes a set of built in filters and easy controls for adjusting focus and exposure; available on both iOS and Android. For editing, we really like Darkroom, which allows you to adjust RGB channels separately – and best of all, everything gets saved as you work. Grab this one for free on iOS, or try pro photographer favorite Snapseed for iOS and Android.
2. Master Beach and Lake Day Photography
Planning on taking pictures at the beach or lake this summer? Rochelle Hepworth’s posts on Nick Kelsh’s photography tips blog features fabulous tips on how to photograph water! Rochelle recommends a telephoto lens for the beach – standing back from your subject, zoom in as far as you can, and let the action happen! Look for reflections, too. When the sun is low in the sky, keep your eyes open for these gorgeous opportunities!
We love this tip best – dedicate a cooler to your camera (without ice, of course)! Store an extra towel in the bottom for padding, and close the lid on the cooler when you’re not using your camera. What an easy way to protect your prized equipment!
3. Learn How to Soften Harsh Summer Sunlight
Midday is a popular time for summer activities, but it’s not the best time for photographic endeavors. During midday, capture your subjects in areas that provide shade, so your family members won’t squint, or have dark, unflattering shadows around their eyes. Get creative – you can find shade even at the beach, perhaps under an umbrella or palm tree.
4. Wow Your Instagram Followers
You can do a lot more with Instagram than you thought! When you’re ready to gram your newest photo, tap your screen to focus on a lighter or darker area, which will drastically change the amount of light being let into your smartphone camera. Try turning on HDR when you can’t get the exposure you’re looking for.
5. Resist the Urge to Use Flash
Despite what you might think, it’s hardly ever a good idea to use flash, except maybe when you’re in a dark restaurant and just have to capture that birthday pic. Otherwise, the LED flash dot on your phone will undoubtedly wash out any photograph you take this summer. Instead, relish the dark, says Manmade DIY, and use the contrast at hand to create a compelling photo instead (this aquarium shot is a great example).
It’s time to get excited about photography this Summer! Check out our latest blog on photographing and celebrating Mom’s life and legacy, or grab some preservation and organizing tips from our American Preservation Week blog, so you can make sure your family heirlooms are always protected.