Photography in Summer : 5 tips for shooting


Tips for shooters in summer

It’s Hot! crazy hot outside. As an athlete in Tokyo olympic games were always complaining about. Everyone knows this was not a great time for outside sports: neither for photograph.

I agree, I don’t want to photograph in the midsummer; Especially not good for long exposure photography. But there are some are some tips I do in a hot season (in Japan)

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1.You don’t have to do (always..) long exposure

I love long exposure photography, especially daytime hyper long exposure.
However you should not be an idiot who waits 5 minutes under the hot deadly UV beam. Maybe you can use a uv-block parasol for avoiding direct sunlight, but the light at noon is so strong that your photo can be too contrasty.

Do Quickly

So, how about forget about long exposure(or B&W), and try to shoot with normal shutter speed. I like to find a unique lines in a big shopping mall. You just need a ultra wide lens.
Just look up and take some shots! Then go back to the inside, and grab an cup of ice coffee.

Go local museums

Museums are well designed not only exterior but also interiors.
Some are not allow you to photograph inside, but some don’t mind at all.
Locals’ tend to generous for photograph, so go in your local museum and find some hidden lines and curve inside them. It’s much fun to shoot alreday-shot-many popular architectures than be an explorer to hidden gem.

2. Use the shade

Still you want to shoot outside for long exposures? fine! Let’s find a shade.

I shot bellow one, at a very strong sunny day in L.A. I found the shade made next to Disney concert fall, and shot Broad with some buildings with 3 minutes long exposure.
Setting camera in a shade has two good reason; block unnecessary light to the camera, which can cause light leak. Second? You can rest in the shade.

Broad Way

Heat noise

Digital camera sensors are prone to heat. Especially with hyper long exposure, they often produce noise called hot spot. Theoretically if you can cool your camera enough during long exposure, they don’t produce heat spots much, but in reality you can not avoid heat spots.
That’s why I prefer hyper long exposure in cooler season; autumn or winter.
Though You can handle with heat noise. Please check out my post post.

Sluggish clouds

clouds in midsummer generally move slowly, so even if you got 5 minutes long exposure, the result would not be good as you do in the cool season.

This is 150 seconds long exposure sample. I shoot this around the noon while my family vacation in summer. Clouds barely moved, and the sky was looked almost as taken with a normal shutter speed. Of course, the sea water could get smooth surface, caused by long exposure effect, so the result was not bad. (not the best though)

Now and Then by Yoshihiko Wada on
Meoto Iwa (couple rocks) in Mie, Japan.

3. Be an early bird

z7/z35mm f1.8s 214sec. Formatt Hitech ND filter 13stops

An early bird catch the great light!
Summer is one of the best season you can see a beautiful sunrise(or sunset). The sky often tend to have a gorgeous sky mixed with red, purple ,orange color.

Also due to the darker and cooler environment, you can do hyper long exposure easily.
Though shooting long exposure around the dusk is a little trickier than daytime long exposure.


Get ready for the show

Set your tripod as soon as you get there.

Say, when the sunrise is 5, you should get started at least around 4’30.
When you have to get there at 4:30, you have to leave home before the time, obviously.
“I can’t get up so early”
Me neither.

Find your favorite location in your neighbor”

Beside driving to the farther costal area, go to your locals. Twilight make the ordinarily scene extra ordinary. You don’t need to go to far way from your home. Also this is great training for the next serious shooting trip, especially when you get the new lens.
My favorite shooting spot is Yodogawa-river, the biggest river in Osaka.
Whenever I haven’t planed anywhere to travel, I go there in the early morning.
You never see the same twilight.

[z7/z14-24 f2.8s 120 seconds]
I come here when I get a new lens, and test them, compare them. And blogging them.

4. Blessed Rain

Check the weather

Shooting water-scarce waterfall or stream is boring. In summer you should plan carefully when you are going to shoot a waterfall especially the destination far away from your home.
When you have a rainy day, let’s plan to shoot a waterfall.
Here is my favorite waterfall called “God Fall” in Nara prefecture.
I visited here the day after we had prenty much the rain.

too much is too bad

Though, too much rain is not good at all. Worse, it is Danger!
So if you had to much rain, please take a day to visit there.
You should also check the road are OK to drive through. Often roads in mountain are blocked in huge rocks or landslide. These photos were taken at nearby stream after we had substantial rain.

5. Horn your skill

Check your latest version of software

Stay inside is smart idea for spending the hottest season.
If you are subscribing Photoshop or Lightroom, please check the new function, and learn them. Today’s Lightroom has much more precise selectiveness than past versions.

Recently I often edit with just only Lightroom Classic,especially my color photos.
The build in presets in LR Classic can faster your workflow, and if you want to dig into presets, thousands of presets are available. Though much of them are similar, so I recommend not to invest them to much.

Watch tutorials

There are mass of free tutorials in Youtube, which I mostly learned from, you can learn a new technique almost free!
I recommend photoshop gru “PHLEARN“s youtube channel.
He provide thousands of useful technique of photoshops for free.

Dig in the archive

I bet you must have some of photos which haven’t finished yet, or just forget about their existence.

Dig your HD, and let’s finish them. The raw photos are waiting to your developing.

While I’m blogging this, I found this which looks a simple water fall picture.

But the truth is that: this is a panorama 28 pictures were merged .(Look below)
I used 105mm (micro) for making a Giga panorama.
I did not have much time to develop this when I shot them.
And I almost forgot about its existence.

Keep Safe

Having said that you can do various stuff in the hottest season,
the most important thing is keeping safe, especially in this challenging era.

Just stay home, Just take a nap, having a good meal and rest.
So anything you do, or don’t is OK.

Also browsing for a new lens and gears are always fun!
Nothing wrong! Just enjoy hot summer, and ready for the next great autumn.

See you!

D810/Pc-e 45mm 6 images’ stitched panorama. How about learning panorama photography in this summer?
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