By Christy Piña

With summer upon us, so too is the chance to take stunning photos of all of your outdoor adventures! But, taking the perfect photo is not always as easy as it looks. Here are some tips to help you get some picture-perfect shots.

Underwater Photography

Summer is the time to be in the water. A visit to the beach or the springs is the perfect time opportunity to take some Nat Geo-esque underwater photos. After ensuring your camera can handle going underwater, set your camera to the highest resolution and the lowest ISO. Then, making sure your flash is on, get close to your subject. Get low and shoot at an upward angle to add a creative touch to your photos.

Nighttime Photography

Nighttime photography is tricky. The pictures often come out shaky, the lighting is faulty and sometimes it seems like autofocus just will not focus! Although some cameras have a nighttime setting, it may be best to shoot in manual mode as opposed to auto. “If you are working in manual mode, the first thing to adjust is your ISO. You want to turn that up as high as possible without the photos looking too grainy,” Kristin Kozelsky of Indigo & Co. Photography said. “Next, set your f/stop (or aperture) as low as possible. Next, aim your camera at your subject and press the shutter button halfway down so that your light meter shows up in the viewfinder, and work with your shutter speed until your meter shows you have reached a good exposure setting.”

Use a long exposure in order to allow the dim ambient light around you to reach the image sensor and take the picture you want. Increasing your depth of field allows for better nighttime pictures because it allows less light in, so you can get a result more pleasing to the eye. To avoid shaky pictures, use a tripod or lean against something sturdy and turn on the rapid fire/burst option.

Landscape Photography

While landscape photography may seem like the easiest, there are techniques you can use to really make your pictures stand out. Use the rule of thirds, which places the subject of your photo off to the left or to the right, instead of dead center. Use leading lines, which are lines that guides your eye from one point in an image to another point in an image. There are plenty of leading lines in the world around us, like roads, railroad tracks, shorelines and boardwalks. Look for symmetry in your landscape photos, and try taking photos from different perspectives. “Most of us tend to stand and shoot at eye-level when we’re getting started,” said Kozelsky. “Try playing with high and low to try something a little different.”

Outdoor portraits

Summer is the time of harsh lighting, which can hinder the quality of your portraits. To avoid overly bright photos, Kozelsky recommends looking for areas of solid shade. “If you can bring your subject into an open area with solid shade, you will have the perfect setup for great photos,” she said. However, if you have no choice but to shoot in bright sunlight, arrange your subject so that the sun is behind him or her.

So this summer grab your camera and some sunscreen and take some memorable photos!