5 Backyard Photography Tips for Summer

A child running outside, Photo credit:©Purino

Story and photos by Nicole S. Young

It’s spring, the time of year when we eagerly await summer break and travels away. However, social distancing and uncertain times bring the inability to plan for summer. While that epic summer trip may not happen, there’s something to be said about rediscovering our current surroundings. Whether heading out for a nearby hike, walking the neighborhood or finding beauty in your own backyard, summer is a great time to hone your photography skills and capture the natural beauty and moments that surround us all. 

A precious bee

Here are some tips and inspiration from professional photographer Nicole S. Young to help you discover and photograph the beauty in your own backyard.  

  1. Subject Ideas. 

You may already know what you want to photograph right outside your door, but here are some ideas to get you started

  • Your favorite place. We all have one. A quiet and serene front porch. A lush garden. A favorite tree or babbling brook. Photograph it and show what makes it special.   
  • Flowers, open fields, butterflies, birds, and bugs: Summer is a time of year when nature is bustling. These are beautiful subjects to look for, and can make for very colorful and vibrant images.
  • Buildings and urban life: If you’re a fan of street photography and live in a city, then don’t be afraid to look for it in your neighborhood. Maybe it’s an interesting building or someone sitting quietly outside a neighborhood shop.
  • Simple things: Look past the obvious and see the wonder in simple things. Objects that are old and aged and create a sense of nostalgia. Old barns, rusty cars, or a weathered tree. 
Look who is in the yard
  1. Pay attention to the world around you. 

We’ve all walked around with preoccupied minds letting the world pass us by. But it’s often good to force yourself to be extra alert and engaged in the moment. Joel Meyerowitz, a pioneer of street photography, says it best. “For me, photography is the act of making something out of the fluid reality that’s scrolling by us all the time.” The key is to never stop looking. The same scene can look very different at different times of day.

Having fun
  1. Capture backyard fun with the kids.
    Summer is the best for backyard photos with the kids. Here are a few tricks for getting outside and capturing those moments. 
  • Shoot right after dinner. Get outside after a meal and expend those last bits of energy. This is also the perfect time for capturing summer evening light which is unmatchable in pictures. 
  • Change your perspective. Move away from the standard practice of shooting from eye level. Get down low and shoot up. Stand above and shoot down. You’d be amazed to see how changing your angle can capture the world around you in new and exciting ways.  
  • Sit back and observe. Don’t try to pose the kids, simply sit back and observe, and many moments will unfold right before your eyes.
  1. Lighting is key. 

Light is the main tool for photography. Pay attention to it. Dusk and dawn are great times for checking out the light.

  • What is it highlighting? 
  • What is its quality (soft and hazy or sharp and direct)?
  • What type of shadows is it creating?
Luminar4 screen shot before and after
  1. Don’t forget to edit your photos. 

We spend most of our time taking photos, but making them is equally important. Not only does photo editing get a little more beauty into your shots, but it’s also a creative and satisfying part of the process that doesn’t have to be complicated. 

Luminar 4 by Skylum is a super quick and easy photo editing tool that enhances your photos in seconds. With a simple nudge of a slider, you can easily fix problems with exposure, rescue blue skies, enhance portraits, and boost colors and contrast to give your photos a bit of pop. Regardless of skill level, this photo editor is easy enough for anyone to master. Its intuitive design and smart AI technologies eliminate the need for traditional editing techniques and complex tasks, saving hours of time and creating gorgeous results. Make your photos feel as real as the memory from that day. Don’t just take photos, make them! 

A lovely pattern

So get out there, capture summer and keep your eyes open to the possibilities that are right in front of you.

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