The summer months are a great time slot to hone your photography skills with a bevy of occasions that afford the serious camera buff an opportunity to capture some great trophy shots. One just needs to have their camera ready and then be observant enough to recognize a good photo op when he or she sees one.
Carrying your camera in your car could provide a photo like this one that will be captured rather than remembered as an occasion that you wished you had your camera.
With the advent of digital photography, any concern about cost and wasted shots should be permanently shelved, since they are no longer relevant. One should never be accused of taking too few photos, however, that is still one of the greatest errors most shooters make. You have the camera and should have a spare disk so use them! Shoot everything and shoot often, keeping in mind that the more photos you take, the greater the chances of shooting a real winner. As with so many other things in life, photography is a numbers game.
Watch for interesting character-study shots like the furrowed brows of this little fellow at a community art festival.
A serious photographer should have his camera close at hand for that special shot wherever he or she goes. But if you leave it at home hidden in a drawer and are presented with that classic “once in a lifetime shot” all you will have is sad memories of what could have been. Even if your camera is in your vehicle, you can make a mad dash to the car if an opportunity presents itself. The best remedy, however is to purchase a camera case with a shoulder strap or belt loop and carry it with you at all times. Definitely make sure that it is close at hand if you plan an outing of any kind, be it a reunion, a trip to the lake or a jaunt to a summer community event, which is almost a mandatory happening in most towns. Even a road trip can provide countless photo opportunities that will dress up anyone’s photo morgue.
Candid shots, often using a telephoto lens will allow you to catch people reacting without the pressure of knowing they are "in focus".
Family outings are great for humorous shots as it seems that someone is always clowning around and they provide one with a great opportunity for “people-photo” practice. Try to capture as many candid shots as possible as shots of people doing what they do naturally always seems to make for better photos. Even as common place as cameras are, there is something about pointing one at a person that just seems to drain the “natural” vitality from your subject. Very few people will remain true to their form when being zeroed in by the lens.
Never go to a flea market or fair without your camera to record the colors, the sights and the vast array of poeple you will find there.
While at these social gatherings, don’t forget to look around for other subjects that may catch your eye. Pets, landscapes, flowers, a grill full of food, and street scenes are just a few of the things that could possibly provide the sharp eye with a rewarding image caught in the right light, the right time or with the right activity taking place there. And always look beyond the main area of activity. Sometimes a great frame will present itself just around the corner of a building or as close as fifty yards from where the main center of activity is. Don’t be afraid to wander away towards something that catches your attention, it may very well provide you with the shot of the day.
Keep your eyes peeled for subjects that are clowning around. You never know what clicking your shutter at the right time can capture.
Community events are a natural for a camera. It seems like each community has its own summertime celebration filled with special events, parades, good food and lots of people activity. County Fairs, the State Fair, a carnival or sporting event are all excellent opportunities to hone your photographic skills. Record the meetings with your friends and neighbors at these centers of activity by taking their pictures, which can later be used as a framed hostess gift or included in a personal Christmas card. There is no one who does not openly or secretly appreciate a copy of their image doing whatever they do. Again, if you are walking down the street during a community celebration, don’t forget to keep you eyes open for a planter filled with beautiful flowers, a unique angle shot of the geometric layout of a handsome brick wall or an interesting cloud formation that is framing an interesting skyline.
If you go to see fireworks and you don't bring your camera, you're missing an opportunity to learn more about your camera and collect some great shots.
Animal shots abound especially in the early morning and late afternoon if one takes a drive in the country. Most shots can be taken from the car window, others require a stop and stalk procedure. In the earlier part of the summer, it is easy to find areas where families of Canadian geese are tending their young affording some great shots for the naturalist photographer. It is also common to see young deer that have yet to be taught the danger of human beings, as well as young animals of a multitude of species. Spend a couple of hours camped out at a humming bird feeder. You will be surprised what you will be able to capture.
Keep you camera handy becuase you never know when you will be presented with an opportunity for a family photo like this one.
Over 90% of all living things are insects and with the macro capabilities of the latest cameras, this is one area that will provide some really great shots and bugs are everywhere. This is one more area that provides countless photo ops if the photographer has not limited his vision to the big stuff. Butterflies are some of the most obvious, but there are kinds of colorful, crawly-stuff that will provide interesting snapshots of a world most folks are oblivious to. I don’t let bugs bug me, I shoot `em with my camera.
Moving slowly and using your zoom can produce shots like this one when you are ready with your camera and perhaps a monopod.
There are far too many opportunities to list individually in a short article, but hopefully this short piece has given you some ideas and will serve as a reminder that every day is hunting season when you are carrying your camera. And remember that there are no limits, no gut piles and the outstanding trophies that you shoot will adorn your walls and the walls of others for years to come.
Remember to think small and look for the littlest of subjects. Make learning to use the Marcro feature of your camera a priority.