Tag: summer

10 Summer Portrait Ideas: Beginners Must Try

Even though autumn is slowly approaching, you still have time to make the most of its golden sunlight, appreciate its spectacular colours, and improve your photography skills.

Here are 10 portrait ideas that you can use in your photoshoot today.

summer portrait shadows

Shadow Play

Hold a summer hat, hair, or a patterned object against the sun to create beautiful shadows on your subject’s face. As you can see in the photo above, even a simple flower bush will do!

summer portrait silhouettes

Silhouettes

Summer landscapes

are nothing short of breathtaking. You can include them in your portraits by creating silhouettes. (Have your subject stand or walk in front of a brighter background and lower the exposure until you see a silhouette.)

My favourite silhouette-making times are during a sunset and on a cloudy day.

summer portrait park

Park Photoshoot

Parks are ideal for photoshoots of any kind. They’re accessible, free, and always open. This is a great opportunity to challenge yourself by limiting your resources. Try to take stunning portraits in simple locations. You’ll be surprised by how many ideas you’ll get in the most “boring” spots!

summer portrait flower themed

Flower-Themed

If you have access to a botanical garden, have a flower-themed photoshoot. Flowers can be used as alluring foregrounds, detailed backgrounds, or simple props. Despite their simplicity, they’ll light up your subject’s face and add a pleasant pop of colour to your photographs.

(If you don’t have access to a botanical garden, try experimenting with flower bouquets or flower bushes.)

summer portrait ice-cream

Popular Summer Items

What words come to mind when you think of summer? Could you use a simple keyword as inspiration for your shoot? If you’re completely out of ideas, challenge yourself with 1-word themes. By limiting yourself to only one word, you’ll encourage your imagination to work hard. This might lead to a lot of surprisingly inspiring ideas.

Here are a few keywords to get you started:

  • Ice-cream
  • Picnic
  • Sand
  • Lighthouse
  • Ladybug
  • Watermelon

summer portrait fashion

Fashion Photoshoot

The warm weather is ideal for a fashionable look book. If you want to improve your fashion photography skills, now is the perfect time to do so. You don’t need to have an indoor studio or live in an exotic country to achieve this. Experiment with street fashion or have photoshoots in parks (or even in your own home). You’re bound to find inspiration wherever you go.

summer portrait golden hour

Dreamy Golden Hour on the Beach

There can never be enough golden hour photoshoots. Right after sunrise or before sunset, go to the beach and have a cozy photo session with a friend. The warm light will enhance your model’s features and create an ethereal atmosphere in every photo you take.

summer portrait couples and sparklers

Couples and Sparklers

Summer nights are relatively warm and colourful, which makes them ideal for creative photo adventures. If you want to strengthen your nighttime, portrait, and couple photography skills, take photos of people in love using a limited source of light.

Some of the most affordable and efficient light sources for evening/nighttime shoots are:

  • A torch
  • Sparklers
  • A lamp

summer portrait closeup
Self-Portrait Closeups Next to a Window

If it’s too hot to go outside, take self-portraits indoors. To create well-lit portraits, photograph yourself next to a window. The soft light will give you a glow reminiscent of classic portraits. If you want to take it a step further, take closeups of yourself. Your results will look unique and might even end up in your portrait photography gallery!

summer portrait glass reflection

Glass Reflections

Sunglasses or windows reflecting summer landscapes are the perfect way to capture both nature and people simultaneously.

You don’t need to have a lot of money to take incredible photos this summer. Just use your imagination, have fun with your friends, and enjoy 2018’s wonderful summer days.

Which of these ideas stood out to you? Let us know in the comments!

August Essentials You Must Have in Your Camera Bag

In many parts of the world, it’s currently so hot that people’s cameras are threatening to melt under the scorching sun. During times like these, it’s important to protect yourself from heat, insects, and other inconveniences that naturally emerge during the summer months.

This doesn’t mean you have to invest in expensive protection gear (though that, too, would be handy). You can, however, invest in small but practical items that will make this month easier to handle. By keeping yourself and your equipment cool and protected, you’ll have more energy to take photos and less reasons to worry about discomfort.

Below, you’ll find seven handy items that you can easily carry in your backpack or camera bag.

sunscreen

Sunscreen

This one might seem obvious, but it’s one we tend to forget or ignore most of the time. (I’m guilty of this!) Fortunately, today’s sunscreens aren’t chunky or disgusting. Most of them smell wonderful, are easy to apply, and won’t make you feel like a sticky little frog. Carrying a small one in your bag will save you from a lot of painful sunburns!

An Extra T-Shirt

There’s nothing quite as uncomfortable as having to walk around in a sweaty t-shirt, especially if you’re planning to take photos of yourself or photograph other people. The best solution to this problem is to carry a light item of clothing in your bag.

summer snack

A Snack That Won’t Spoil

Chances are that walking and photographing will make you hungry. If you have nothing delicious to eat during your shoot, you’ll feel extra tired and grumpy. Grab a few snacks that are healthy, filling, and yummy. My personal favourites are small fitness bars filled with nuts, chocolate pieces, and cereal.

Travel Size Anti-Bug Spray

While some insects are simply bothersome, others are dangerous. Don’t enter a forest without applying bug repellent on your skin. This will protect you from ticks, ants, mosquitoes, and other creepy crawlies that could make your outdoor trip an inconvenience.

summer hat

A Cap or Hat

Whatever you do, make sure your head is covered when you go out. A cap will provide you with shade when you look through your photos, while a hat will make you look very fashionable. I often used summer hats to cast beautiful little shadows on my face for my self-portraits.

A Lens Cleaner

Summer means beaches, water, or even deserts, which also means that your lens will be covered in tiny particles. These particles will stand out in your photos, especially when sunlight hits them. Not pretty.

If you clean your lens with your finger or a random cloth, you might accidentally scratch it. The best tool you can use is a professional lens cleaner, which exists in the form of a cloth or pen. Both cost less than $10 on Amazon and will take up very little space in your bag.

neutral density filter

Lens Filters

It’s difficult to take appealing photos on bright days without the help of filters. With a lens filter, you’ll be able to block out unnecessary sunlight, create vibrant atmospheres, or simply keep your lens safe. Here are a few popular ones that might make your shooting experience more interesting:

  • Clear filters are very cheap and will simply add a layer of protection to your lens.
  • Circular polarizers will deepen the colours in your photographs and create more contrast.
  • Neutral density filters will perfectly expose your images (i.e. darken them).
  • Bokeh filters will change the shape of your bokeh and just give you an opportunity to have fun!

summer camera bag

The items above won’t take up much space in your bag, will keep you cool and safe, and will provide you with the best shooting experience possible. Remember to keep your skin protected, your head covered, and your lens clean.

Now go out and enjoy August!

How to Make Images of Summer Season Creative

Hot, bright, and full of possibilities, August is a month every photographer deserves to enjoy. As you soak up the summer sun, challenge yourself with the help of these fun ideas.

summer activities photo

Photograph Local Summer Activities

What do the people in your area enjoy doing on hot days? Answer this question through your photographs. If you want to take it a step further, start a project that focuses on summer street photography.

cloud photography

Create Resources for Future Projects

Thanks to August’s bright daylight, everything looks stunning. This is the ideal time to take resources for future editing projects. A simple photo of a cloud could help you create a breathtaking double exposure. A closeup of a colorful flower could end up complementing a portrait in a diptych. Even if you don’t have any specific ideas in mind, store these summery photos in a special folder. Your future self will thank you.

 summer countryside

Take a Break in the Countryside

If, like me, you’re eagerly looking for ways to escape the heat, go to the countryside. You’ll get to ground yourself, photograph new locations, meet new people, and refresh your body and mind.

golden hour photo

Have a Golden Hour Photoshoot with a Friend

Shortly before sunset or after sunrise, the sun creates an ethereal glow. The golden hour lasts longer in the summer; use this fact as an excuse to spend some quality time with your friends. You’ll have the chance to bond with them and sharpen your portrait photography skills.

gardening hobby August

Take up a New Hobby (And Document It)

There are lots of affordable hobbies that are perfect for hot August days. In addition to learning something new, photograph your experience. Here are a few ideas:

  •  Gardening
  •  Beach yoga
  •  Watermelon carving
  •  Fishing

summer food photography

Improve Your (Summery) Food Photography Skills

Food photography is an exclusive genre that many of us have yet to try. Fortunately, August is the ideal time to dive into this genre. Thanks to the abundance of fruit and vegetables available, you can create your own food photography challenge without spending a lot of money.

lens filter photography

 

Play with Lens Filters

Fractal, haze, polarizing, neutral density. All of these things are lens filters that will help you photograph landscapes on bright days, add a surreal touch to your portraits, or enhance the colors in your photos. If you can’t afford them, make your own! There’s an abundance of incredible tutorials out there, from paper filters that will change the shape of your bokeh, to simple cling film that will make your images look dreamy.

b&w photo

Go Against the Flow and Take B&W Photos

August is known for its bright, vibrant colors. Why not challenge this idea by photographing the summer’s colorless side? By introducing yourself to a world you’re not used to seeing on a daily basis, you’ll improve your imagination and create photos that will beautifully enhance your portfolio.

family members photography

Take Photos of Your Family

Summers are often a time when family members come together and go on vacation. Use this opportunity to photograph activities that you cherish.

camping trip

Go on a Camping Trip with Your Loved Ones

Camping

will expose you to a plethora of photo opportunities: gorgeous landscapes, breathtaking details, candid portraits, and stunning night skies.

wedding shoot

Work as a Second Shooter at a Wedding

Weddings are usually very busy. Since there’s so much going on, it’s likely that one photographer won’t be enough to capture every special moment. Contact a local wedding photographer and offer to help them shoot. You’ll get to earn some money and improve your wedding photography skills.

writing accomplishments photo

At the End of the Month, Write down Your Accomplishments

Every challenge must have a conclusion and a reward. Write down your accomplishments, highlight your strengths, and think about the skills you’d like to improve. Most importantly, reward yourself with something you love, be it a guilt-free day of laziness, a day out with your friends, or a mouth-watering snack.

 

There’s an abundance of exciting things you can do during the month of August. These activities will not only relax you but give you an opportunity to become a more experienced photographer.

Which activities stood out to you? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Ideas for Field or Camping Trips for Artists on the Go

We still have over a month of summer left, which means there’s still time to go on exciting adventures, soak up the summer sun with your friends, and make the most of your free time. One of the best summer activities is going on a camping trip with your loved ones. This opportunity is ideal for bonding, spending quality time away from technology, and improving your photography skills.

Camping trips offer breathtaking surroundings and photogenic subjects. They’re great for photographers who want to experiment with a lot of different genres without worrying about the results. However, due to the sheer amount of things you can photograph, these trips can be a little overwhelming.

To save you from unnecessary stress, here is a list of photo ideas that will help you make the most of your travels.

camping trip wide shot

camping trip wide shot II

Wide Shots Featuring Your Surroundings – Landscape Photography

Give your future self a clear idea of where you were during your trip. Photograph your surroundings using a wide-angle lens. If you don’t have one, take several photos of one location and stitch them in an editing program; this will create a very eye-catching panorama.

Wide shots are perfect for capturing the general atmosphere of a location. They also look good in portfolios, on social media, and in art galleries. You might even end up selling your landscape photos to some very eager art appreciators. 🙂

camping trip details

Details – Macro Photography/Diptychs

As appealing as details are, they’re easy to forget. This is why it’s very important that you photograph as many of them as you can. During your trip, this can be the mug you’re using, the food you’re eating, or the leaves on the tree that’s right above your sleeping bag. Every moment counts.

You might not use detailed snapshots in your portfolio, but you’ll definitely use them to go back in time to a very refreshing and fulfilling adventure. If you want to be extra creative, use these details to create two-photo collages called diptychs (pictured above).

camping trip candid portrait

camping trip campfire friends

Posed and Candid Photos – Portrait Photography

A camping trip is nothing without friends, so make sure you include them in your best shots! Make sure you take a combination of posed and candid portraits. Posed photos are great for social media and even your own portfolio. Candid photos, on the other hand, can be proudly added to family albums and cherished for years to come.

camping trip drone photography

camping trip drone photography II

Bird’s Eye View – Drone Photography

Even though drone photos are very, very popular, don’t let that stop you from appreciating your own surroundings from above. By photographing your experience from a unique angle, you’ll add to your rich collection of landscapes, details, and portraits. These visual memories are bound to make your trip unforgettable. (And if you really want to take it to the next level, film your journey!)

camping trip

camping trip

Different Times of Day

To really improve your photography skills, make sure you take photos at different times of the day. Daylight will help you take bright photos of your friends and surroundings; the golden hour will provide you with the perfect light for all kinds of photos, and the evening will give you the chance to sharpen your nighttime photography skills.

camping trip

I hope the ideas above help you make the most of your photography skills and your camping trip. I’m certain that by the time it’s over, you’ll be significantly more experienced as an artist.

Regardless of how much you love the world of photography, though, make sure you live in the moment, too. Trips are meant to be relaxing, fun, and eye-opening. As soon as you start to feel stressed, put everything down and just be there for yourself and your friends.

Now let’s go out and make some amazing memories. 🙂

Moscow Throughout the Seasons: An Inviting Adventure to Photography

Moscow, though often associated with endless coldness, goes through a variety of unique seasons. Every month possesses an air of mysteriousness; however, despite the unreliability of the weather, a creative opportunity is always waiting to be found and cherished. In this article, you’ll be introduced to the unpredictable seasons of Moscow, from freezing winter months to welcoming spring days. I hope this gives you a better idea of what this grand city is like throughout the year.

Moscow’s Winter

Winters are unrelenting in Moscow’s more rural areas. The city is treated kinder than surrounding villages, providing visitors with warm stores and outdoor food stands. Exploring the city’s streets often feels like observing everything through fogged up glass. The snow, often reminiscent of the violent storms one sees in documentaries, seems to speak of endless cold days and silence (save for the endless traffic, which is at its busiest). This time of year in Moscow is perfect for cozy indoor shoots. Those who have the time and desire to experiment with studio photography will find themselves thriving during this time. The brave individuals who do step outside are often provided with outstanding photo opportunities. Whichever option you choose if you ever visit the city, remember to dress warmly and have a thermos (or two) with you at all times!

//

//

In villages, the silencing atmosphere can be either comforting or intimidating, depending on how much of a city person you are. Village homes are covered in thin layers of frost. It’s not uncommon to see chickens huddling and clucking busily, completely familiar with the season’s harshness. The sight is so unique that one can’t help but take photos of everything, even if the temperature threatens to freeze any exposed skin. Though this time of year is considered the most discouraging, it holds uplifting treasures for those who listen, observe, and create.

Moscow’s Spring

In the spring, magic resides in details. Winter’s ice cold hands finally begin to thaw, leaving behind signs of exhilarating life. This is a hopeful and tender time of year filled with long days and sweet-smelling parks. Colors slowly begin to bleed into the picture; though they’re not as intense as summer’s bursts of color, their presence is strong enough to lift even the heaviest of spirits. This, of course, is necessary after months of dullness. Spring, unlike winter, is ideal for outdoor shoots. The floral additions, rejuvenating golden hours, and energizing mornings promise gorgeous wedding, portrait, and nature shots. Those who love anything flower related in the creative world will find joy in the middle of the month when the flowers lose their shyness and confidently step into the world.

//

Moscow’s Summer

Summer enters the scene grandly, like a relative you can always rely on. It lazily walks around, each step a day full of hazy thoughts and memories. The heat in Moscow isn’t unbearable, much to everyone’s relief. There may be days when the very center of the city seeks to burn your skin, but that is often impossible to predict beforehand. (This is why it’s always handy to have access to suncream and a hat.) It’s during this time of year that photographers of all sorts can thrive. Golden hours and longer days generously spend their time with people, promising endless creativity. The endlessness is so comforting and believable that for a moment, it’s possible to forget that the colder months are just around the corner. However, summer has a way of removing that fear and we almost, almost, don’t mind it when autumn knocks on the door with a suitcase full of leaves.

//

//

Moscow’s Autumn

This is a product of summer and winter, a realm between two very different worlds. Autumns in Moscow are crisp morning air, dry hands, and the foretelling of a renewed cycle. This is a time of preparation, of finding warmth before the winter calls the city’s name. Autumns are perhaps the most wonderful time of year for fashion and portrait photographers. Before the leaves depart, Moscow is a golden nest ideal for portraiture, landscapes, and everything in between. The lack of intense coldness allows for relatively comfortable shoots; at the same time, the chilly weather makes coming home all the more pleasant.

//

//

And just like that, the cycle begins all over again, each season waiting for an artist to capture its best and worst sides.

Cyprus throughout the seasons: Meeting a Paradise

Cyprus is relatively warm and bright all year round. The brilliant sun lovingly showers the island with happiness and luxurious light more often than not. To photographers, this is paradise – the golden hour is present for a very long time during the year, leaving only during the winter months (but even then, the days are long). No matter what kind of photographer you are, Cyprus will provide you with spectacular things and people to document and cherish your whole life. Below is an exploration of each season in Cyprus.

Winter

While winters in countries like Russia are rarely welcome, Cyprus winters are embraced with open arms. It is in the winter when the island’s inhabitants finally get to wear another layer of clothing. It is also when seeking unoccupied shades under trees stops being a continuous hobby. Tourists, however, freely walk around in T-shirts and vests, sometimes diving, unperturbedly, into the chilly sea. Despite the slight drop in temperature, the sun continues to generously give out its light; this time, the only difference is the intensity of the heat itself. A lack of humidity allows for long walks on the beach or spontaneous visits to the mountains, where winter can be experienced on a very mild level. A harmless layer of snow temporarily resides in the mountains – if you’d like to take great snowy photographs without freezing, Cyprus is just the right place for you.

//

//

Spring

Spring arrives with the promise of mild humidity. While it can get unbearable in the summers, spring humidity is tolerable and almost enjoyable after months of dryness. This time of year is perfect for mountain hiking, cycling, and running on the beach. Though flowers rarely wilt to the point of leaving the island gray and bare, certain types do disappear for a while. They gracefully emerge in the spring, dipping the island in uplifting colors of royal purple, lilac, and periwinkle. Spotting watermelons in people’s backyards during this time is far from strange – in fact, it’s a pleasant and drool-worthy sight. Best of all, spring is a time of new kinds of fruit and vegetables on the island, all of which can be obtained at humble little markets. These locations are ideal for street photography enthusiasts as most of the locals are more than happy to have their photo taken. In addition to a striking photo, you’ll get a good deal and will get the chance to enjoy a wonderful and refreshing meal at home.

//

//

Summer

Cyprus summers are viewed from two very distinct and different perspectives. There are those who thoroughly enjoying swimming or eating in restaurants by the beach and those who prefer the cool comfort of home. The former find satisfaction in fresh underwater photos or in appealing phone snaps of food and landscapes. The latter enjoy the great indoor lighting conditions provided by the endless, generous sunshine. If visitors wish to escape the heat, they can find refuge in the cool mountains of Troodos; this place is comfortably chilly all year round, providing tourists with both picturesque locations and bearable weather conditions.

//

//

Autumn

This could be considered the dullest time of year due to the empty trees and fallen leaves. A feeling of neglect washes over the island when autumn arrives, leaving people feeling slightly disappointed. However, the sadness doesn’t last long thanks to the breathtaking sunsets; these remain loyal to the island no matter what kind of weather is present. Even if most of the trees look haunting, the promise of another perfect sky is worth it. Photographers who adore feeling cozy outdoors will thoroughly enjoy the beginning of fall, whereas those who enjoy spending time absorbing and photographing landscapes will find an abundance of creativity in the entire season.

The key to making the most of Cyprus all year round is knowing where to spend your time as the seasons blend into each other. Summers are perfect for camping in the mountains; the months of spring can be fully enjoying in friendly markets; autumn can be enjoyed with a hot cup of cocoa during the sunset, and winter can be fully enjoyed by the beach. The beauty of this homely island is the amazing creative opportunities it gives to every artist throughout the seasons. No matter when you visit Cyprus, you’ll find something there to call home.

//

//

Editing a Summer Photo in Lightroom

Summer is a great time for taking pictures. The sun stays out longer, giving you more time to shoot. The temperatures warm up, making it more comfortable to get outside and take nature pictures. And being out with friends and family makes for some great photo opportunities. But, summer photos also have the disadvantage of never quite turning out how you’d expect. The sun can create unwanted shadows and lights. But fear not, Lightroom is to the rescue. You don’t need to know how to rock Photoshop, you just need to know some basics about Lightroom. With a few simple settings, your summer picture can look as amazing as you imagined.

We’re going to be using the below photo for editing. Shooting in the shade is a good way to avoid lights and shadows, but, as with this picture, the end product can look dull and more in tune with spring or fall. We’ll be fixing that with some simple adjustments that anyone can do.

editing summer photo

Temperature and Tint

The first step in editing your photo is to adjust the temperature and tint. Temperature will give your photo that warm glow that you associate with summer. By increasing the temperature of the picture, you can heat up your image and immediately make it feel more summer-like. Lowering the tint a bit will also help. The shade in the image has toned down the green of the grass. But green grass and bright colors are exactly what people think when they think summer. When you lower the tint, you increase the green in the picture, making the grass stand out more.

lightroom temperature

Already the image looks a bit more like a summer photo. However, now everything is a bit soft, too washed out.

Exposure and Contrast

To fix this image more, and make it stand out, we’re going to adjust the exposure and contrast. First, we’re going to drop the exposure a bit. This may make it seem like the photo is getting more washed out, but it won’t for long. After that, we want to increase the contrast. This is why we lowered the exposure. The contrast will sharpen the lines between the objects, making them stand out. Then the exposure helps soften the lines, making the picture look more natural.

lightroom contrast

See? With just a few simple sliders we’ve turned a dark, lack-luster image into a bright, colorful summer picture. But there’s still some more we can do.

Shadows and Highlights

The next step we’re going to take is to adjust the highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks. For this image, we lowered the shadows and blacks and increased the whites. We did this for two reasons. One, we can’t ignore that the image is in the shade. Even though we can make the image look more bright, we need to pay attention to the shadows. By lowering the shadows, it actually darkens them to show off the shaded areas. Then we have to compensate by increasing the whites to help the model stand out.

lightroom highlights shadows

Now there’s just one last step to making this the perfect summer picture. This next step is a bit more advanced than adjusting sliders, but it’s simple enough, and in the end, it will really make your image stand out.

Creating a Solar Flare

You’ve probably noticed that a lot of summer images have a flare in one corner or one side of the image. This happens when you shoot directly at the sun. But it’s not always a good idea, or possible to get this effect. If you can’t capture it naturally, you can produce a sun flare effect in Lightroom.

First, create a Radial Filter in the area of the picture you want the flare to occur. It’s a good idea to create it where the sun would naturally be, so look at shadows in your image. For this image, we chose the top left corner to help show off how the filter works, even though the sun is most likely on the left/behind the camera.

create solar flare

When you first create your filter, you’ll notice that the effect is opposite of what you see above. To change this, simply scroll to the bottom of your options on the right and click the Invert Mask box. Then lower the feathering a bit to make the circle look more natural.

Now to make it look more like a real sun flare, we want to increase the temperature, drop the tint, and up the exposure. This process is similar to editing your original photo, but we want to take things to more of an extreme to make the flare bright enough.

lightroom sun flare

With a few simple adjustments, we just turned a dull picture into a bright summer masterpiece. With a few spare minutes, a small understanding of how Lightroom sliders work, you too can edit your photo to look like the perfect summer photo.

Editing a Summer Photo in Photoshop

No season has a greater opportunity for photoshoots than summer. The nice weather and longer days make for excellent outside photos. Kids being off of school and some adults being off of work mean more time for everyone to get outside and have fun.

Summer has its own unique aesthetic to it that’s hard to capture in a photo sometimes. Luckily we live in the age of Photoshop. By following these simple steps you can turn a good photo into a great summer photo. We’ll be working with this photo today, because what says summer more than picking fruit straight from the vine on warm afternoons. This Photoshop tutorial works great with plant photography but can also be applied to portraits and landscapes.

edit summer photo

Basic Editing

Before we get into the specifics of summer aesthetics we have to make sure we’re working with a good base picture. The most important fix for this picture was adjusting the curves. This warmed the picture up. It also gave the picture a more pronounced solar flare. This isn’t wanted for every picture, but the sun is a big part of summer. So having a sun flare in your image is an excellent way to bring summer to your photo. If you don’t have an image with the sun already in it, we’ll be learning how to artificially create the solar flare later on in the tutorial.

photoshop basic editing

This is the step to experiment and see what works best for your individual picture. Before moving on, we adjusted the blue hue a bit to bring out the color of the blueberries. But be careful, going too far into the blues and greens will overshadow the yellows and oranges. Yellows, reds, and oranges are key to a summer photo. We’ll be adding some of that color soon. For now, just keep it in mind as you adjust until you find a good starting point.

adjusting curves photoshop

Creating Sun Flare

Something that most summer photos share in common is the glare from the sun or the solar flare. After all, the presence and intensity of the sun is what makes summer, summer. But if your picture didn’t allow for the flare, or if the flare isn’t just right, your picture is less likely to be noticeably summer related

First, create a new gradient layer. For the color pick a nice warm orange and make sure it’s going from color to transparent. For the angle, you’ll generally want sometime around -120, to get the flare in the top right corner as is a common location. If, like in the example, you have the sun already in your picture, try and align the angle to fit with its natural location.

gradient layer photoshop

To keep the picture from looking overwhelmingly orange, you want to blend it into the picture for a more natural look. To do this, go into the blending option on this layer. Set the mode to screen and lower the opacity just a bit. You still want it mostly opaque so it doesn’t overshadow the whole image. Here’s the picture with the added/improved sun flare.

create sun glare photoshop

Color Overlay

Next, we’re going to bathe the image in warm color. To do this, create a new layer for selective color. This layer will allow you to adjust the overall shading of the image, much like adjusting the basic hues and colors. For most summer photos you’ll want to set the colors to neutral. This ensures that you’re targeting the whole image. Play around a bit until you find the shading and colorization that looks good to you.

photoshop color overlay

Adding Some Blue

Now we’re going to do something a little weird. Generally, warm colors dominate in a summer photo. But to totally ignore the cool colors is to do a disservice to your image. So let’s bring a little bit of coolness back to your photo. Create a solid color layer, but this time pick a very light blue. Set the blend mode to soft light and lower the opacity a lot; it takes a lot of effort for the blue to show through. It may not look like much of a difference right away, but it’s very effective for your overall finished product.

A Little Bit of Blur

Once you’re certain that everything looks the way you want it to color and glare wise, merge all of your layers. After this point, you can’t change the settings easily so make sure this is the last thing you do. Next, create a duplicate layer. Give this new layer a Gaussian Blur with a setting around 25-30. The last thing to do is play with the blending. Set the mode of this layer to soft light with a setting around 50%. This will blend the blur down and create a more emphasized focal point to your picture.

final image summer photo

By following these steps you’ll create an amazing summer photo using Photoshop. So give it a try and let us know what you think!