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6 Summer Landscape Photography Styles to Never Get Bored this summer

6 photography styles for summer landscape photography

Shooting landscape photography in summer can appear to be really difficult for many photographers. There are good reasons for that: summer days are very long, sunrise is very early, sunset is late, the harsh daylight doesn't make subjects really appealing and so on.

Then, how to shoot landscape photography in summer? or What to photograph during summer?

Well, there's no magic here. However, there are a few photography styles that can be really suited for summer. As usual, in landscape photography, light is everything, and going for sunset or sunrise will be key. But if you can't, what can be done? Well. this summer related landscape photography article will help you get some more insight about the photography styles you can tackle.

In this article, I am sharing with you 6 landscape photography styles that are perfectly suited for summer, and that will allow you to, hopefully, never get bored with your camera during this season.

1. Flowers

Spring and summer are a great season for blooming flowers, and that something that you surely have close to home, unless you're living in a desert. This is one of the easiest and most obvisou landscape photography to practice in summer.

Especially at the beginning of summer, flowers are blooming and get strong colors and are usually well in shape. They usually make up for great subjects. Playing with daylight and especially early morning or evening light will be amazing to create some stunning effect. It's actually one of the rare cases where I like to blow out the highlights in my pictures (see in the below examples). I really have a feeling that it adds a warm and rather joyful atmosphere to the picture.

Here are two tips on how flower photography could be approached:

  • Macrophotography: this might require some specific tools or lenses, but don't worry, there's always a cheap way in doing so. In case you're interested in knowing more about this, feel free to take a look at this Guide for Macrophotography I wrote some time ago.

  • Bokeh: the second one is simply to play with sunlight and bokeh (background blur) by shooting flowers close enough so that you make it an obvious subject with just enough background so that the viewer gets a little more context about the photograph: where it is, what's the surrounding, etc.

That's a pretty cool, easy, and photographing flowers can almost be done all summer long.

2. Forest

Landscape Photography in forest during summer time is probably not the first period one think about to photograph them at their best. However, I find that forests have a lot to offer in summer too. Surprisingly, they can also be a good subject later during the day, although when the sun is at zenith, the final rendering might not be the greatest.

A few tips might be helpful to get the most out of them:

  • Light: the key here will be to look for the subtle light contrasts located in various places.

  • Lens: as many forests might appear really messy and unappealing at first, isolation subjects will be a very important factor. Using a mid focal range or telephoto lens is best in this case.

  • Subject: Now that you know what to look for, and that you've got the gear, it's time to find a good subject. A good starting point is to focus on intimate parts of the forest such as a leaf, a tree trunk or roots. Then, let your creativity be key.

3. Mountains as summer landscape photography

Another great summer landscape photography style is Mountains! Well, mountains are subjects suited for all seasons in landscape photography. Nonetheless, the big advantage of summer is that it gets much easier to go on top of these giants. Catching a sunset or a sunrise from the top of a mountain is something really special that every photographer should experience at least once in their life.

A few to help get the best mountain shotz:

  • Planning: try to optimize your trip as getting up to that mountain can turn out to also be the opportunity to catch some amazing astrophotography.

  • Gear: when planning on shooting mountains, always carry a wide angle lens and a telephoto lens, these will be your best allies and will allow you to photograph mountains in pretty much any circumstances. But, also be wise with the weight of your gear. Mountain trips require lots of primary equipment, photography equipment will only add up a lot of weight. Therefore, bringing the best quality lens that weighs a ton, might not be the best choice.

4. Waterfalls

Another one of my favorite, and let's make it clear from the beginning: waterfall photography is more of a spring, early summer or fall photography style. Unfortunately, high summer temperature of the past few years has led to quicker melting of winter snow and consequently drying out rivers and automatically waterfalls too. Nonetheless, early summer is still a good season to enjoy waterfalls with a good water flow.

Some few tips to help you facilitate your shots:

  • Gear: do get a CPL filter and possibly one or two ND filters if the targeted waterfall is exposed to light and not hidden in a forest for example.

  • Planning: also, going on overcast days or closer to sunrise or sunset time is key as the strong light of the midday sun will most likely blow out the waterfalls' highlights, which may ruin your final shots.

5. Astrophotography

Astrophotography is the star of summer landscape photography. This is a style I personally like quite a bit because it creates the kind of magic that the eye cannot really see. Although it creates astonishing imagery, it is also quite a bit of a difficult style to master. Gear, techniques, location, seasonality, all of this matter in this style. And above all, it's quite constraining as you'll need to be up pretty late at night to enjoy it. If none of this matter to you, then you're good for an amazing ride.

A few night photography tips:

  • Gear: a wide angle lens with a wide aperture will help you capture a lot of lights and wide landscapes. A tripod will be indispensible for stability.

  • Shooting: reduce noise in your pictures by doing some stacking by shooting 10-20 pictures at ISO 1600-6400 and 5-10 seconds for the sky and about 10 shots at ISO 1600-3200 and a shutter speed of 30 to 60

  • Season: Although I entered it in the summer photography section, the Milky way can be shot from March to October in the Northern Hemisphere. Summer remains however, the easier season to photograph it given higher likelihood of getting clear skies and warmer weather.

6. Go to Summer Friendly Places

The final tip of this summer landscape photography article is not an exact tip, but more of a recommendation on where to ensure to go for great landscape photography during summer. For those in need of escape, adventure and who are ready to face some not so summery weather, going up north is a great opportunity to do some of the best photographs that exists around the world. Have you guy got it? Going to places such as Iceland, Norway or the Faroe lslands, will be an absolute treat from a photography point of view. Seeing incredible scenery, the midnight sun, mountains, volcanoes, and so much more will just keep you well busy. I am guessing that Northern Canada or Alaska might also be wonderful regions, but can't unfortunately speak to it.

However, before you get all excited about such destination, here are my few tips for you:

  • Cost: because of their remoteness and attractiveness to tourists, these places tend to be highly priced from car rental, food, gaz, to hotel rooms and so on. If budget is not a problem, then you're good. However, if it is, try to plan well in advance or try to find deals. Also, sleep in campsites instead of hotels, you'll save a lot.

  • Weather: well... what people there call summer is usually what we call early spring or fall. It's not rare to get a few days of rain in a row, low temperatures, strong winds. So it's technically summer, but if you want some beach vacations, then, that might not be the best idea. But if you're fine with wind, rain and low temperatures, then go ahead and fully enjoy these amazing locations.

That's pretty much it for this article, and I wish you good luck with your photography for this summer!


About the Author

workshop and photography tours

I am Rémi Bergougnoux, a French travel and landscape photographer currently based in Zurich, Switzerland. My most influential destinations include Latin America, where I spent about a year, Namibia, Iceland, Lofoten and certainly many others.

Aside from photography, hiking, cooking, enjoying good wines and socializing are my main hobbies.


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