YOUR CANON PROS
Learn from the pros
Four leading photographers offer their sagely summer advice
DREW BUCKLEY www.drewbuckley photography.com
GUY EDWARDES www.guyedwardes.com
KAV DADFAR @dadfar_photography
MARC ASPLAND www.marcaspland.com
Over summer we’re treated to some beautiful light, which can make for all sorts of photographic opportunities, from longer days offering more time to take shots in glorious sunshine, to low sun casting super-long shadows and even changing the quality of light, so that it’s wonderfully soft and gentle around sunrise or sunset. To help you conquer this season, we’ve collaborated with four Canon pros, all leading in their own fields, that will reveal their top tips to make the most of summer sun. So whether you’re into landscapes, wildlife, sports and even travel photography, we’ve got you covered. You’ll learn how filters can be used to tame bright light in your images to create a balanced exposure; use accessories like mirrors and reflectors to bounce light back into shaded spots; understand which lenses will work best for you and how to get great travel shots, safely, whatever the current COVID-19 guidelines.
With summer drawing to a close officially in the UK on 22 September, you still have plenty of time to catch the last of the best light before we head into autumn and the days begin to get notably shorter and cooler once again. With all that said, let’s get started…
Canon pro photographer Drew Buckley on his top tips for ace outdoor images
Shoot in the golden hour
You can shoot in beautiful golden light after sunrise and before sunset year-round, this is called, coincidentally, the golden hour. But this is even more important in the summer months, when the sun climbs quickly in the sky. Planning to be out early or later in the day is not only more comfortable on hotter days, but also greatly beneficial to your images. The light around dawn and dusk really cannot be beat for landscape photography. Golden hues bathe the landscape, intensifying colours and creating long shadows that give landscapes some incredible depth.
Cover all the bases
When out and about I’ve always got a mixed bag of lenses with me covering everything, from 16mm right up to 400mm. Most shoots start off with the wide-angle lenses to establish the scene. But after a while I’ll put my telephoto lens on and start to cherry pick small compositions within the bigger landscape. Being on top of a hill or a high viewpoint works great with this technique, especially in the golden hour. Looking down on the landscape coloured in golden light and the long shadows are there to see in all their glory – it’s quite magical.
Fields of colour
Summer is a time when arable fields, heather moorland and wildflowers are abundant across the countryside. Here in the UK, fields of wheat, barley, or poppies are a firm favourite and a classic sight of summertime. It is worth scouting out a few locations whatever the weather, then from there you can use photo apps on your smartphone, such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris or PhotoPills, to work out the angle of the sun throughout the day and help you find the perfect position to shoot from with the perfect light.
DREW’S TOP TIP
Use good quality filters While summer landscapes can look vibrant with vivid greens and puffy white clouds set against big skies of blue, the harsh light can wash out colours on camera, so implementing a good polarizing filter helps cut through haze in your scenes, boosting natural colours.
For maximum effect it’s best to shoot side on to the sun at 90º, then rotate the filter to your desired strength and try to avoid super wide-angle lenses, as you’ll find the polarizer is only able to affect a small portion of the sky. They also cut down surface reflections too, so are perfect to use at the coast.
Drew is a professional photographer based in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Making a living from photography, Drew happily turns his hand to all sorts of genres with landscapes, wildlife and weddings to name but a few. He runs workshops throughout the year and has been published in a wide range of publications. He also wrote and took the images for his book: Photographing South Wales. www.drewbuckley photography.com
Use the right lens
Guy uses a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens for wildlife and even for macro photography of small insects, as it’s super sharp, fast at autofocusing, and has a narrow field of view which makes it easier to pick a ‘decent’ background for his subject. However, if he needs to get closer, he often switches over to his Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, which has a reproduction ratio of 1:1, meaning he can capture much closer shots of subjects that aren’t as easily spooked.
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