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Bright colours and strong contrasts create a summery flair.

Tips and tricks for impressive summer photos

How to capture the most beautiful holiday moments impressively

Brilliant colours and dynamic motives make photography particularly appealing in the summer. Summer is also a time of wanderlust – and as you discover the world, you capture your experiences in numerous photos. Under turquoise skies and golden sunlight, there are opportunities for unique summer photos, but there are also some challenges. In order for you to capture the unforgettable holidays for eternity with expressive, vivid pictures, we have put together some tips and tricks for summer photography.

You can then immortalize your best shots in a Photo book or on a Photo canvas.

ifolor tip

Unique summer photos are also ideal for sending individual vacation greetings to friends and family. With the help of the ifolor app you can easily design your holiday photos as greeting cards and send them directly to your loved ones.

1. Light and lighting effect – Taking pictures using the sun’s position

There are extraordinary light conditions in the summer: In direct midday sun, the light on photos is glaring, the shadows come out hard. For architectural photos, you can purposely use this effect to draw sharp contours. Portrait photos, on the other hand, appear more flattering in diffused light. At dawn and dusk, the lighting effect is softer, so you can use these moments for romantic photos. Feel free to experiment with the existing natural light: Take pictures of shadow figures, reflections or light reflections.

Take pictures with the backlight to depict silhouettes

Tip: Summer light conditions

  • For shots in direct sunlight, use a reflector to soften the light. If you equip your motif with sunglasses or a sun hat, the facial expression will often appear more relaxed.
  • During the Golden Hour, the warm light creates especially bright colours just before sunrise and sunset. Deactivate the automatic white balance at sunset to make the golden hues visible.
  • When the sun is just below the horizon, the sky shines in a rich azure blue. The pastel-coloured residual light at the Blue Hour is gentle and ensures highly atmospheric pictures.

Generally speaking, with the aperture open, a lot of light gets into the lens, making your photos summery-light and friendly. Glaring, direct light provides hard shadows. An overexposure can be counteracted by a longer shutter speed. With the backlight closed, you can obtain interesting effects with the lens flares.

2. Colours – Create a summerlike atmosphere

The delicate pastel shades of spring are behind us – in summer, strong colours prevail. Capture the brightness and colourful diversity of summer in your photos. You should combine strong colours in your photos and create contrasts, such as between blue and red, yellow and blue or green and red. Bright, pastel-coloured backgrounds are brought to life by garish motifs in the foreground.

You can find summerlike motifs everywhere: In the modern street style of big cities, on the white beach, in the light-flooded forest, or even on your homey balcony. If you want to express a sunny mood on your photos, you can also use props: A colourful flower in the hair, trendy sunglasses or an ice cream cone in the hand all convey a summery flair.

Tip: Aperture settings

  • If you focus on a light source in the background, the motif in the foreground will be displayed dark. This creates exciting silhouette shots. You get this effect with the aperture open and a fast shutter speed.
  • However, if you take a picture with the aperture wide open and focus on a motif in the foreground, the background becomes blurred. The existing light is disc-shaped. This so-called Bokeh-effect appears magical and dreamy.
Colour contrasts and soft light provide for warm summer photos

3. Motifs and compositions – Take pictures of the essentials

Whether you are traveling or staying home – your summer photos should tell a story. Arrange your photos, for example, chronologically (arrival, stay, highlights, departure) or thematically (nature, culture, people, food, colours). Look for symmetry, recurring motifs and harmonious structures, such as in architecture, clothing or landscapes.

Vast landscapes and endless horizons sometimes do not look as breath-taking on photos as they did when they were taken. Therefore, use the golden ratio or simplified the rule of thirds as a guideline for your composition. In doing so, you can obtain a better depth effect and a more harmonious image distribution for the viewer. It is also helpful if you concentrate on certain aspects in the foreground of a landscape or frame your picture. In this way the viewer has points of reference and the picture does not seem monotonous or random. Make conscious use of empty spaces so that individual details of the summer photo can appear effective enough.

Which effect your holiday pictures have can be influenced by the image composition.

4. Perspectives – Find new points of view

Every day countless tourists take pictures of world-famous sights. To give your holiday photos that certain something, take an unusual perspective: Kneel or lie down or climb (cautiously) to a raised position. Your pictures will also be particularly impressive when you include other objects – for example, you can create a frame or show a direct size comparison to your main motif. Even if you capture your holiday activities, you can play with the perspective: Be around romping children at eye level or capture fast movements with the continuous shooting function of your camera.

Tip: Taking pictures of water

  • From the right position, a calm water surface appears like a mirror, allowing you to create exciting symmetrical images and plays of light.
  • With a fast shutter speed, you can freeze the movement of the water perhaps to depict the surf or the swell. A longer exposure time provides smooth lines that create a soft, misty effect.
  • With suitable equipment, you will succeed in taking fascinating underwater photos. With a waterproof camera, it’s best to dive at lunchtime to get the most out of your light.
Photos directly on the water surface make for an interesting image composition

5. Equipment – Prepare your camera equipment for your vacation

For unique vacation photos, you should have the right photo equipment ready. A waterproof camera bag and a microfiber cloth to clean the lens are a must. If you work with a longer exposure time, a tripod is also advisable to prevent shaky and blurred shots. Filters are optional, but useful gadgets: A grey filter acts as shades for the lens, allowing you to take pictures with a longer exposure time and a wide-open aperture, without losing colour and contrast effects. A polarizing filter, on the other hand, absorbs strong reflections on water or glass and produces richer greens in landscape shots.


With some tricks, you will succeed in taking colourful and lively summer photos, which can put you back into your most beautiful holiday moments at any time. In order to shoot impressive holiday photos, you do not need the most expensive equipment but rather mainly a look at the unusual: Take up new optical angles and take pictures from unusual perspectives.

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