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Ten Things You Can Still Photograph Before School Starts

by | | Art & Decor

Summer is winding down, but don't tell that to the kids. They will eek out every last bit of their summer vacation. And I don't blame them. It is the little things in life that matter, but we often get caught up in the bigger scheme of things. Don't think so? Well, did you snap a photograph of your daughter hugging the cat out on the front porch? Or did you happen to get a picture of your son and his friends up in their rickety tree house? That's why we challenge all of the moms and dads to spend this summer honing their digital photography skills by capturing the small moments of their lives. Yes, we do know that parents with kids at home have their hands pretty full already, but you know that there are many times when you have that camera and you want to make some photographs that you will treasure for years to come - even if the kids are driving you nuts right now. Now, don't panic! We are happy to provide you with ten very fun and unique things to consider as you begin lining up those innovative, memorable, and "small" summer moments. Before we do that, however, we'd like to go over some basic techniques that you can use in summertime digital photography. Your Camera's Best Features Do you know that many outdoor and brightly lit scenes need the flash? It is something known as flash fill and it can often make a mediocre shot a nearly perfect one. Here is what we mean - you crouch at the edge of the pool to get a photo of your child. The shot actually ends up with shadows because the light reflects from the water and into the camera. If you fired the flash during that shot, however, it would fill in the shadows and even out all of that light. Did you also know that most digital cameras have something known as burst mode? This is a setting that takes a long series of shots while you hold down the shutter. What better way to catch kids running through sprinklers, having a water fight, or blowing the seeds from dandelion heads than in a long series of uninterrupted photos. Finally, a lot of people enthusiastic about digital photography learn that their camera will adjust for "backlighting". This is that awful light that shines behind the subject and causes the camera to photograph them as a dark shadow - even though everything is bright! Just hitting the backlight button on your digital camera forces it to re-think the setting. Okay, now that you know how to overcome some challenges and use your camera to take top quality shots, here are the ten things we challenge you to snap this summer:
  1. Wrinkled fingers - all of that swimming means wrinkled fingers and what a great visual memory to capture forever;
  2. Blowing dandelion seeds - in the park, in the yard, and anywhere the dreaded dandelion appears is a good time to ask your kids to scatter the seeds and blow them away;
  3. Bubbles - enough said?
  4. Sprinklers - not many kids spend each day running through the sprinklers and before, during and after a period of time spent squealing, bolting, and leaping through cold water is a great time to take some shots;
  5. Birthday parties - outdoor parties in the summer months are usually wildly colorful and full of many details. Get a close up of a frosting covered face or a group of them!
  6. Lemonade stands - whether made with a Radio Flyer wagon or an old crate, these are wonderful things to record with a camera and yet few parents stop to do so;
  7. Gardening - most kids only have a short burst of enthusiasm about gardening, so make sure you get them with their fingers filthy and their smiles authentic;
  8. Eating corn/fresh summer foods - whether enjoyed in your backyard or a family vacation, there is nothing like fresh summer foods. Corn on the cob is good and messy, but so too are blueberries, popsicles, and most picnic foods!
  9. At the carnival - we take the kids to the fair, but we don't always remember to snap pictures of them bravely getting on the "big kid" rides...why miss this shot?
  10. Ice cream time - yes, we mentioned sloppy summer foods, but don't overlook trips to seasonal ice cream stands. These places are colorful and your kids are sure to wear at least a bit of their treat!
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