30+ Awesome Examples of Summertime Photography

Every season has opportunities for capturing amazing photos, but summer is especially full of possibilities. Relaxed sunny days on the beach, kids playing at a pool or fountain, fireflies flickering on long summer nights… These are not only beautiful moments and memories. They’re also great times for photographing life at its best.

Summer is often packed with fun events and activities, but you may still have a few listless days when you’re not sure what to do or photograph. If you’re lacking inspiration, here’s a selection of awesome summertime photos to give you ideas for both photographing and enjoying this hot time of year.

Beaches

Beaches can look beautiful in every season, but they’re livelier in the summer. This extra activity means you can shoot a wider variety of subjects, from sunbathers and surfers to seascapes and sunsets. You can even try out some underwater photography.

If you don’t live near the ocean, try visiting a beach at a lake instead. Depending on the lake’s size and clarity, you can get similar shots, if only on a smaller scale.

Marjan Lazarevski – Paradise on Earth

Marjan Lazarevski - Paradise on Earth

Richard Watkins LRPS – Camber Sands

Richard Watkins - Camber Sands

aminefassi – Ain Atiq Beach

Ain Atiq Beach

jordan parks – seagull

sunset beach

Greg David – At Montego Bay

Greg David - At Montego Bay

Pools

No beaches nearby? Then check out a local swimming pool or buy an inflatable pool for your own backyard. While a pool might not have any stunning natural scenery to photograph, it does allow you to easily photograph swimmers and children playing in the water. You don’t have to contend with waves or use a telephoto lens to get good close-up shots. Even a simple point-and-shoot camera can work great at a pool.

Matthew Coughlin – Zach Zoom Splash

Matthew Coughlin pool slide

RaffaLUCE – Retro Swim

swimming woman

Matthew Coughlin – Swimming Time

Matthew Coughlin - Swimming Time

Matthew Coughlin – Poolside Fun

kid at pool

Nathan Polis – Diving

Nathan Polis - Diving

Fountains

Fountains become hotspots of activity in the summer, drawing tourists, families, and anyone else who needs a cool break. Whether the fountain is large or small, a grand landmark or a small play fountain for kids, it can give you a variety of subjects to photograph. Besides candid portraits, you can capture the sun glinting through the water or the architecture surrounding the fountain. The splashing water can also be a good opportunity for practicing long exposures or quick action shots.

Otacílio Rodrigues – Girls having fun

Otacílio Rodrigues fountain

Otacílio Rodrigues – Sunset in the park

Otacílio Rodrigues - Sunset in the park

B.C. Lorio – “Washington Square Fountain”

B.C. Lorio - Washington Square Fountain

jordan parks – along the canal

fountain

Ben Roffelsen Photography – He’s got the right idea

fountain

Sprinklers

In the absence of fountains, you can create a similar playful atmosphere with a backyard sprinkler. Though the sprinkler itself may not be as beautiful as a fountain, it’s easier to find/buy and move around. You can put it exactly where you want for the right background or composition.

Darren Sethe – Sprinkler hits the deck

Darren Sethe - Sprinkler hits the deck

Marcus Krebs – Summer Sprinkler Umbrella

Marcus Krebs - Summer Sprinkler Umbrella

Carissa Rogers – Little Boy in Sprinkler black and white

Carissa Rogers - Little Boy in Sprinkler black and white

Sebnem Gulfidan – Artificial summer rain

Sebnem Gulfidan - Artificial summer rain

Sailboats

Summer is the peak season for sailing. The warmth, good weather, and relaxed atmosphere of summer go great with sailing and photographing sailboats. You can take nice images from the shoreline, but for unique angles (and a more memorable experience), try going out on a sailboat yourself. Then, you can photograph your own boat as well as the sailboats around you.

Vitor Junqueira – Atlantic Freedom – Cova-Gala, Portugal

Vitor Junqueira - Cova-Gala, Portugal

Greg David – Sailing into Lake Ontario under the moon

Greg David - Sailing into Lake Ontario under the moon

eschweik – Downtown Sydney from the Manly Ferry, with sailboat

Downtown Sydney from the Manly Ferry, with sailboat

Vincent Lanzolla – SUNSET SAILING

Vincent Lanzolla - SUNSET SAILING

Елена Пејчинова – Silent winds

sailboat

Blue Skies

Water is a big part of summer, but not all summertime photos have to involve it. You can capture the atmosphere of summer with a sunny blue sky, too. All you need is one other element that’s reminiscent of summer, like a person lounging or a lush green field, to give the image a definite summertime vibe.

For blue sky shots, it’s important to have a graduated neutral density filter and/or a polarizing filter on hand. These filters will prevent overexposure and make that deep blue really pop.

In addition, try to include some clouds in your image. Though blue skies are beautiful, they can look boring without the added interest and contrast of clouds. If you’re stuck with a cloudless day, postpone the shot until later. You have plenty of time to get the right shot with the long summer days.

jordan parks – ahhhh, summer

jordan parks - summer

Susanne Nilsson – Under a blue Sky

Susanne Nilsson - Under a blue Sky

Tristan ‘Shu’ Lebeschu – Light, Tower and Wing-Over with Jean Baptispte Chandelier

Saint Vincent les Forts, Alpes de Haute Provence, France

Loren Kerns – Idaho Barn

Loren Kerns - Idaho Barn

Fireflies

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with fireflies, take advantage of it! Shooting fireflies can take some practice, but when you master it, the images have a surreal natural beauty that’s incredible.

Photographing fireflies is similar to shooting star trails. You’ll be taking a long exposure, so you’ll need a sturdy tripod and a remote shutter release. Fireflies are a bit trickier than stars, though, because they flash briefly instead of sustaining light. This quick flash can be hard to balance with the background light, which builds up during the exposure.

To balance these two light sources, put your ISO high and keep your exposure time low. Start with 5 seconds and adjust from there. Then, in post-processing, you can stack your photos to create a single image, full of fireflies. This approach will limit the noise while still keeping the fireflies bright and beautiful.

Fotis Mavroudakis – Fireflies dancing

Fotis Mavroudakis - Fireflies dancing

Fotis Mavroudakis – Fireflies in the woods

Fotis Mavroudakis - Fireflies in the woods

Fotis Mavroudakis – Fireflies’ Dance

Fotis Mavroudakis - Fireflies

Mark Hewatt – firefiles north georgia woods

Mark Hewatt - firefiles north georgia woods

Ruvin de Silva – Untitled

Ruvin de Silva - fireflies and stars

Many of the above images were selected from our Flickr community. Share your summer images with the group, so we can see and appreciate your work!