May Long Weekend is upon us, but are you prepared to capture it properly?

Victoria Day often marks the first nice long weekend in Canada. People are starting to venture outdoors for camping, hiking, kayaking and other nice-weather activities. And, you don’t want to be that guy who takes the worst photos and videos. Here are a few outdoor-friendly tips for capturing your epic long weekend on your phone.

Action Shots

Whatever you do with your long weekend, you and your friends will probably be moving around a lot. Unless of course, you’re spending it at home, chillin’ alone — respect. But, if you do decide to go cliff jumping, wakeboarding, skateboarding, or whatever it is you’re into, you can take some great action shots of your friends with your camera’s burst mode.

With an iPhone, you simply hold down the shutter button when taking your photo. Your camera will take a burst of photos, giving you options to sort through to find the best shot. Just make sure you have enough storage on your phone for 80 photos.

long weekend photos

Night Photography

Chances are, you’ll be out after the sun goes down. Don’t let your nighttime photos be grainy or blurred.

Blurry photos:

When you’re shooting in low light, your camera uses a slower shutter speed because the longer the shutter is open, the more light gets captured in your photo. But, this also means that if you or your subject moves while your shutter is open, your photos will appear blurry. If you don’t have a tripod handy, you can use something solid around you to balance yourself. Lean against a wall or a tree and tuck your elbows into your body to stabilize yourself.

Grainy photos: 

In darker scenes, your camera attempts to get as much detail as possible. So, it will try to bring out detail in the shadows by making the image brighter. This usually results in grainy shadows and an overly-bright subject. You can fix this by turning down the exposure before you take a photo, either manually or by focusing on the darker parts of the scene.

Sunny Day Photography

Bright direct sunlight isn’t typically the best lighting for photography. You’re at risk of over-exposure or casting harsh shadows. But, you can still achieve some incredible shots by keeping some things in mind.

Don’t shoot into the sun. Shoot with the sun behind you. It’s usually the first thing they teach you in photography class, for good reason. It illuminates your subject from the front and prevents bright sunny rays from ruining your photo.

As you have already seen, if you shoot with the sun behind you, the subject in your photo will be evenly lit from the front. This is desirable in many situations, but it often doesn’t make for a very interesting photo.

Once you see what the position of the sun does for your subject, you can experiment with changing it. When your light source is coming from the side, it can cast dramatic shadows, for example.

Colourful Landscapes

You know how you can see a breathtaking landscape but your photos of it don’t do it justice? You can bring your photography a little closer to capturing that ethereal beauty by switching on your HDR mode.

HDR mode will help the colours pop in your landscape shots, capturing both bright and dark areas.

You can also make your landscape shots more compelling by including foreground interest. By placing something in the foreground of your landscape photos, you give your viewer a focal point.

Long weekend photography

Respect the Golden Hour

The Golden Hour — a magical time of the day occurring about an hour after sunrise and before sunset provides a soft, warm light, perfect for photography. The sun has to penetrate the atmosphere from a greater distance, making the light less intense. The ‘blue light’ is scattered, giving the red hues of sunlight prominence, resulting in a ‘golden hue’.

Note: The opposite period in twilight, called the Blue Hour, happening before sunrise and after sunset, offers indirect sunlight with a predominantly blue shade. This light will be lower and may require a slower shutter speed.