Tutorial: Summer Light Photography

Shooting modes

Photographing on a beach can sometimes be a little tricky using your camera’s automatic mode.The white sand reflects a lot more light than an average subject, making the camera think that the scene is bathed in very bright light. The exposure is reduced accordingly, giving a darker result than you might expect.


For great shots without the effort, PowerShot and IXUS models have Smart Auto mode with Scene Detection technology that detects up to 58 scenes automatically and applies the best settings for the optimum result – so you don’t have to worry. It’s smart enough to detect the lighting conditions from bright daylight to cloudy, backlit to blue sky.

Once the conditions are detected, the relevant settings are applied. For example your camera will deepen the blue of a sky to emphasise the colour. When shooting in a sunset orange tones are emphasised to make the golden light even stronger.

You can also check the exposure of an image after you have taken it using the histogram facility on your camera (details available in your instruction manual). This creates a graph that shows the distribution of all the tones in the image. If all the tones are bunched to the left the image is underexposed; bunching to the right demonstrates overexposure. Tones spread across the graph, with few or any touching the left or right edges, indicate a well-exposed image.

Enter the Gallery
Now you understand why light plays such an important part in photography at this time of year, it is time to get out and put your knowledge into practice. So take your camera out and capture images; the next Gallery will be selected based on the interesting use of light. Choose your favourites and enter them in the Gallery. Next month your photo could be displayed as one of the best!

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Summer Light Photography
Photographic Composition
Video photography
Water photography
Landscape photography
Black and white photography
Action photography