Posted: Jun 18, 2012 5:00 AM
Mixbook, the online photo book service that offers the most customizable photo books and photo cards on the planet, is here to help you with your pictures. If you're hoping to capture summer memories, try these tips and tricks for taking fabulous outdoor photos.

Summer creates many great photo opportunities, but also picture-taking challenges. Mixbook has tips on how to avoid common photo-taking challenges, such as lighting, blurriness, candid photography and more. Mixblog helps make your summer of adventure last a lifetime.

Following are tips to navigate common photo-taking problems that may occur this summer.

Photography dos & don'ts

Although it's often said the only rule to photography is there are really no rules, there are still some helpful guidelines to better enhance even the simplest snapshots.

  • Rule of thirds: Envision an imaginary grid -- nine equal squares -- now align your subject on one of the two vertical gridlines, adding balance and interest to your snapshot.
  • Viewpoint: Try shooting your subject from above, far away, or very close up to create a major impact.
  • Framing: Use trees and other natural elements to frame your photo and isolate the subject.
  • Shutter speed: Never be afraid to experiment with shutter speed to convey motion. Slow creates blurry, and fast creates stop-action clear.


Don't be afraid of the dark

During summer, some of the best photo opportunities happen at night at campfires and 4th of July fireworks. However, photographing at night creates challenges.

  • Take advantage of the night sky. Use the street and moonlight to help light up your subject.
  • Turn off the flash on your camera to enhance the natural light.
  • Embrace the blur: Experiment with moving cars and flickering candles, but try to stabilize your camera, and/or use a one-touch-timer button.
  • Use water to reflect light.

Take advantage of candid action

Everyone takes fantastic posed photos but this summer, work on your action shots. Whether it's a summer time baseball game or a swim-meet competition, here are tips on capturing candid shots:

  • Make a point to catch people in action. Some of the best pictures are when subjects are unaware of the camera.
  • Do not use flash -- it can take away from the natural background and make the image look less candid and more posed.
  • Take your camera or camera phone with you everywhere this summer. Keep your camera/phone chargers with you at all times.
  • Zoom options: When zooming you lose the quality of the subject. Take your photo with minimum zoom, and then use the zooming and cropping function inside Mixbook's photo book editor to enhance.
  • Experiment with your shots: Don't be afraid to take too many photos. The rule of thumb: Take 3-5 photos of each subject.

Bring summer vacations photos to life

Don't lose track of all those great photos, keep them organized with photo books.

  • Upload hard copy photos: Scan and upload copies to your free Mixbook account.
  • Fill an entire photo book with just one click, using Mixbook's AutoMix magic wand tool.
  • Choose from a wide variety of summer-themed photo books, including camping, summer days, cruise and destination-style photo books.