I'm going to go all out and claim the Fourth of July as one of the most heavily-photographed days of summer. The majority of the population has the day off, many of us will gather with our friends and family and the weather will (fingers crossed) be beautiful. So if you're headed to a pool, picnic or fireworks display you better bring your camera. I've shared some simple tips for capturing fireworks before, but if you'd like to take it up a notch, consider these tips.

  • Family photos - It's all about the pose, lighting and lacement of your "subjects" or family. Make sure to get the kids in the foreground and the taller people in the back. Don't be shy about re-arranging people, but make sure to tell them to act natural.
  • Outside/nature photos - The most important thing to remember about outdoor photos is to avoid high-contrast situations. If your whole family decides to wear green tee shirts don't photograph everyone in the grass. Also, set the background. If you want use the pictures for a card or even just for a family photo album always think about the entire landscape when you take the picture, not just your subjects. If you are at a particularly beautiful park or beach have your subjects pose in the most "picturesque" and colorful spots.
  • Night photos - Taking clear night photos can be a challenge, but with a little finesse you should be able to capture memorable moments. If you are around lots of lights (or fireworks) turn off your flash. Also, remember that good night photos require a long exposure. This means you should keep your digital camera very still.
  • Fireworks - First and foremost find a good location. You'll want a spot where buildings, trees or tall people won't be restricting your view. Getting great fireworks shots requires that you pay more attention to timing and keep your camera as steady as possible. To avoid blurry pictures, brace your camera on a railing, the back of a chair or a table, or against a column or tree. This helps keep the camera from moving and blurring the pictures. Or use a pocket or full-size tripod.
  • Source: Flickr User bayasaa