Picture Perfect – Summer Photography

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5 part series covering different styles of photography in Niseko

PART 1 – SUMMER: In this article we discuss how to plan and shoot a beautiful summer image.

Niseko is a winter wonderland, but come summer it turns into a tropical oasis. From April onwards new plants and animals emerge, and the landscape changes dramatically week by week. If you are planning a summer trip to Niseko with your camera then there are a few key things to consider:

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Timing

There is an abundance of seasonal beauty here in Niseko and knowing the right time to visit is key to capturing epic images. It can vary based on weather, but usually the Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) are out from mid April to mid May. Following this, flowers begin to bloom across the region on mass, and the forest becomes an iridescent green full of a variety of trees, ferns and wildflowers. The birds are out building their nests as well as a plethora of other native animals. From June to August, different vegetables are grown throughout the farmlands creating a stunning patchwork blanket – if you hike Mt Annupuri or Mt Yotei you can get incredible photos of these farmlands from above. Finally, in late summer the sunflowers show their faces and we start to head into Autumn and all the changing colors of the deciduous trees.

Gear

For summer shooting I carry 4 essential pieces of gear. Camera, lens, tripod and polarizing filter (PL). The first 3 items are self explanatory and the 4th item, the PL filter is for cutting through the harsh light and any reflections. The PL filter will make the blue skies pop and really enhance your images. Don’t forget to charge the battery and empty the memory card before setting off. A good bag is also important to not only ensure your gear is well looked after and organized but also comfortable enough to hike with. If heading out for a shoot also make sure you pack plenty of water, suncream and mosquito spray.

Capturing

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Capturing the perfect image ultimately depends on what camera / lens combination you have, the available light, the settings you use and the shot you are after, however I have outlined some tips for making your Niseko images really stand out:

Originality – Try to look for scenes and angles that are different to what everyone else is doing. For landscape images foreground is particularly important. For example you might like to frame your Mt Yotei picture with some cherry blossums or other foliage.

Stability – Make sure your gear is stable. Getting the camera on a tripod will allow for much steadier shots which in turn means no blur. It also means you can try longer exposures for dynamic effects. In summer if you reach a high location very early in the morning (i.e. 4am) you might be lucky enough to see the Unkai (sea of clouds) that envelopes Mt Yotei. Having a stable camera will be particularly important in this situation.

Lighting – Shoot when the light is best which is usually in the mornings or afternoons. The days are quite long here in the summer time so it may require you to start early if you are really enthusiastic about your photography!

Patience – Wait for the light to be at it’s best and you will be rewarded. If you are a wildlife photographer, animals tend to be quite shy, so patience is a real virtue. However, you would be unlucky not to spot at least one fox if you were driving around here for a few days.

Patience – Wait for the light to be at it’s best and you will be rewarded. If you are a wildlife photographer, animals tend to be quite shy, so patience is a real virtue. However, you would be unlucky not to spot at least one fox if you were driving around here for a few days.

Book a tour – If you want to fast track these steps, book a guide for a tour and you will not only get to visit all the best places you will also pick up some tips along the way.

See activities page on booking your own photography tour. 

 

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