Summer doesn't have to be a drag..... / by stuart mcglennon

Hi folks - I've not written a blog piece in a little while, and with the weather seemingly on the turn (August really is the new autumn it seems) I thought this would be a good time to pause and take stock of the past few summer months.

Summer is well known for being a difficult period, many photographers will freely admit to almost drying up during this period, and literally can't wait for the leaves to turn brown again, and get giddy at the thought of the winter ahead. For my part, I actually don't mind it. Yes sunrises are no fun at ungodly hours (i'll happily admit to not doing that many of them this summer) however I don't wholly subscribe to the theory that you can't make images during this period. I got to thinking about this subject through some extremely mundane chat with a work colleague, bemoaning our 'lack' of a proper summer, and also on a recent shoot where I got chatting to a guy from down south who spent the entire 30 mins I was there moaning about the nice weather we happened to be having that day, saying it was no good for his images. I must admit to zoning out from this guy's chatter due to the waft of about 5 BBQ's nearby (have you had a BBQ this summer? I haven't) and had me wondering what on earth I was doing standing on the beach with my tripod like a pillock when I clearly should have been kicking back with a beer in my hand and a hot dog.

At 34, taking my photography hat off for a moment I'm probably old enough now to have a moan about the current summers we get in the UK. As a kid those summers of 6 weeks off were exclusively spent playing football outside from dawn til dusk with the tops off, pausing only to see my mum when:

  • I wanted fed
  • Needed money for 10p Ice Pops
  • To worry her I had heatstroke

It seems a lifetime ago - where this ramble is going is that the weather simply isn't like that anymore. In this country we're lucky if we get a week of settled warm weather, then it usually deteriorates rapidly. What does that mean for us togs? Well, i'd argue the weather is more than contrasting enough to still make images. I've used this time to really work on looking into deeper detail in my images, working harder on composition, and scouting new locations so I'm better prepared for when the really interesting weather arrives. I often find it a bit puzzling when folk simply bin the camera for a few months, but then that's just me. In a few years my enthusiasm might have waned and i'll be in the same boat. But for now I've done my best to embrace the summer conditions and work with them as best I can.

So, as summer appears to be drawing to a bit of a drab close, here's a wee selection of some of my favourite images from the summer months. I'd like to think they demonstrate that you can still create compelling images despite the perception that the light is too harsh or the landscape is too green - you just have to work a little harder. It also demonstrates that the weather is rarely settled, just get out and embrace it a bit - even if it's absolutely pelting down as it is in one of them!

Thanks for looking guys, see you on the next one

Stuart