Laurali
Hi, I'm Laurali! I live in a tiny, seaside fishing village in Florida where I nurture my plants, go hiking in the woodland, and wear flowers in my hair.

5-Seasonal Mood and Blur Photography Tips + Summer Mood Board

A Late Summer Mood Board for an Endless Summer and a Seasonal Shift in Photography
The other day I wrote a post on A Simpler Place in Time: The Nostalgia of Capturing Wildlife on Camera and I included some mood photography and blur photography tips.  I decided that blurred photography really deserves its own blog post, so here are 5-Seasonal Mood and Blur Photography Tips + Summer Mood Board to get you started!

Let's face it, summer has a mood of its own.  Early summer, for example, might have a different feel than say late summer, which I talked about in my nature journal.  There's a certain golden hue, especially in the New England area, that seems to cross the land from late summer to early autumn.  It almost gives me a 1970s vintage filter vibe with all of the sunkissed and golden hues.  It's really something breathtaking to behold!

Since summer is almost over for the year and the seasons are changing once again, you've got to capture the magic of summer while you can!  I don't know about you, but I'm both ready for the fall sweater weather while still enjoying the remnants of summer.

Let's talk about what that means.  It means we can use the changing landscape to capture the mood of the summer season, even as it's ending.  We can pick up on the vibe and colors of summer, according to which part of it we're in.  When thinking of capturing a photograph of a seasonal marker, be sure to choose the look and feel you like.  Early summer, mid-summer, or late summer.  You can divide it according to the colors.

In my first photograph in this post, I consider the tree and blue skies remnant of an early to mid-summer image.  Blue skies remind me of the stark contrast of summer colors with clouds making their way to hover above the tree line.
Pine Trees in a blurred photograph contain an ethereal mood that lends itself to a midsummer's dream

Tip #1: Choose Early Summer, a Midsummer's Dream, or Late Summer Mood Board

When choosing where your photograph goes, let your blur line be your guide.  Early summer pics tend to be more light-hearted with blue skies and ethereal with pine tree tips like in the faded second picture.  When picture taking, aim to choose your summer mood!

What are you trying to capture?  What mood are you trying to create?  Even though I used the tops of trees as examples, you can use wildflowers, insects, and wild animals as a focal point to create a hazy, dreamlike atmosphere to your images.

Photograph number one says summer is just beginning and harkens to a feel of endless days.  Photograph number two, with ethereal pine tree tips, it infers a sense of being anywhere in time.  It gives me a timeless vibe, but if I had to put anywhere, I'd stick it in a mid-summer file.  
Magic hour blurred photographs and golden hour lighting for late summer vibes

Tip #2: Blur Your Photograph By Zooming All the Way Out on Your Object

Apart from capturing the mood and spirit of summer, let's touch on some of the technical aspects of photography.  I've learned to blur the background of photographs by choosing the object of my desire and zooming all the way out on the object.  This allows your object to pop and the background to fade.  For summer images, this will often create an ethereal or midsummer's dream effect.

To capture the mood of summer, consider the part of the season you are in.  Seasons slowly begin to fade, as will be hinted in the next snapshot.  Early summer has colors that are bright and light, which have the look and feel of a fluffy cloud on a happy day.  Photographs taken in mid-summer might be at the zenith of the camera in terms of lighting and usage.  Late summer images might be more faded, golden, with a vintage polaroid vibe to them.  They often remind me of the yellowed, faded edges of an old love letter.

In the above picture-taking session, I focused my camera on the magical, healing properties of yarrow.  This photograph was taken in late spring/early summer in Florida at Hammock Park where I take many of my hiking adventures.
An orange monarch butterfly on a bed of blurred leaves in the backdrop of nature

Tip #3: Create a Backdrop to Nature With Earth Tones

One of the things that have really enhanced my skills as a professional photographer is to use the backdrop of nature using both jewel and earth tones.  These are the natural rustic colors that inspire naturalists like me to engage with mother nature in a more cohesive way.

In the monarch butterfly photograph, I honed in on my object and I let the background blur and fade.  If you keep practicing playing with your lens, you'll get better at this.  The butterfly became my focal point and the green leafy background became a green canvas for a painting.

As you'll see in my next snapshot, this works with fall colors too.  I love picking up on the jewel tones in a field of wildflowers and the autumn tones of nature walk in the fall, crisp air.  It creates a mood and a feeling that helps the reader capture the mood of what you're feeling.  So, these tips can be carried with you from season to season as the mood shifts.
Create a seasonal shift in your photography by changing the lighting and mood

Tip #4: Create a Seasonal Mood Shift and Ambiance

Whether you're blurring a photograph of a wilderness creature or a tiny snapdragon, create a seasonal shift into the new season.  You can do this by utilizing the weather.  There's always a different mood to a first snowfall then there is to the first saplings of springtime.  The mood and energy will naturally shift and somehow that ambiance has to get into your photography style and stick the landing.

Make good use of the natural earth tones in nature.  Blue skies might be synonymous with spring and summertime.  It might remind you of childhood and simpler times.  A great way to capture the magic of summer on camera is by practicing cloud photography.

As summer turns dead and golden, the rustic colors of a barn tend to appear in hiking places.  You can use golden hour colors to capture the mood of fall.  You can add the magic of the holidays into the mix as well and use them as props.

This includes using pumpkins, seasonal flowers in red and orange colors, and rustic fall leaves to convey that fall is officially here!  When winter comes, you can begin to fade from brown and gold into green and red and lots of white.  Even in places like Florida where you're lucky to get a snow flurry, you can make it feel like the winter holidays using string light photography, Christmas trees, and ornaments.

There's always a way to shift the ambiance to a more festive atmosphere for the winter holidays and new years.  When spring is ushered in, welcome her with the open arms of flowers.  Lots and lots of flowers.  Flowers in your hair and green grass at your feet.  It's about creating space for the feeling of the photograph.  Your photography style is your personal signature that accompanies your blog work, so let your personality shine through!
Use layered textures, colors, and patterns in nature to create the blur in your snapshot

Tip #5: Create a Summer Mood Board + Seasonal Mood and Holiday Boards

As a photographer, I think it's always a good idea to create mood boards for every rambling season of life.  I plan on working on that a little more with Pinterest.  I think it's a great way to style your photographs in order to pick up on the message your snapshots were trying to send.

Were you sending mixed messages?  Does your photograph clearly outline the story you are trying to tell?  Remember that an image is just a story waiting to be told!  As a blogger, you have the benefit of being able to merge into both the territory of a writer and a photographer.  Bring those two worlds together and unite them with a storyboard!

It's always a good idea to have a clear understanding of the message of your entire brand and blog.  For me, it's a message of living a slower life by spending time in nature.  It's kind of my mantra for living!  For you, it might be something entirely different.

Photography lends itself to a great opportunity to tell a visual story and representation of your life, whether it be through a slow fashion blog or a pop culture news article.  Create a mood board for every season and holiday of life if the mood strikes!

Fun Homework: Create a Summer Mood Board and divide into sections.  Early summer, midsummer, and late summer.  This will help you differentiate on how you want things to look and feel from a seasonal perspective.  You'll really see the different layers, textures, and patterns in nature as one season fades and another one blooms.
Forage for Mushrooms During Florida's Autumn Mushroom Hunting Season

Photography Tips and Resources For Bloggers

I've built up an arsenal of photography tips and resources for bloggers that you might enjoy.  I tend to look at photography from a different point-of-view.  I always think in terms of how it makes you feel, whether that be mood lighting, blur photography, or wildlife photography.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.  I'm here to help!

Photography Tips and Resources:

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