Go out and photograph with some friends!
It has been a long 15months and we are all ready to get on with our lives. What better way than to go out with some friends or your family on a fun day trip while capturing the memories with your camera.
Luckily, there are lots of places opening up and just in time for summer. Here are some attractions opening backup that are both great locations to go to with people as well as capturing some breathtaking photographs.
1. 4th of July/Fireworks Celebrations - These will be great family events and we would recommend having a good general-purpose lens like a 24-70 (18-55 for cropped cameras). This will allow you to shoot about 90% of anything you want to photograph like the kids playing with sparklers or fireworks at night. A tip for photographing fireworks is to use a tripod and set your camera for manual focus at iso400, 1sec shutter speed and f5.6 as a starting point.
2. Grants Farm and Anheuser Busch Tours - Grants Farm is a great family and friends location, while the brewery tour is fun for your adult friends as you end the tour in the tasting room. For the brewery, I would bring a fast lens, something that goes to f2.8as you will be inside a lot and for Grants Farm bring a longer lens to get great shots of the animals.
3. Winery Trips - The Wineries inAugusta are just 50 minutes away and make for a fun day trip. The vineyards and landscapes are great at dawn on a misty morning and provide lovely sunsets.Bring a tripod so you can get in the shot.
4. City Museum - The City Museum is a great place for kids of all ages. Before the lockdown, this was a go to location when I had out of town guests coming to visit. Additionally, it is a great place for anyone to have a good time and watch sunsets while enjoying a drink on the roof. Grab a flash for your camera to capture all the great indoor spaces and grab your skateboard if you want to join in on all the fun.
5. Explore Waterfalls - Go for a hike and find some waterfalls. Within a two hour drive, you can find some nice wet weather waterfalls. What do I mean by wet weather? Well you will need to go just after a good rain to get a good water flow, but it can be worth it. Places like Hickory Canyon, Don Robinson State Park, and Mina Sauk Falls at Taum SaukMountain are great locations. Grab your tripod so you can use a slow shutter speed for the waterfalls (I use anything from 1/4sec-2sec). Also, grab a rain poncho to protect your camera.
6. 9Mile Garden - 9 Mile Garden is a great place to go with family and friends to grab some food and listen to live music after a long week. This outside venue allows those who still feel a little uncomfortable to be outside and socialize while still practicing social distancing. Grab your camera with a 35mm lens so you can capture great group shots and the entertainment going on.
7. Farmers Markets - Farmers markets are not only a great place to get locally produced food, but they are also a lot of fun. Taking your kids is so worth it as they interact with the food and vendors. They learn about where their food comes from and you can capture some adorable images. Soulard is always an option, but I prefer the Tower Grove andSOL Markets as they are more open and kid friendly.
8. Float Trips - Summer is here and the rivers of southern Missouri offer plenty of day and weekend float trips.These are fun with friends and families. Twin Rivers Landing in Lesterville is just two hours away and the float is just 5 miles making for a perfect day trip. Make sure your camera is safe from the elements, or grab an action camera like the Olympus Tough TG-6 that is able to survive depths of up to 50ft (also a must if you plan on going to any beach).
9. Local Attractions - Union Station, theAquarium, and the St. Louis Wheel are some of the newest attractions to the St.Louis area. These would all be great places to explore with your camera and friends in tow. It can be tricky to photograph into an aquarium, so it is best to get your lens right up to the glass. I highly recommend the Wheel at night.The city lights are beautiful from the top. A wide-angle lens with your ISO setup between 800-1250 should give you some great shots.
10. Travel - The National Parks have been reopened and flights are filling up as travel resumes. Almost any camera will work to capture your vacation, but I use a smaller camera with a Tamron 18-400mm lens so I can travel light. Whatever camera you take, make sure it is ready for the task.
Once you have had your fun, bring your film or digital files into Schillers for a set of prints for everyone. One thing we have learned over the past year is the importance of friends and family – let Schillers help you keep and share those memories for generations to come!