Summer is a time when natural light can lend an otherness to almost any subject. From Ryan McGinley’s playful homage to Renaissance nudes, to Nadav Kander’s eerie inlet at Mont Saint-Michel, these shots by contemporary photographers are testament to that.

As the holiday snaps that flood Instagram show, the light can also enhance even the most cliched chronicle of a summer vacation. We take a different kind of photograph in the sun, sensing that it makes us look better because it makes us feel better. The self we display in a selfie, or so we tell ourselves, is leaner, lither, more tanned, more relaxed and less self-conscious.