Most of us have been there before, riding as a passenger on a long road trip gazing off into the distance, watching passing landscape rush by your eyes. For photographers its torture, theres a shot, theres a shot…. “Oh man can we pull over for just a second to get this shot, I don’t care if its dangerous.”
On a recent road trip, I couldn’t take it any longer. I decided to take pictures while sitting as a passenger in the back seat. I immediately became in love with this new form of shooting. Every second there was an entirely different scene. On top of the constant change in scenery I felt like I was shooting sports because timing was critical in every shot, too late or early and I got a tree or a car in my shot. I was mindful of other cars in that I didn’t distract them. For me life on the road just became much much more enjoyable.
If you want to shoot on the road please follow all or some of the following rules and I am not responsible for any of your actions:
- Never shoot when you are driving
- Never distract drivers
- Always wear your seat belt
- Dont take so many pictures that you end up annoying the driver
- Follow local and state laws
With those rules out of the way. I found that my 5D paired best with my 135mm. 135mm on a full frame seemed like just the right amount zoom. My shutter speed varied, initially you would a very fast shutter speed so you can receive the sharpest image possible. However during some of the trip we were driving after the sun went down so I had to drop my shutter speed all the way down to 1/25th of a second. Its all about experimenting.
So here is my first batch of photos, I have created a gallery dedicated to my photos taken on the road and will be updating in periodically
Gallery: ON THE ROAD
Finally got some time off to shoot. Strolled around the Oceanside pier right after a storm. It was cold by our standards but warm for the rest of the nation. I had a great time shooting whatever without a real goal in mind. The shots below were taken with the 5d mark ii and a combination of the 35l, 70-200L, 17-40L and my lovely $3 135mm.
A couple Saturdays ago I woke up, turned on my ipad and checked some of the blogs I follow to see what people were up too. I got inspired by Claire Atkinson’s Blog on Urban Photography I decided I was going to go out on my first urban photographic adventure.
For some reason I feel weird when taking photos of strangers. When ever I take a photo of a stranger they are usually performing an activity that warrants a photo, for example a juggler at a festival. So as soon as I got out of my car and had my camera ready, I was going to take a photo of the first person I saw. Luckily for me that person was on a bike and riding fairly quickly. Next I was approached by a homeless man. He asked for a dollar, I gave him one then asked if I could take his picture but he said ” no way man…. Im too famous” hahaha. After I got my toes a little wet, it was time to go swimming. I entered a shop that was filled with beautiful mexican inspired art.
As I turn to my left a man sat at a desk working on some of the art so I quickly took a photo of him and smiled. I figured if he didn’t want me to take his photo he would have said something.
After exiting the store I walked through a bazaar.
After I left the bazaar, I was on my way walking through the town. One method that I found exciting was stopping at a store entrance and taking a quick photo. The only problem with this method is the fact that I didn’t have time to properly expose the images and I was going from really bright conditions to really dark.
I spent a good hour or so walking around the town, taking pictures of whatever seemed interesting.
And for my favorite picture I took that day…….
On thing that made this shot special was the fact that he knew I was there. I was about 75 feet from him and he took notice of me as soon I stepped on to the platform. I couldn’t resist this shot. I used one of the large concrete pillar to hide myself as I swapped out my 30mm 1.4f for a manual focus 135mm 2.8f (the longest telephoto I had with me). I waited a little bit for him to lose interest in me, then I swung around the pillar and took about ten quick shots.
Lessons Learned from this Adventure:
- If a homeless man/women asks you for money, ask if you can take his/her picture before you give them cash
- Be ready to shoot quick
- Look all over for photo opportunities
- If taking pictures of interiors and there’s no time to properly expose the image, make sure your shutter speed is no lower than 1/60th
A big thanks to Claire Atkinson for the inspiration!