Have a Great Time Taking Pictures From a Moving Vehicle

One of the most fun ways to take photographs is to shoot from a moving vehicle. (Needless to say, you must be a passenger and not the driver to do this activity.) There is the constant surprise of unexpected sights and not knowing what you'll see next can be a big thrill. There are many ways to go about it and here are a few:

Plan ahead – know more or less where you are going before you leave the house. Decide if you want to go a short distance such as the local fish market or if you have enough time on your hands to visit the next town. Be nice to your designated driver (husband, wife, son, friend) because they are tolerating your photographer's antics. Bribe them with a great lunch or a foot massage when you get home. Also, check the weather forecast to see if conditions are good for the outing.

Don't plan ahead – forget about organization, just grab your 'driver' and tell him you want to go somewhere to take pictures. If he asks where you want to go, just smile sweetly and think of the first destination that comes to mind. After all, it is during the journey that you will be doing most of your shooting.

Make it a group activity – if you know you'll have fun taking pictures from the car, then the joy is exponential if your friends or family were doing the same thing. Go cruising with one person taking pictures from each car window (except the driver's window!). Try not to make too much noise or cause much distraction for the driver, though, you wouldn't want to end up crashing into a tree.

Get down from the car – if you chance upon something you want to shoot and it is safe to park the car at the roadside, then go ahead. There are so many interesting things that are just waiting to be noticed. Take the time to stop and record their existence through your camera.

Things to remember:

Safety comes first – the scene might be breathtaking, the moment might be gone in an instant and you just have to take that shot. Don't literally lose your head by sticking it out the window with your arms outstretched holding the camera in an effort to 'get closer'. It's better to lose a photo opportunity than a body part.

Adjust your camera settings and prepare your camera- since you'll be shooting from something that's moving, make sure that your shots will not all come out blurred. Make your aperture small, use a fast shutter speed, and if the day is sunny, use a low ISO. Make sure your battery is fully charged and that you have a lot of space in your memory card.

Timing is essential – look at the passing scenery and if you like something, try to focus on it and take a shot before you speed by. You might have to ask your driver to slow down a bit so you have more time to capture the scene. But remember there are other commuters behind you and if you start moving at a snail's pace, be prepared for a little road rage.

Bring snacks – you'll get hungry. For sure, your obliging driver will get hungry. Bring a few sandwiches, water and some juice. Avoid gooey food that you might accidentally smear on your camera gear.

Roll down your windows – Although windows are transparent and are great for not letting in road dust and exhaust smoke, they might negatively affect your shots by causing unwanted reflections or by making the scene appear out of focus.

When you get home, thank your driver profusely, relax and enjoy the fact that not only did you have a fun day out in the sun but you have loads of pictures to remember it by.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 15th, 2010 at 11:00 am and is filed under Articles, Photography Techniques, Photography Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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