Taking Photographs whilst Traveling Part 1

As we approach the summer months, the chances are you will be taking off on some kind of holiday.  Whether it’s a trip on your own or with family and friends, the journeying part of the trip can be a bore.  Whether you are traveling by car, train, boat, plane or by foot, there’s always ways to try and make a journey more interesting by taking photographs.

Here are some ideas.

1.    By Car

To take photographs whilst traveling in a car you of course need to make sure you are the passenger and not the driver!  Provided that you are not responsible for the moving of the vehicle, why not use your camera to take some shots of the landscapes outside.

It’s a good time to experiment with shutter speeds and see what works at high speed.  You can get some interesting trails and shapes; even if the camera itself struggles to stabilize the image you can get some nice colors and movement lines.

Press your camera as close to the glass as you can – wipe the glass if it is dirty, inside and out.  Only stick your camera out of a still vehicle, not a moving one – you never know when your hand may slip or something else could come flying your way.

2.    By Plane

Planes are an exciting way to travel for many people, apart from the most regular flyers.  When booking, try to make sure your seats are by the window – you can get some amazing shots of the clouds outside and the wing of the plane.

Some shots are very clear – once again wipe the glass to make sure it’s clean (although you can’t account for what is outside!) and use a polarizer filter on your lens to remove glare and reflections.  On a bright sunny day you may be able to see all the clouds as well as all the various shapes that exist.

If you can’t sit by the window, try telling a story with the passengers of the plane.  How do they feel as they go on the journey?  Happy? Sad? Excited?

It will be difficult for you to use flash once the journey is underway – you don’t want to annoy other passengers so push up the ISO and use a fast lens with zoom so you can move as close to someone as you wish.  Don’t be too concerned about the grain in the photograph, because you can convert it to black and white later, giving it a really moody feel.

As with any of these traveling methods, you can make a real theme out of the photographs you take – try and tell a story from the moment you set off until you get there.  What kind of emotions do you and your companions go through (i.e. Bursting with energy followed by extreme tiredness and occasional irritation!).  You could even focus your photographs on to one person (i.e. your child) to make it more interesting.

April 26, 2010

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