Hitting the open road with an old car, a camera and some great friends is one of the true joys in life, especially in a place like the USA, where you can drive for days and see a million different things along the way. But whether you’re driving around Europe in a campervan, Asia on a motorcycle or Australia in a beat-up old convertible, there are some tips and tricks that will help you to document your trip-of-a-lifetime in an amazing way.
Equipment: What to Take and What to Leave
The most difficult part of travel photography is always packing. Every photographer has a little too much equipment, but how do you know what you’ll need and what you can leave behind? When it comes to road trips, less is always more, but there’s usually room in the back of your vehicle for something a little special.
If you’re planning on walking a lot, take your smallest camera; if you’ll be mostly driving, take the best camera you have. Take one macro lens and one good kit lens such as an 18-70mm, and always have your camera phone with you. You probably won’t need your flash, but take as many fully-charged batteries as you can fit into your bag, and then take 4 more. Take your charger and all the memory cards you have. Keep them somewhere safe and in a Ziploc bag so they don’t get wet. Throw your tripod in the trunk. But most of all, don’t forget to bring a sense of humor, a yearning for adventure, a readiness to expect the unexpected, and a good friend!
Capturing Good Images on the Move
The key to a successful road trip is knowing when to stop, including when to turn back. If you pass through a ghost town too quickly, don’t be afraid to turn the car around and revisit the experience; you may not ever see such a thing again! But what about when you can’t stop?
A wide lens will help you in taking photos on the move. If you’re the passenger in a car and you want to take some road trip photography images, a few photo shooting tricks will help you out. Use your widest lens on the widest aperture, then set your shutter speed to fast. On a sunny day this will be fine; on a cloudy day you may need to set the ISO high. These tricks should enable you to capture sharp images even when you’re moving, so you can always be on the go!
Research vs. Going with the Flow
While road trip photography is all about getting in your car or van (or even on your bike) and simply going where the open road takes you, there’s a good argument for a little planning. A good balance of planning and spontaneity will ensure that your travel photography is nothing short of stunning.
Do some research on the Internet to see what the most popular spots along your route are – and investigate more local sites for hidden gems! Most importantly, don’t forget to ask people along your way for local recommendations. Make friends, take photos of your new friends and get the best road trip photography that you can get!
A road trip can be a once in a lifetime experience, so why not share your experiences with the PicsArt community to inspire others? Don’t forget to tag your images with #roadtrip so that everyone can see your road trip photography!