Thursday, July 9, 2009

Road Trip Photography

Are you traveling this summer? If you're like most people, you'll probably have a camera with you and take some pictures along the way. I usually have my camera with me at all times. The few times I don't is always when I see something cool -- always! I use a Canon PowerShot S3IS, so it's not a huge thing to carry around. I'd rather use Rick's Canon EOS with his mega-lens, but that's a whole other story. In fact, my little camera has better pixels than his, but it's that zoom that I love. The thing must weigh 8 pounds, so it's not easy to carry in my purse.

I got an email from Photojojo this morning that has some fun ideas on taking pictures while traveling. Check out their link because they also include fun traveling games. Many people do games while traveling in their car, like searching for all 50 license plates or finding the letters A through Z on road signs. Photojojo adds a twist on these games and has you taking pictures of them instead. That certainly would take care of the age old problem of the kids fighting about whether one of them saw the letter X or Z -- with digital cameras, they now have proof! The article has some fun ideas on how to make your pictures interesting and fun. As most of you know, I'm notorious for taking silly pictures. You've seen the boy's GI Joe dolls playing in the lake or posing in Yellowstone. You've also seen the boys at the Nose Pickin' Tree and stuff like that. As much as I like trying to get that perfect photograph, it's the silly pictures that my family likes the most. Typical. In addition to the things Photojojo suggests, here are some other ideas for taking pictures while you're on the road ...

  • Take a picture of someone in the rearview mirror, like Neil above.
  • Photograph things from an unusual angel -- hold the camera crooked, upside down, or straight up in the air.
  • Take pictures of your kid's toys in famous locations -- who wouldn't want to see a stuffed Bugs Bunny enjoying Sleeping Beauty's castle in Disneyland?
  • Give your kids disposable cameras -- children often have a different perspective and you'll be surprised what they come up with.
  • Don't forget flora -- I saw a lady photographing a flower close-up at a gas station the other day. Some of my favorite flower pictures were taken at unexpected places, like Sea World or hotel parking lots.
  • Wildlife pictures are nice, but don't forget domestic animals -- I have gotten some of the cutest pictures of cats while traveling even though I have no idea who they belong to. The other day I took a picture of a lady with 4 tiny little dogs at a gas station. One had doggie hot pants on and she had to take them off so the dog could go to the bathroom. Then she had to carry that dog back to her car so the other 3 didn't jump on it. It was a hilarious sight!
  • Take pictures of all the dead bugs on your windshield, especially the big messy ones -- then when you get home, print the photo on plain paper and let your kids connect-the-dots to come up with a design.
  • If you're flying, take pictures at the airport of travelers, the planes, or something unique you see -- when I was waiting to fly out of Las Vegas, I took pictures of a little finch that landed on one of the airport vehicles. It just looked so out of place.
  • Photograph everything -- from fast food restaurants to filling up your gas tank to the inside of your hotel room. Yeah, I'm one of those annoying family members who takes pictures of everything. I've even photographed my kids holding toys in stores that I refused to buy them. Hey, we have a picture, who needs to spend the money! Another fun one are hats, if the stores will allow you to do that. Souvenirs are great, but you can't possibly buy them all, so snap a quick picture if it's allowed. Gag gifts are the best because often they're so funny, but not something you would buy. Do you really need penis sunglasses, or would a picture do? Just make sure the store doesn't have any policies about not taking pictures, because some places do.
  • And finally -- do something with your pictures you take! Make a digital slideshow for your blog or social network site, create a flipbook, make placemats for your dinner table, or print your pictures on magnetic paper and stick them on your fridge. There are so many ideas, so get snapping!


  1. I love to take pictures! We'll be off to the beach in a couple of weeks. I'll be sure to keep these tips in mind! :0)


  2. Those are some really good ideas, I'll have to pass those along to Darren and the girls.


  3. Awesome ideas! And I love the pic of Neil in the rearview mirror. Fabulous! : )

  4. These are all great ideas! I wanted to take pictures of everything that I saw today.

  5. Christy -- Have fun at the beach. I especially like taking pictures of the waves. Weird, I know, but I love that sort of stuff. I'll be in CA soon and plan to take a lot of pictures there too.

    Thanks for your replies, everyone!

  6. Rena, thanks for visiting my blog and your kind comments. I enjoyed reading your ideas for road trip photography because we have a long roadtrip planned this fall driving down the Alcan and then wherever the road takes us. I think we will be crossing over the border into Montana as we have several good friends that live there, and of course the Pacific Northwest to visit lots of family that live there, but other than that we have no definite destination at this point. I checked out Photojojo and it looks like a very helpful site. I'll be back to visit.

  7. Great post! I'm all inspired now since we are on vacation right now! I love the idea of taking pictures of the bugs too.