Once you make the decision to live on the road, either for a week at a time, a month at a time, or every day, that decision brings with it a panoramic window to the world around you. At some point, those scenes that unfold in a constantly changing vista are begging to be burned into your memory. Thankfully, there are more opportunities than ever to capture those vistas to relive going forward.
Chances are that when you step on the gas and hit the road, you have some kind of camera in your possession. It’s most likely that your phone is your primary camera, and for good reason. In the unthinkably short period of 10 years, your phone’s camera has transformed from a grainy, blocky, cartoony image-taker to a high quality, magazine ready multi-lens camera. Or maybe you have a point and shoot camera, a newer mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, or are a serious photographer with a bagful of lenses and bodies.
Whatever way you choose to capture your photos along the way, there are dozens and dozens of tips and tricks to help you create photos that not only reflect the documentation of your time, but also create artwork worthy of hanging on your walls; artwork that you can be proud of.
This is the first of an ongoing series of articles designed to give you basic tips and fresh tricks to help with your photography. You and me will be here together for the road ahead to help you see not only what is in front of you, but see a world of possibility in that view.
While I’ve got you here, why don’t I tell you a little about me so you can feel confident about the forthcoming photo ideas, tips, tricks, and suggestions.
For the past 15 years, I’ve been doing professionally what I’ve been doing my whole life… using a camera to tell stories. Whether it’s a story about architecture, a rocky seascape, or, like the past 15 years, stories from a milestone day in people’s lives. And it’s through that lens that I’ve been honored with over a dozen prestigious international awards from the Wedding Photo Journalist Association.
I’ve been fortunate to travel the world telling those stories. Whether it was through the narrow streets of Gandia, Spain, and the wide open space of a Cabo San Lucas beach; the famed graffiti alleys of Melbourne, Australia and crossing the Liffey in old Dublin, Ireland; the massive waves of Kauai, and at the foot of an active volcano in Costa Rica – all of the stories from those locations reveal themselves through a camera lens.
It’s the telling of stories that always compel me to pick up the camera, and the road reveals an unlimited number of tales to tell.
My first tip is for someone not driving to take on the photo duties. Once you have your camera in hand, be fearless and generous with the photos. It’s digital – take as many photos as possible. The shots you don’t like can always be deleted. But, sometimes the best photos can be tainted by reflections from inside the RV.
PRO TIP: Cup your free hand around the lens when shooting from the inside of the RV. or even better, place the lens opening directly against the glass. That creates something of a seal, that keeps the interior light and reflections out of the photo.
As the view slides by, look near and far for items of interest. Those items can be actual things – a silo, a windmill, a building – or it can be more conceptual, like emptiness, or whiteness. All of these things are part of the story. Capture them, and consider them to be individual words of your larger story. Capture everything! You can sort it out later.
Next time, we’ll start thinking about the ephemeral art of composition!