taking pictures from car

Discussion in 'Travel' started by julia_orlando, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Hi All -
    My BF & I have a couple of road trips planned around the FL peninsula and to the Smokey Mts. Does anyone have any tips about taking pictures from a moving vehicle? Usually when I take pix from a car, I just set my camera to Auto - but I wondered if anyone has suggestions for other settings.
    Thanks in advance!
  2. My first suggestion is to stop, get out of the car,
    enjoy the view and shoot a picture by which you
    can remember that enjoyable view. But sometimes
    that can't be done for one reason or another. So....
    Fast shutter speed is beneficial and not shooting
    through the auto glass is too. But it is ironic that
    you use "auto" mode when shooting from an
    automobile. Ha ha.
  3. The news in U.K. is full of details of a terrible crash caused by a lorry driver on his mobile ,so no photos when
    driving for me .Older age means I share long drives,(over 100 miles in our thinking),and I love to have a camera ready
    to stop me snoozing.I don,t have original ideas so like to photo weather through windscreens, especially heavy rain and
    spray, it has an immediacy that I like. Portraiture inside the car can be interesting as can shots of other drivers in
    slow traffic.My favourite is to fix a project for the trip, petrol stations, bus shelters,horrible snack opportunities,
    interesting retail.It doesn,t have to be sharp ,a bit of blur gives a sense of movement.Sorry the ideas are
    hackneyed,have just read an amazing book by David Campany, The Open Road,so am looking forward to seeing photos of your
    road trips which I hope you enjoy.
  4. Get hold of a pro grade window cleaning kit & use it! In smokers used cars you can soil a few former t-shirts with brown gunk cleaning windows from the inside. Opening windows does still work better than shooting through them.
    Depending on speed & sensitivity it might be wise to pack clear cyclists' goggles to wear with windows open.
    Everything depends.... -For shooting landscapes outside your window auto might work fine. - Do you have an optional sports setting? - It could help with camera shake. To do a driver portrait I usually have to hit manual or exposure compensation. Don't forget to put your ISO on Auto too to shoot in the evening and early morning.
  5. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I enjoy shooting from the car when my wife is driving. I do open the window whenever possible, but also carefully clean the inside and outside of car windows before and during each trip. VR set to Active or sport, the smallest F stop and highest shutter speed combination practical. As noted, auto iso or high iso for night shots. One camera with tele zoom, one with wide angle. Shooting at a right angle to travel, exclude near objects unless you want the blur. Shooting on a diagonal or to the front through the windshield that is less of an issue. Also mentioned, when not in traffic on rural roads I often ask my wife to stop. The conversation will be "When you reach that curve, the top of that hill, that clump of trees, whatever, pull over and stop if you can." I jump out and get a number of shots. Sometimes, with good scenery I will shoot points of the compass. It is enjoyable and often serendipitous.
  6. Thanks so much for the tips!
    I will be the passenger, so no worries there. We do plan on stopping as much as possible, but sometimes it's not possible. I usually keep the passenger side window pretty clean when we're day / road tripping, but now I'll start keeping wipes in the car also. Thanks for the sports option suggestion, shooting weather through the windshield (screen), and the Fstops and shutter-speeds.
    Brian S - I had to laugh at your "auto" joke!
    Thanks again for the tips and I'll post pix when we return from our trip.
  7. If possible, stop and get out, but there are some situations where that's not possible. If the car is moving, keep your arms and elbows away from contact with the vehicle, and lean away from the seat back. Roll the window down if possible. For a full frame camera, the shortest practical lens is 50 mm. Anything wider and you would have to lean outside the window to avoid capturing part of the car.
    This photo was taken in July, 2013, traveling through Montana near an active forest fire. This helicopter was collecting water from a pond, like a huge mosquito. Traffic was restricted, and there was no way to stop.

    Nikon D2x, 28-70/2.8 at 70 mm, 1/1000 sec.
  8. Be careful that when you shoot through a window on auto focus, you're not focusing on window dirt. Set focus manually. Most of the time at infinity. Don't lean the camera on the car window or frame while moving. The vibrations will cause camera shake at times. Better to hand hold. Have fun.
  9. It seems nearly unbelievable to me that nobody made this suggestion so far, but:
    if you do a google search for "car camera support", you'll find literally dozen of intriguing devices to cater for your needs.
    Being an old guy, in the past when being driven around in a car with a sun roof I used to take pictures by standing with my torso out of it. But of course that's exceedingly illegal nowadays...
  10. Perhaps it was a mis-spent youth reading Kerouac and Hunter Thompson or later admiring the photography of Stephen Shore
    and Ed Ruscha which filled me with a love for the American road trip which I will never make.It is the road itself and
    the edgelands that interest me.Inside towns it is too tight and tidy,here things can sprawl.I like to keep to one road
    that passes quickly through a variety of places rather than a sightseeing meander along B roads.The A1 from London to
    Scotland is perhaps our nearest to Route 66 as it feels slightly left behind,where else could you see a Georgian
    rectory following on from a drive in sex shop!It is well covered by Jon Nicholson in the photo book A1.My favourite
    road is the A303 which leaves my part of Hampshire and travels west, and the magical moment is cresting a rise and
    seeing Stonehenge up ahead.Now that is worth stopping and taking your time!
    I prefer film to digital but in a car I chose digital as I can experiment and not worry about wastage.Stuck in the car
    is a great opportunity to really learn what the camera can do.I used to exclude the interior in my photos but recently
    I have come to like the inclusion of the window to frame the shot,somehow it seems more honest.
  11. if you do a google search for "car camera support", you'll find literally dozen of intriguing devices to cater for your needs.​
    The last thing you want shooting from a moving car is to have any part of the camera, your arms or head touch the car. A window mount is worthless, even self-defeating. Your upper body becomes the "gimbal" which absorbs vibrations.
  12. Thank you again for all the tips! Edward - GREAT pic! Thanks for sharing!
  13. I've done a lot of in-car shooting on road trips when I can find a volunteer to drive. If it's just you and your BF in the car, then my advice to you is to sit in the back seat so you can the leg room to pivot and shoot from both sides. It's often very difficult (at least for me) to twist around in the front seat to shoot out the window. The following images are not from North America but I just wanted to shows examples of images from in-car shooting.
  14. FYI, you definitely do not need a DSLR to get acceptable shots. This iphone 6 shot was taken out the passenger window on I-70 in Colorado (with my son driving so we were must have been going at least 80mph)
  15. I had a lot of fun recently by setting my Fuji XT-10 on timelapse and recorded a journey I have done many times where I live in Cambodia. I have some interesting random shots of crazy traffic. When I can find the time I could put 3 hours of images taken one every 60 secs as a video.
    The Fuji is light enough to be attached to the dash using stick on velcro. this could be done with a gopro or other Compact camera which has timelapse facilty. Alternatively you could use a remote release if you dont have timelapse. Its necessary to set camera as close as possible to the glass, use to manual focus and use a polorizer to reduce reflections.

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