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Taking photos from a moving car

My husband Frank loves to be behind the wheel when we do a little drive out into the rural areas of Ontario, north from our hometown of Burlington. I’m usually in the passenger seat taking photos from a moving car and thoroughly enjoying the challenge of snapping something that will appear fairly sharp and well-composed.

Normally, it would be best to stop, steady my hands or prop the camera on a tripod and then take the photo. However, sometimes you just have to take the shot.

Taking photos from a moving car

While driving early in the morning, we spotted horses feeding with the dew hanging just over them. I snapped this photo with my DSLR… while in the passenger seat.

The effect, for the most part is interesting. The foreground is usually blurry, with the details in the distance fairly sharp. Depending on whether I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll slow down the shutter speed to get a completely blurry effect.

I also take photos of the road ahead of me – it’s easier to do so without getting the blur, but you have to contend with bug-splattered windshields. Luckily Photoshop comes to the rescue at times like this.

Photo taken from the passenger seat. Up and down, up and down – the hilly roads of the Ontario Highlands

An iPhone can also produce great photos and in many cases you have it on you all the time. Here’s one I took while we were driving on a country road near Point Pelee, Ontario.

Here are a few my tips for photos taken from the passenger seat, based on experiences we’ve had on the road:

  • Always have your camera on hand, out of the bag with the lens cap off. This way you are ready to shoot that photo that may pop up at a moment’s notice.
  • If you happen to lean a bit out of the car with your camera to snap a photo, to be safe, put place the camera strap over your neck.
  • Sports mode is your best friend if you want to capture a crisp image.
  • If you can stand the wind/cooler temperatures, open the passenger window up for a clearer capture.

Have you ever tried to take photos out of a moving vehicle?

2 comments

  1. I take pictures while I’m driving … eek!

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