Well, Point-n-Shooting, that is.
Sometimes you find yourself strapped into a seat, hurtling at 75 mph in a car, down a highway, on the back roads of whatever land into which you are currently imprisoned. Beside you the guide posts whirl by, much slower the mile posts, and even more slowly, the hours. Why not use the the time to practice your craft?
On a recent trip, I found myself with nine hours of non-driving windshield time. I keep my point-n-shoot (Canon G10) handy at all times to document whatever unique sight might appear before me. Sometimes I am rewarded with a great image. Other times, I just get in a lot of shooting practice.
Don’t get me wrong-not all of the images are amazing like this moon rising over the sunset-lit clouds in rural South Dakota. Most are throw-aways with blurry foregrounds and oft-shaken backgrounds. If it is cold, you are shooting through the dirty windshield or streaked side-windows (and occasionally a filthy moon roof). The bumpy road will ruin many an acceptable shot and you always have power poles, signs and other human highway detritus with which to contend. Occasionally, the road smoothes out, the vista explodes with interest and the photographer, having practiced dutifully along the many miles, will snap something special.
Here is a perfect opportunity to play with exposure. You can try many varied compositions. It might be time to actually fiddle with all those settings your camera possesses. You aren’t going anywhere while you go somewhere so you might as well take advantage of the time. Who knows-maybe there is a gem waiting for you around the curve or over the next hill.
Digital is practically free. There is no excuse not to take pictures. Seat-belted into a screaming vehicle for hours is a perfect chance to take advantage of a world whirling by, revealing, grudgingly perhaps, a fleeting glimpse of beauty.
Rikk Flohr © 2009