Photos from a moving car.

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by Mike Kennedy, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    A friend wants me to go on a road trip today. Basically it will be a few drop-offs and pick-ups, no real stops except for gas and coffee. I would like to bring a camera and do some "through the window" photography.
    Thought I might bring along one of my P&S cameras loaded with tri-x. Any suggestions ?

    Thanks Much,
    Mike
     
  2. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Clean the windows, or wind them down!

    Mick.
     
  3. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    aim to take blurry pics, then when they are blurry... you have what you aimed for :smile:
     
  4. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Work from the side windows when you can, preferably clean or rolled down. Many windshields are curved and distort the image when viewed through a lens. I often get frustrated bird watching due to my windshield. That is if you don't want the distortion of course... Oh yeah, rain shots on the glass can be kind of cool and they convey the car sense-of-place well.

    - Randy
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    make the camera focus at infinity ( if you can do that ).
    farther away will be "static" closest to you will show movement ..

    have fun
    john
     
  6. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I agree with all of the above, except that sometimes through the windshield tells the story you want. :wink:

    [​IMG]

    Also, as noted, the anticipation should be for "fun" photos, not "great" ones - unless you happen to encounter a UFO. :cool:
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If you shoot through side windows you enhance the blur due to car motion, but if you shoot through the windshield you get distortion from the curvature and you get elements of the dash in the picture.

    Whatever you do, don't let the flash go off, and put the camera lens as close to the window as possible, and keep the camera back as parallel to the window as possible.

    A lens hood making good contact with the window is a good idea to eliminate all reflection from the glass.

    Taking a good picture upside down in a jet plane is easier than taking one from a moving car. Believe me.

    Sometimes the blur of motion can be an enhancement to a picture.

    PE
     
  8. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I did a trip a few years ago and shot quite a few pictures through the windshield--roadside signs, black sky thunderstorms, sunlight reflecting off the highway, oncoming traffic with cloud formations, etc. I didn't print anything larger than 5x8 but the windshield of a 1999 Chevy Tahoe didn't distort things any (except for the bugs splat). The pictures fit pretty nicely into a documentary of the trip.

    Shooting out the side windows yielded exactly zero--too much motion blur. Shooting straight on through the windshield was okay. Focus was on infinity the entire time.

    I was using a Leica with 50mm lens. My wife was a bit concerned since I was driving and shooting at the same time. That's really worse than talking on the cellphone and driving. I'd suggest you shoot while a passenger only.
     
  9. keeds

    keeds Member

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    Hope for a bright day, set reasonable aperture/shutter and set appropriate infinity focus... attached pic was sunny f16 based. 1/1000 @ f8, infinity on f8 scale mark (hp5+), camera held close to front windscreen (i.e. not composed thru finder)
     

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  10. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    My buddy did this while he was driving from MA. to CA. alone.
    Kind of dangerous but from what he said, he would take a disposable camera and just hail-mary it without looking at all. Some of his pictures were quite interesting.
     
  11. argus

    argus Member

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    That the Pont de Normandie, no?

    Years ago, I just stopped the car in the middle of the bridge to make a similar picture.

    G
     
  12. sionnac

    sionnac Subscriber

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    Guess the make, win a prize... attached taken from a car on a bridge.
     

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  13. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    A Mk II Jetta?

    I shot a few pics from the car - here is what I found:
    - blurr canbe really cool if its the right blurr
    - unless you can't do it otherwise, or you can use the interior of the car in the composition, roll down the window, lean out if you have to. Polarizer may help, but I doubt it willhelp much as hte outside is brighter than the inside if shooting through the glass
    - you can take neat photos of other cars that are moving close to the same speed as you with that "dramatic" blurred background.
    - Use a Holga, then it really won't matter :smile:

    Peter.

    PS One more thing - sometimes, you catch the rear-view mirror in the shot, it adds a neat touch to the picture by showing you taking the photo.
     
  14. Terence

    Terence Member

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    Panning when shooting out the side window can work well. The subject is in focus and everything else blurs. Just don't try it while you're the driver. Drop your seat back all the way to give you more room to swing when you pan. I've done this with an old aerial camera quite well a few times.
     
  15. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    actually, I've done this but was using one of those new fang-dangled devices, so I can't show you the results here. I did get some nifty night shots while following cars down the freeway.
     
  16. keeds

    keeds Member

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    yep, it's the Pont de Normandie, and the wife was driving...
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The aerial cameras I worked with moved the film at the film plane at a preset rate depending on altitude and speed. We had a special slide rule for calculating a host of things related to aerial photography in order to make unblurred overlapping stereo pairs.

    PE
     
  18. Schlapp

    Schlapp Member

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  19. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Well... was I right about the car?! :D
     
  20. PhotoPete

    PhotoPete Member

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  21. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    How about an image from a car at a stoplight?

    [​IMG]
     
  22. jon koss

    jon koss Subscriber

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    It's clearly an IM Pei, so fork over!!

    j