How To Take A Photograph From A Moving Car

When you find yourself in the car for hours and the license plate game has been played out, it’s time to grab your camera. Of course, I’m assuming you aren’t driving!

How can you take photos worth keeping when you are moving at 70 miles per hour (or whatever is reasonable and prudent for the road conditions). Keep a few things in mind and you can create beautiful images while you entertain yourself.

Adjust your settings

Using a dSRL? Set your camera to shutter priority (TV or S) or Manual Mode witha fast shutter speed (around 1/1000th of a second) to avoid motion blur.

If you want to avoid messing with shutter speeds, shoot in the running man setting (the sports mode).

Place your camera close to the window

The closer you place your camera to the window the less reflection you will capture. You’ll also avoid photographing the bugs or other droppings that might collect on your windshield.

Hold your camera steady

The car’s motion is already working against you, so you want your camera to be as steady as possible.Use two hands to keep your camera from wiggling.

Anticipate your shot

You are moving quickly, so look ahead of the car to anticipate your shot. Have your finger on the shutter ready to shoot as you get to your subject. Shoot before it arrives and…keep reading!

Think in thirds

Think in thirds when you shoot, moving your camera to a position to place the road edge at the bottom of the frame. I think one third foreground, one third subject, one third sky.

Take more than one shot

Whatever camera you may be using, hold your shutter down to take a series of photos. If you are shooting with a dSLR set your drive mode to continuous in order to take multiple shots.

Have fun and stop occassionaly

Use an app or an old school map to anticipate sites and locations to photograph. I love the app Roadside America. It shows nearby sites along your path with tips for viewing.

Whether you are taking a multiple day road trip or just out for a few hours, remember to stop for breaks. Look for fun Vista Points and monuments. They make great photo opportunities!

I’m on the road as I write this and will be for another week. You can follow my adventures and see more out the window shots on my instagram account.

Get more travel photography tips here and here.

Do you love taking photos from your car, or am I the only weird one around here?