I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven by a great photo, only to keep going because I was in too much of a hurry to get somewhere. Or I didn’t have my camera and tripod with me. Or I didn’t feel like shooting just with my phone.
I’ve read blog posts from other photographers that suggest always having your camera with you. I’ve taken that to heart recently, even going out of my way to stop and get pictures if I can. I think it’s paid off. For one thing, I think we can learn from every great or terrible photo – especially when it comes to technique and settings.
About a month ago I drove a couple of hours to a meeting, and along the way saw an open field with a barn and a large tree kind of out in the middle of nowhere. And I thought it’d make for some pretty good afternoon shots if I could get back in time. So I set my odometer (trying not to mess with my phone while I drive!) so I could find my way back.
I made it back and drove along a dirt path to reach the barn and the tree. I setup and got some bracketed shots. Nothing magic here – just used the bracketing feature in my Nikon D5300, my MeFOTO tripod, and Nikon remote. Putting together HDR shots in Lightroom is super easy, especially if you’re shooting on a tripod.
It was so quiet and peaceful. In a way I wish I’d have stayed past sunset, but part of the work/life/photography balance sometimes keeps me from shooting where and when I want. That’s ok – I wanted to get home and see my wife and kids because the next day I was hitting the road again. Sometimes there’s too much noise, too much work, and not enough quality time with them. But the 30 minutes I spent out there was worth it.
So my advice is to carry your camera all the time, and of course, watch the road, but if you see something interesting, make time to stop and get some shots.