How to Find Great Shots While on the Road

Well... the most straightforward answer to that question would be: "Having the camera with you all the time" :) Which obvious as it may sound is not always the most easy thing to do. If you're driving, throwing your gear bag on the back seat is easy. But what if you're hiking, biking or simply you're without any vehicle? Then carrying a bulky backpack full of lenses and gear is not quite funny. You can use your phone, right. Well... no. I am using my iPhone for doing panoramas but otherwise a phone is not a camera, it's a phone. Of course phone manufacturers will argue that the cameras in the phones are the next big thing after hot water but... they simply aren't. I don't want to transform this post into a marketing thing.

Just to emphasise my personal experience regarding taking shots while on the road. And that revolves around one bold decision. To dump my full frame DSLR gear and jump into the mirrorless boat. Olympus boat, to be more precise. And that allowed me not only to have my camera with me all the time thanks to the reduced size and weight but also to use lenses which are Goliaths in the DSLR world. For instance I'm using a 75-300mm lens which translates to 150-600mm in DSLR standard. Only this lens weights 400g and is very small compared with the DSLR counterpart which weighs 2kg and has a size of a telescope. And those lenses combined with the top of the line Olympus EM-1 Mark II provided me not only with a small package with incredible image quality but also with some powerful and amazing features which I simply couldn't think of back in the DSLR days. One of my passions (apart from taking photos) is biking. I am finding all kinds of trails in the hills and mountains and naturally I'm taking the camera with me. I usually carry 2 lenses, one standard 12-40 f:2.8 (24-80 in DSLR terms) and that 75-300mm tele. Which is pretty slow, of course but since I am biking mostly on sunny days it doesn't matter. All the photos you are about to see are done during my biking trails. So le't start with a forestry road in Almajului Mountains in the southern part of Romania.That is a wild but also extremely beautiful area.

Forestry road at Almajului Mountains, Romania

Next one is a landscape taken around the city of Ploiesti, Romania. There are oil fields and refineries around and I have turned the photo BW (directly in the camera not in postproduction) to make it more dramatic.

Post industrial landscape

The autumn of 2017 was extremely long in Romania and very pleasant. I have trailed along some forests and hills full of wonderful autumn colours.

Autumn colours in Romania

Autumn colours in Romania

And lastly one of my most interesting "candid shots". It was a sunny but cold November day and I have seen this flock of ducks crossing one lake near Bucharest, Romania. And the track they left resembled a musical score.

Natural musical scale

Oh, and one more last thing. Biking means you are exposed to the elements. I got caught by the rain several times and one time it completely soaked my backpack I was keeping my camera and lenses in since I forgot to put the rain cover on it. Which naturally soaked my gear as well. I knew the camera and lenses were water sealed but didn't tested them before and I was worried. Luckily that was a marketing promise that Olympus has kept. The water didn't affect them a bit and they are still working just fine :)

Photo credits: Ciolca.

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June 05, 2018

Tmohan0311

Differ on the use of phones. With modern smartphones, great shots can be made. Many of online photos are the product of my phone. Of course, they do not help in zoom shots.

May 16, 2018

Joezachs

Oh yes, now that you say it, you are right. It does look like a musical score.

May 10, 2018

Vladimirkz

Thank you for the conversation.

May 10, 2018

Ciolca

Of course, but some ways of writing are better than the others. That's all :)

May 10, 2018

Vladimirkz

The word can be written in the keyboard on the monitor. The word can be written with a pen on paper. The word can be written with a stick on the sand. But the main thing is what this word is! Than it is written, it is secondary. This is my personal opinion, and it does not pretend to be true.

May 10, 2018

Ciolca

I totally agree. I am using my smartphone too and I have a lot of pics made with the smartphone which are approved on dreamstime. What I wanted to say is that using a smartphone is not the same thing as using a camera and doesn't equal with taking real photos photos using real cameras. It's simply pushing a button. Which is more than ok in a lot of situations. But ultimately no matter how insanely advanced the tiny lenses in the smartphones will be they will never match the image quality and creative options offered by a truly good standalone lens.

May 09, 2018

Vladimirkz

Good article. But I do not agree with the practice of phone cameras. Modern smartphones have good cameras, when setting the maximum quality in daylight mode, you can make good photos.

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