Monday, January 14, 2008

Photography on the move

Travelling entails commuting. On the bus, on the train, or on the plane, you'll spend time on the move. Many a times, the journey passes through scenes which screams to be photographed. Well, you can! Here's 2 simple steps to help you get a shot while on the move.

Use the fastest shutter speed possible. You know a fast shutter speed will freeze action, and thats precisely what you want to do. Of course, for really fast moving vehicle (bullet train etc), you may not get the required speed. Thus it's best used when it's bright; you could also increase your ISO setting to bump up your shutter speed. For compact cameras without manual controls, the best bet is probably the Sports mode where the concept is also to freeze action. The image on the right was taken on the train ride from Hue to HoChiMinh!

The second useful trick is to set your focus to infinity. Typically, on the bus/train etc, the subject you want to capture will be a distance away. Thus you can preset your focus and not let your camera go wild trying to find your target. This is especially true when you have to shoot through windows in the bus/trains etc! Also, place your camera as close to the window/glass as possible to cut down those reflections seen in the window. This trick can be used on any window/glass situation, and not just on bus/trains!
For compact cameras without manual control, you can use your Landscape mode which automatically places the camera's focus to infinity. The above image of the Himalays is taken using a compact point&shoot using the Landscape mode through the thick glass window on a commercial plane!

While you may not get the perfect shot on the move, the above 2 steps does enable you to maximise your chances. So, whether you're on the plane or on a cruise, keep shooting!

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