5 Tips For Living And Shooting Out Of Your Car

Benjamin Dodd

Adventure photography and the open road...

There’s nothing quite like hitting the open road for an adventure, whatever it may be. When your adventure also includes getting a task done - like taking amazing photos - it’s important to be efficient and organized while still focusing on what's important...the adventure. Check out these 5 tips for living and shooting out of your car to ensure your next trip goes smoothly and you get the shots that do your adventure justice.

Photo: Benjamin Dodd

1. Know where your camera and lenses are.

This is the holy grail of shooting on the run. If your stuff is out of reach or you don’t know where it is it’s as good as useless. When making images, especially on the road, second chances aren’t often a guaranteed. I follow this rule to the point where I keep my cameras next to me while I sleep, in case I wake up to something special.

Photo: Benjamin Dodd

2. Stay open-minded.

If you are going about traveling by car and shooting in a constantly changing landscape, there are inevitably going to be areas that seem completely uninteresting and not worth your time. Every place has a story, and the best photographers can find them wherever they are. Scenic areas are a gift because a lot of the work is done for you, but they don’t always produce the most intriguing work.

Photo: Benjamin Dodd

3. Don’t spend all your time driving.

If you’re on assignment with deadlines to hit it is understandable that you might want to hustle through some spots, but meander wherever possible, and get off of the interstates and out of the car. That’s where the good stuff is.

Photo: Benjamin Dodd

4. Less is more.

This one is primarily applicable in two ways: stuff and sleep.

Sleep less: Early mornings often offer some of the best light, environments, and people. Unfortunately, you have to get out of that warm sleeping bag to go get after it, but like anything else, you reap what you sow.

Bring less: Less is always more when you’re a ramblin’ photographer. There’s not much space to go around, so consider twice or three times whether you need the stuff that makes the cut.

Photo: Benjamin Dodd

5. Find beauty in disaster.

As most anyone who has covered some road miles knows, stuff will go wrong. These moments, as stressful as they may be, often provide really good content. Find a way to capture them and fix the problem simultaneously and you will likely garner some good results.

Photo: Benjamin Dodd

Published: October 26, 2015

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.

Climbing in 18-Degree Weather to Shoot the Sunrise

Vantage, Washington

One of the things that I love about photography is how the quality of light can make or break a photo. When shooting outdoors it is those early hours in the morning that I love the most.

1 Saves

6 Reasons Why You Should Use a Telephoto Lens for Landscape Photography

When most people start out taking landscape photos, they think they need to get a wide angle lens in order to capture the whole landscape. When I bought my first DSLR, I was one of those people.

6 Saves

Our Hike to Angels Landing: Dangerous? Maybe. Amazing? Definitely.

Angels Landing, Utah

Three weeks before my sister turned 24 she texted me to ask if I wanted to go on a trip for her birthday. She wasn’t sure where she wanted to go but she knew she wanted to be outdoors.

5 Saves