Jan 07 2011

Photo Friday: On the Fly

One of the benefits of our family roadtrips is that my husband usually drives.  I’ll relieve him from time to time, but primarily, he is the driver and I am the navigator.

Once we’re on the open road, headed in the right direction, I have time to do any number of things: read a bit, hand snacks to the kids, check road reports, find fun things to do where we’re headed.

And take pictures.

Now, taking photos out a moving car window at 65 mph requires a few things:  1) A camera that can focus and snap a photo quickly; 2) A relatively clean car window; and 3) A lot of luck.  It also requires that you not be afraid to delete a large percentage of the photos you take because, quite honestly, you’ll get a lot of duds.

You might get a few gems, too, though.  On our recent trip to Missouri, I had my Panasonic ZS7 in hand through most of our drive through Iowa.  While none of these pictures will win any awards for technical merit, they do display a snapshot of interesting things you can find while driving across America.

Leaving Iowa City early in the morning with cloudy skies, we wondered out loud if the moon was really bright or if it was the sun trying to peek through the clouds.  A few miles later, it was evident that it was the sun, but when I snapped this photo, we still weren’t quite sure.  It seemed that the sun should be more to the east than to the south.  Such is winter in the northern states.

Sun in Clouds

Sun in Clouds

When driving through the Midwest, it’s helpful if you enjoy farm scenery.  In southwest Iowa, many of the farms still have their old windmills standing.  I doubt that any of them are still operational, but seeing them standing tall and proud on the prairie reminds me of the days when they were essential to the water needs of the farm and community.

Iowa Windmill

Iowa Windmill

These windmill photos aren’t terribly impressive, but they gave me a chance to play with Photoshop a bit.  Which one do you prefer–stark beauty or fixed up a bit?  I’m still new to Photoshop, and am trying to learn what’s aesthetically pleasing and what is too much.  Comments and advice are appreciated.

Iowa Windmill

Iowa Windmill

Windmill (Photoshop)

Windmill (Photoshop)

This old shed is something I’ve seen so often, but they’re disappearing from our landscape one by one.

Old Shed

Old Shed

I love this farm shot.  It shows perfectly the concept of “rolling hills.”

Rolling Hills of Iowa

Rolling Hills of Iowa

Iowa has really embraced the tradition of barn quilts.  Our family races to see who can spot the most.

Iowa Barn Quilt

Iowa Barn Quilt

Sometimes snapping a quick shot can alleviate the cries of “I missed it!”  This shot of a barn Nativity scene isn’t straight, but it appeased the kids who didn’t see it when we drove past.

Barn Nativity Scene

Barn Nativity Scene

Taking a photo on the fly is often the only way to get shots of the geographical markers along the road trip.  Although I’m not always successful, I try to collect the states’ welcome signs.  Missouri was a success.

Missouri Welcome Sign

Missouri Welcome Sign

Do you have any favorite photos you’ve taken through the car window?

If you enjoy travel photos, stop over at DeliciousBaby and take a peek at this week’s Photo Friday entries.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Published by at 10:06 am under Family Travel
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16 comments so far

16 Comments to “Photo Friday: On the Fly”

  1. Dominique on 07 Jan 2011 at 10:31 am

    I take a good number of photos out of the car window as Tim drives…much for the same reasons that you do. My particular favorite photos to take are bridge photos as we’re going through them (no surprise here, eh?)…I’ve managed to get a few I’ve used along the way, and more than my share of duds. And I think I have one or two of those state welcome sign photos that have turned out OK.
    .-= Dominique´s last blog ..Tiny Zehnders one-dollar bridge and a one-room school in Frankenmuth- Michigan =-.

  2. Cathy Spicer on 07 Jan 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I do the same thing! I even used to do this before digital cameras and I am SO glad to have the delete option before I pay for processing. Eddie keeps a sharp eye for photo opportunities and is usually more than happy (traffic permitting) to turn around if we missed something really good. We’re Roadside Attraction Geeks and have the photos to prove it. My latest obsession is aquiring the alphabet. I’m sure you’ve seen collages and such of objects that look like a letter. I’m slowly building my files and hope to create custom cards and posters as gifts once I have the full alphabet. I’m struggling as most of my shots are through the van window and are usually blurred.

    THANKS for sharing!! I’ve had Photoshop on my computer for a year and have only opened it once. Maybe you can give me lessons? :o )
    .-= Cathy Spicer´s last blog ..New Job Cheers =-.

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dominique King, Linda. Linda said: Photo Friday: On the Fly http://bit.ly/fdyxdq [...]

  4. Julia in West Des Moines, IA on 07 Jan 2011 at 1:35 pm

    re: nativity barn. I have seen but not used the straighten button on picasa and picnik.
    .-= Julia in West Des Moines, IA´s last blog ..Pay it forward teaser =-.

  5. minnemom on 07 Jan 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Cathy, a husband who will turn around for missed opportunities is one to hang on to! GFW Community Ed is offering a photoshop class in March, I believe. Want to take it with me? Linda

  6. minnemom on 07 Jan 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Dominique, it’s definitely a fun challenge. Bridges don’t surprise me a bit! Last year when we drove south, I took pictures of the fields we passed so Hubby could get a better look at the sugar cane and rice fields than he had while watching traffic. Our eyes are drawn to our interests! Linda

  7. Bridget Smith on 07 Jan 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Linda, these photos are amazing! I must admit I like the photo shopped windmill. I need to work on perfecting my “drive by shooting” don’t know if my camera would be fast enough.
    .-= Bridget Smith´s last blog ..Photo Friday- Take Your Kid to Work Day- LEGOLAND Edition =-.

  8. wandering educators on 07 Jan 2011 at 3:59 pm

    i LOVE photos taken from the car. you’ve got some great ones! i remember one i SO wanted to turn out, from scotland, and it was all fuzzy. sigh. c’est la vie!
    .-= wandering educators´s last blog ..Expat Living – A great way to travel =-.

  9. minnemom on 07 Jan 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Jessie, isn’t it disappointing when there’s one you want to turn out and then it doesn’t? I guess that’s all part of playing the game. Linda

  10. minnemom on 07 Jan 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Bridget, thanks for the feedback on the Photoshop work. I kind of like that one myself. :-) Linda

  11. Sonja on 07 Jan 2011 at 4:59 pm

    What an interesting post! And I like the photoshop windmill better. :)
    .-= Sonja´s last blog ..Photo Friday- Gouda Cheese Market =-.

  12. rose on 07 Jan 2011 at 5:08 pm

    found your 5/13/09 page on Carnival of Family Travel
    and THANK YOU for making lists for us to help with traveling with children…HAPPY VOYAGES to you and yours…all of your posts are fascinating and interesting…

  13. minnemom on 07 Jan 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Julia, thanks for the reminder that it’s possible to straighten a picture. I’ll have to try that. Linda

  14. minnemom on 07 Jan 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Rose, thank you for the kind words! My primary goal for this blog has always been to help other traveling families by sharing things that have worked for our family. I’m glad it’s been helpful for you. Happy travels! Linda

  15. minnemom on 07 Jan 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Sonja, that’s two votes for the Photoshop windmill. Maybe I’m actually catching on to it! Thanks for stopping by. Linda

  16. Sarah V. on 10 Jan 2011 at 8:52 am

    Great photos! I think my favorite is the first one. I love that big sky and the open road.

    I’m looking forward to reading more about your adventures in Missouri. I was born and raised in St. Louis and lived in Columbia for a few years. Whenever we go back home, we always spend most of our time seeing friends and family, so there are a lot of the great St. Louis sights that we haven’t taken our daughter to see yet.

    Happy travels!
    .-= Sarah V.´s last blog ..Photo Friday- Stretching =-.

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