Taking a road trip has long been established as a coming-of-age endeavour, one where you shed the shackles of responsibility and enjoy the freedom of the open road. At the end of the adventure, you’ll feel reborn, a new person, with a new outlook on life.
Or so Hollywood and literature have convinced us. But, should you be planning a road trip for a photography assignment, you’ll be needing the right type of gear and gadgets to help you get around and get as many brilliant, beautiful pictures as you can, no matter where you are in the world.
One of the worst things to happen to a photographer is arriving at a venue or location and realising you’ve forgotten some of the most essential equipment. Before leaving, it is wise to create a list requirements, as well as plan out where you’re going, what you’re looking to shoot, and what you’re going to need along your odyssey.
There are a few schools of thought regarding the undertaking of a road trip. Some urge you to plan plan plan, whereas others encourage you to tap into your spontaneity, and just go, whatever approach you decide to employ.
Any sensible and serious photographer will know the basics: camera bag, back up memory cards, batteries, etc. But, for road trips, there is a need to prepare for anything at any time. First, you need to consider just how you’re going to get from A to B and back again.
For those with readily available transport, there’s no need to worry. However, if you don’t have transport, and are travelling with a group there are companies that offer vehicle rentals, like vans or big cars. If you do rent, though, be sure to invest in car or van insurance before hitting the open road.
Once this has been arranged, consider the type of scenery you’ll encounter along the way. Will you be bombing past beaches and cliffs, or will your road trip take you deep into the woods? In all honesty, it doesn’t matter. Time permitting, wherever you go, there will be the opportunity to stray from any loose plans you might have, as great shots and moments won’t just fall into your lap, you need to go out and find them.
For times when you’re driving along, but unable to pull over to take a shot of that expanse of landscape, it pays to have something that can attach to your dashboard to capture any fantastic scenery. Accessories such as a GoPro car mount are more than helpful in capturing any fleeting shots that you might otherwise not have the time to shoot.
Leaving the device on for the duration (battery permitting) will also give you the opportunity to look back after a day of driving to check out anything you might have missed along the way.
Depending on time and gear, the road trip can provide you with photographs that might otherwise have been missed. The road trip itself is an experience, be sure to make the most of it, however, you choose to approach your adventure.