Saturday, June 29, 2019

Photography at Highway Speed

Instead of the freeways we took the byways one recent afternoon. Route US78 east of Athens, Georgia, took us through rural areas, small towns, as well as Athens itself. Photographing from the back seat is quite a challenge. The countryside rushes by allowing just a few seconds to recognize an interesting scene. Signs, berms, fences, trees and power poles are constantly in the way. Then there are the wires, lots and lots of wires always hanging into the view.

My approach to photography is not to shoot rapid-fire sequences. I prefer to find the "decisive moment" when taking the picture, not afterward selecting it from reams of exposures. Shooting from a moving car makes that more the "frantic moment", but I had fun.

This "style" is not for the contemplative artist. The technical aspects are a bit different. I used an aperture of f/8 throughout. My shutter speed was mostly at 1/500 second with a few at 1/250 second. I let the camera set the ISO for automatic exposure. Exposure was often unduly affected by the bright sky and I had to "dig out" some of my images from the deep shadows.

There was, of course, no way to compose a photo. I did not use the viewfinder. I used a wide angle setting, mostly 24mm on my full-frame camera, pointing the camera at my subject, panning with it as we drove by. Hoping that I didn't rotate the camera too much and got my shot before some foreground object interfered. That also caused close buildings to "fall over" due the low viewpoint from the car window necessitating pointing the camera upwards. Perspective correction to the rescue. I like using "ICE", Image Composite Editor, as it allows so many different was to reshape the view.

Here is a collection of my photos. They may not be masterpieces of landscape and cityscape photography, but they are fun mementos and unusual views from along our byways.

This post is shared on two of my blogs so I can reach more of my fans, maybe both of them!
© 2019 Ludwig Keck


  1. Your highway shot photos turned out great, Ludwig, and done from the back seat too! I always shoot from the front passenger seat when Pat is driving and always deal with overhead wires. Like yourself, I don’t use a viewfinder as my cell phone is usually my “camera”. I appreciated the tips on shooting and the next time and if I use a camera will try to apply those settings. The town buildings in this post were colorful and interesting. Where is the location?

    1. Thank you Beatrice,
      These photos are from little towns, Washington, Lexington, Crawford along US78 east of Athens, Georgia. The last photos are from the "big" college town of Athens.
      It was fun, but I kept seeing neater views out the other side of the car. We will have to take a trip going the other direction. The byways are a wonderful driving experience.

  2. Hi Ludwig, just checking in to see if you had any recent posts here. You have been missed, my friend and hope all is well and that it's just summer time keeping you away and nothing more than that.