When I first started seriously thinking about bicycle touring I realised that I should also try and record the event. At the time, it seems as though a tour is going on forever, but after days immersed in the local surroundings, focussing on road safety or where camp will be for the night, the days can pass quickly and before I know it, the end is in sight.
On more than one occasion I have got to this point and thought “cr@p”, I meant to take more photos!
So now I actually make cryptic notes on an early page of my trip journal as a reminder to take the time to record events.
The following are several examples of ideas that I have had while preparing for the Desert, Dust and Dingoes ride in October 2016:
Sunrise through old cars at Koonaldra
Record road history / points interest
Get ant perspectives
Whales in the GA Bight
The struggle I have, even on a short ride, is that I often have a great idea about a photo half a kilometre after I have passed the point where I should have stopped and taken it. Then I have to ride back or if tired, I say “next time” and the moment is lost.
Why I do this I don’t know. It would be better to stop, take several photos from differing angles and discard them later if I don’t like them.
So when taking photos, there are some simple things I consider:
Do I use the mobile phone for a quick photo or the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 for a better, considered set of images?
Is the tripod required?
What is the focus of the photo?
Is there an interesting perspective to add emphasis?
What lighting considerations are required?
Do I need to ask permission?
There is one other confession I have, and that is for many of my previous rides I have been of the opinion that a cheap “point and shoot” camera or the mobile phone photos are fine.
But looking back, regretfully that is not the case. My recently purchased Panasonic bridging camera does a far better job. It is heavier, bulkier, but the end results are far sharper and interesting. My recommendation is that you try and include a good camera in your photographic kit.
So what photographic gear do I carry you ask?
Good question, and the answer follows:
Apple iPhone 6+ for the unimportant, throwaway photos
iPhone 6 Plus instead of a much larger camera without any discernible loss of image quality
This may look like a lot of gear and it is, but it doesn’t take a lot of room and I use it all, even on small rides.
I am just not very good at minimalistic travel photography, plus I always am looking for the more unusual video angles and so rather than run the risk of not having something I want, I seem to travel with the whole studio.
Thank goodness I am not into developing the images as well. That could get cumbersome.