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
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.
However, being ruthless, if I revised the sort of video I was seeking, this list could be cut to just the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 and the Yellowstone tripod for both video and still photography.
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 travel with the whole studio.
Thank goodness I am not into developing the images as well.
The cycling movie maker's friend: Hands free movie making with a variety of creative placement options. For the ride down the River Murray, I made my own mounts out of PVC water pipe which where great, but they were not flexible in their positioning and so the range of angles I could get from the bike was limited.
If only there was a clamp out there that gave me a wide range of mounting options. Well folks, I think I have found just what I need.
Being a solo traveler, I don’t have many photos that include yours truly and this tripod is a great way to be included in the creative shots. Being a solo traveler, I Being a solo traveler, I don’t have many photos, I don’t have many photos that include yours truly and although there are occasions where I could ask someone to take my picture, from experience, I know I won’t be happy with the result. However, being the smart cyclist that I am, I started looking for lightweight tripods and quickly discovered the adaptable GorillaPod.
Besides the pure joy of just being out on the bike, the other aspect of solo cycling that I especially enjoy is recoding the experience.
Photography has always been a passion but now, out discovering Australia at a snail's pace, there are countless micro stories to be told with an equally endless range of possibilities to be explored in their telling.
It has been a few years since I had purchased a decent camera but having tried using my mobile phone for cycling photos, I made the decision recently that something a little better was needed for my next big trip.
This small, relatively lightweight solar panel has totally changed how I think about cycling with all my photographic / electronic gear.
Strapped to the back or front of my bike, it can be positioned so that it takes full advantage of available sun light to keep the internal battery charged.
As a budding solo cyclist, who likes to "get away from it all", I have been looking into a suitable emergency beacon and communications device for a few months but with every search, I kept coming back to the SPOT Gen3 time and time again. It looked that good!