Normally when one thinks of travel photography, various types of images come to mind: photos of exotic landscapes, historic landmarks, ocean waves hitting sandy beaches, portraits of interesting local people. This is about the other kind of travel photography: the kind where you try to sneak in a few shots between other obligations, just to keep your 365 project alive.
In the past several months, I’ve made a few relatively short trips: Washington DC for a conference, Jackson Hole, suburban Dallas to visit friends and attend a retirement party, and Florida to visit my Dad. While they’re all interesting places (some would argue that’s not true for suburban Dallas), the purpose for the non-Jackson trips was something other than photography. So, knowing that my opportunities to get out and shoot would be limited, I decided to take the lighter, leaner S90. (It would be different if any sightseeing was involved.)
Although I did get a few hours to travel around Washington, my best shots from that trip involved the travel itself.
Dallas was a different matter – I found a great subject and spent time to pursue it. The first day I was there, I spotted a herd (?) of miniature ponies grazing on a ranch near my friend’s house – they were there every time I passed by for the next 2 days. I decided the 2nd evening that I would walk the quarter mile to get that shot. My friend suggested that I wear boots because of snakes and fire ants — I had forgotten that part about Texas! Not having boots, I carefully made my way through the grass in my sandals, past longhorn cattle (“Texas lawn ornaments”) grazing below the high-power transmission towers (that shot didn’t come out well). When I got to the miniature pony ranch, the ponies were hiding – as they hid for the rest of my trip. I did get a nice shot of a mimosa flower on my way back to my friend’s house that evening.
I’ve spent the last few days visiting my Dad in a lovely air-conditioned retirement community in Florida, mostly staying indoors to avoid the July heat (which notably has been about 10 degrees cooler than New York during this heat wave!) I’ve taken a few short and unsatisfying photography breaks, including two during the day yesterday which resulted in photos where the lens was completely clouded over from the humidity. Last night, though, I managed to steal a few minutes to run down to a nearby field to capture the sunset as a thunderstorm was rolling in. Without a tripod or a stable surface, I couldn’t capture the lightning, but instead opted for this palm tree silhouette.
A few times during these trips I’ve regretted not having a longer lens or a good zoom (but I’ve gotten over it.) One of those moments happened on my way back from the sunset field last night, when a heron flew past me and landed on a nearby palm tree.
The moral of this story is: it’s possible to sneak in those photos for the 365, even if they’re only out of the airplane window.