The other kind of travel photography

Washington Highway

From the skies over northern Virginia

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.

Mimosa Flower

Mimosa

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.

Florida Sunset

Florida Sunset

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.

Heron Silhouette

Heron Silhouette

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.

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2 comments

  1. I wouldn’t say that suburban Dallas is interesting… trust me on this, I’ve lived there for 14 years 😉
    The Florida sunset is absolutely gorgeous!! I love the mimosa picture, too. We used to have a mimosa tree right in front of our house, but then the tree trimmers came and trimmed it back because it was too close to the power lines, and the whole tree died.

    • I don’t think I had ever noticed mimosa trees before, but they’re beautiful! I liked crepe myrtles, too, when I lived in Flower Mound. We don’t get either one up here.


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