Globetrotter - Travel & Location
Roadside U.S.A. Offers Wonderful Photo Ops; You Don't Have To Go Halfway Around The World To Get Great Shots

All Photos © 2004, Rick Sammon, All Rights Reserved

Readers of this column know that I enjoy traveling the world in search of new travel photographs. However, I know, and I hope you know, that you don't have to go to places like Papua New Guinea and Pago Pago to get great shots. In fact, you can come up with meaningful photographs as you drive along the road--if you take your time and look for them.

We really should not be in a rush to get from place to place (and to check our e-mail when we arrive). If we take some time to "stop and smell the roses," we will come home with photographs that not everyone in the world has taken a thousand times.

Ice Cave--I teach photography workshops in Glacier National Park, Montana. One year, while driving through the park, our group spotted this ice cave. At first, everyone simply wanted to shoot the cave from the road. After they were finished, I encouraged some of the more intrepid shooters to venture into the cave. We all took basically the same shot.

One of the keys to getting good roadside shots is to always have your camera ready. Another key is that you must be ready to jump out of the car to get the shot. If your camera is tucked away in a camera bag, you may miss a shot that may be gone in the blink of an eye.

Dairy Queen--After leaving Las Vegas on our way to the Grand Canyon, my family and I stopped in Kingman, Arizona. Always ready to take a shot and to photograph my son, Marco, I captured what at first may appear to be a grab shot. Actually, I took my time to carefully compose the picture. I also used a bit of daylight fill-in flash to light his face.

This rainbow (it's actually a double rainbow) only lasted a few minutes. When I saw it, while driving down the road in Moab, Utah, I hopped out of the car with my camera, which I covered in a plastic bag, and took a few shots. The magnificent view faded slowly, but the memory, preserved with my camera, will last a lifetime. No doubt it's my favorite roadside photograph.