How to Take the Perfect Photos from a Moving Tour Bus

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Travel photography is usually all about photographing a chance appearance at the right time and place; however, some great photography spots during tour bus trips may only be available courtesy of a window.

Nevertheless, being on the move should not stop you from making the most out of your tour bus adventure moments. While it is highly unlikely that you will capture award-winning images on camera while moving at 90 miles per hour on the highway, with a few tricks and a bit of practice, you can take home some decent pictures.

Set the Camera at Faster Shutter Speed

While taking photos from a bus, the outside world may seem like it’s speeding by, meaning that you have to use a faster shutter speed to capture sharp images. Now, basic photography requires that there are three things in order to achieve the right exposure; shutter speed, ISO and aperture. Thus, when you increase your camera’s shutter speed, you will also need to increase the ISO, open the aperture up or even do a combination of both to compensate for the decreased light.

Usually, all you need to do is bump up the camera’s ISO to compensate so that you do not lose depth of field. Even as you do that, you are doubling the shutter speed too.

Focus on Details

It is easy to look out of the tour bus’ window and want to capture the entire city as it is. However, you will also need to get images of some of the smaller things going on in the street. If you don’t do this, you will end up with photos that look the same; on a ride like a hop on-hop off bus tour, get your longer lens and capture some of the details in the landscape like the sculptures, bridges and parks.

Stabilize

No matter the kind of photography you are doing, stability is a critical element. Whether you are doing travel photography in New York City or taking pictures on Safari in East Africa, you need your camera as still as possible for high quality results. On buses, this is as important as anywhere else because the vehicle may bump around and shake too.

As a start, you can use a monopod for that added stability, even when you are still mobile. Another great advantage is that it will not get in the way of other passengers in the tight spaces of the tour bus.

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Don’t Forget the Inside of the Bus

You could easily end up staring out all day and shooting the world beyond, but photography is all about capturing your entire world. This includes taking photos of the inside of the tour bus as well. Use a wide-angle lens to get a nice full view of life on the bus by capturing the top deck, below deck and out the front windshield with a full view of the driver.

Take Advantage of the Stops

When the bus tour stops at a landmark, don’t forget to take photos. This is the best way to broaden the variety of photos from your trip. Capture the bus, passengers getting off and other interesting things you find at the stop.

Plant the Camera on the Window

Get your camera as close to the window as possible if you are on the lower deck and you’ll get less reflection while doing it. In addition, it will also help in removing any annoying marks that may be on the window. Hold a finger or two between the lens ring and window to prevent the lens from hitting the glass.

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