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I love drive-bys | by kevin dooley
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I love drive-bys

Closed for business, in Bridgman, Michigan. (Explore)


This is one of my "drive-bys", wherein the photo is taken in from the seat of the car. In this case I was in the passenger seat and the car was moving, as is most often the case.


I find drive-bys highly appealing. When one is travelling at those speeds, one naturally passes a lot of "content" to choose from, so it provides rich opportunities. The shot passes quickly though, and framing accuracy is hit or miss at best, so there's a nice random element to the process too. Finally, like it or not, we spend a good portion of our life sitting in the seats of automobiles, so drive-by images are part of our visual memory.


Practically, it's a heck of a lot safer to be a passenger doing drive-bys. Doh. I've done it solo two different ways. First, I've set a tripod in the passenger seat, aimed it out the window, and operated the shutter with my right hand, promising to never look at the camera while doing so! More safely, I've simply stopped for the photos I've wanted, but not actually gotten out of the car (olde skool). This is doable as long as there isn't traffic.


One key to getting good drive-bys is to take enough. Whereas in a good, "normal" photo session you might get 5 or even 10% good shots, with drive-bys it might be 1 in a hundred, or less.


Next time you're a passenger--give it a try!

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Taken on July 5, 2008