Our Family Adventure on Two Wheels

nancy sv

TPF Noob!
Nov 19, 2007
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Here are some pictures from our trip around the USA and Mexico last year. I would really appreciate it if you could critique them for me and be really honest about how I could improve on them. We will be taking off in 6 months for another major trip, and I want my photos to be the absolute best I can make them. Thanks for any tips you can give me!









you biked through a flood?

how many miles was the trip?
You missed a wheel...lol.

I personally would have been complaining the whole way probably....ahaha.

Who took the pictures?
The flood was actually a river in Mexico that had no bridge. We crossed through a lot of htem!! I took all those photos - they are all of my husband and our twin boys. The trip was 9350 total.
you forded a river and your oxen lived!!!

(oregon trail anyone?)
some lovely shots there what a trek. For what you are trying to show, you are doing well. Some of the shots look overexposed. I like the angle in the second last shot.
I"m not sure what's with the overexposed - they look that way on some computers, but not on others. I cna't figure that one out. It's funny to mentioned the angle in the second last one - my husband hates that photo because he says I took it with the camera kaddywhompers!
Well. First "mistake" (it is none, no worries) is: you never show. The three seem to have gone on that trip on their own :)wink: ).

Advice for next time: have them take YOUR photo on occasion, too. Just so the album will later be balanced.

Balance is the keyword for my next critique. Your first photo here will soon leak. And run dry. All the water will flow out of the fram (an onto MY DESK !?!?! :shock: ).
In other words: the horizon is crooked. So for next time, that would need to be watched more. (Or corrected in post processing, either way is possible).

Some of them are over-exposed.
I wonder if you use your camera on AUTO? All my cameras overexpose when on AUTO. Invariably. I don't know why they do they. But they do. If I want to be fast and able to snap without thinking, I go on P-mode and set it to -1 or even -1.1/3. That mild under-exposure will bring out an exposure that I am happy with (and the colours are less washed out).

And all in all I must congratulate you for going on this kind of holidays. It is A - MAY - ZING!
Thanks!! My husband does take my photo on occasion, but it was so hard to find a place to put the triple that he didn't do that as often as we would have liked. That being said, we do have some amazing photos of me too!

As many times as I've looked at that first photo I NEVER noticed the crooked horizon!!! I had climbed up a hill to try to get that shot and had to scramble FAST in order to get there and in position before the triple came by.

All of those photos were taken a point and shoot camera. We willbe getting a good DSLR for our upcoming trip so will be able to control things more.
You are doing pretty good as it is with the point and shoot. Most point and shoots do a lot of processing themselves, which a real DSLR won't do or has to be set up to specificly do them... like adding sharpening or saturation or adjusting color balance.

With some of the examples I see here, I can see a couple of things you might want to look into using... one is a poloraizer filter and the other is a gradiant neutral density filter.

The polorizer helps bring out the sky and colors by reducing reflective contrast from the sun. Even when it's cloudy, a polorizer can do a great job of helping bring out the colors in objects.

The neutral density filter is good when you have a bright sky and a darker forground. If you expose for the people in the forground the sky will be over exposed and come out white. If you expose for the sky to get nice blue and fluffy clouds, then your forground is under exposed. A gradiant neutral density filter is darker at the top and clearer at the bottom. That way you can expose for the forground and light is reduced coming from the sky to give you a proper exposure for both (usually depending on the difference between the two). GND filters come mainly in 1 and 2 fstop differences.

These two items, if you get them and learn how and when to use them can help make some really good shots into WOW shots. They are small and easy to carry so won't take up a lot of room.

Something else that I can see would be a big help for you is a tripod and a remote control attachment for your camera. This way you can put your camera on the tripod with the remote receiver, go back to the family and as you ride towards the camera or past it, remotely fire the camera so you can get all of you in some of your shots. Having shots of all of you add something to the images and could mean more to you in the furture. Most cameras have remote triggers although you can also use something like the Pocket Wizards to remotely fire you camera.

There are so many things that you could get that might help, but of course you can only carry so much on your trips... unless you have someone in a car also along on the trip to carry some of your stuff. You can find out about what I suggested and see if any of them might be something you would want to learn more about and maybe use.

What ever you decide to go with, make sure you spend time learning it so you don't have to learn on the road.

Wow!! Great suggestions Mike! thanks so much for helping me out here. I used to use an SLR, so I do know a bit about them. In the interest of space, we switched over to a digital point and shoot. However, we are realizing the limitations of that, so want to go back to SLR, but remain digital. I will get a polarizing filter for sure, but I had never heard of the neutral density one - I'll check that out. the problem for us is that time to set up photos is limited for most shots - we can't take the time to properly set up photos and keep backtracking over and over and over again. It sucks all the joy out of the trip if we focus too much on that, and not enough on just enjoying the ride. There's a fine balance there!

I would also lile to do something with the remote, but I'll have to see how much space and weight that would entail. It would be mean we would need a tripod, which is heavy. I don't know - we'll see how much we can manage.

Again - thanks so much for your response!!

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