The pandemic has caused many of us to drastically change our lives. It has affected me in many ways. Once the pandemic started, all my travel photography and workshops ceased. So did my Sunday drives with my wife, Debra.
BP (before pandemic), Debra, and I would go for a Sunday drive at least once a month. Where we went would be completely random. We would get in the car and then pick a direction. Our goal was to get on back roads and explore and see what we would find. Sometimes we would have to take the interstate to get close, but once in the vicinity, we would do back roads.
For the last few months, we have not done our Sunday drives. As many of you know, our family has suffered a lot as a result of COVID. Debra became very sick with it. So for the sake of safety, we, like many of you, have pretty much spent a lot of time at home. We managed to stay busy, but each week we became more desperate for a road trip.
This past Sunday, October 11, 2020, we decided to throw caution to the wind and get out and do our first road trip in months. We had no idea where we would head until we got in the car, but we were committed.
Debra likes to photograph with the Fuji-X system. Her camera of choice is the XH-1. Keep in mind that we have an X100v, X-Pro3, and XT-4 and a wide range of lenses. I keep a backpack packed and ready to go. All I have to do is pick what camera or cameras I want to use, drop them in the bag, and I am set to go.
My camera choice for the road trip was the Sony system. I keep a bag ready to go for the Sony system too. I chose the a7r IV and a9 cameras with a wide kit of lenses. I also brought my Sony ZV-1 blogging camera, but I never used it.
In addition, I chose to bring my Wine Country filter system and three tripods. Plus, for the first time, we thought we would bring our dog on the trip.
Maggie was Debra’s dad’s dog. We adopted her after Debra’s dad passed away from COVID. She’s a great dog and loves rides in the car. Bringing Maggie reminded us of packing for a trip with kids: We needed food, water, bowls, leashes, and poop bags. It was worth it, and Maggie is a great traveler and adventure dog.
On Sunday morning, we loaded up the Jeep and hit the road. When we were in the car, we decided we wanted to head north. We picked our destination: Warsaw, IN. We plugged this into the Apple Maps app on the iPhone and picked one of the routes it gave us.
Looking at the route, we decided we would make a beeline for a spot on the map and then get on back roads. The cool thing about Apple Maps and most other GPS guidance systems is that if you go off on a side road, the system will always try to get you back on the route, or it will map a new plan. This allows us to freestyle it all the way, and we can then stop and shoot whenever something presents itself.
In addition, I record each trip with two separate programs that track from the iPhone or iPad (which I take with me). These apps are Gaia GPS and Route Tracker by Raah. I have a library on both apps from my travels, and they both pretty much give the same information. I get average speed, locations of stops that can even show images from the stop, stop times, moving time, altitude change, etc. This info is great in case I want to share a route, use it again, or get the stop locations. The apps work on most mobile hardware, and both let you set up an account to sync between devices as well as letting you access the data on your desktop machine.
Our goal was to find some fall color and enjoy what was an absolutely beautiful day. Below are some of the images we captured. We also found a great place to eat (in a safe outdoor environment). I have put captions with the images. Some (most) were worked on in post (Capture One) or, in the case of iPhone images, in the Photos app editor or Snapseed.
I didn’t come back with any portfolio images, but we had a great time. We got together time and a great meal. We got to share the adventure with our dog, and I’ve been happy playing around with the images for the last few days.
I can’t wait until we can travel long distances and do overnights somewhere. It’s still a dangerous time out there with COVID. Having seen the devastating effects of COVID, we take this virus very seriously and do everything we can to stay in our own safe bubble. Please do the same.
Nothing for the portfolio but a lot of fun, and we were out photographing, and that is what counts.
I had it in my mind that I would find water, rivers, creeks, or lakes with lots of fall colors. Total fail on my part as what water we did fund was barely running, and the trees had not changed color.
We finally made it to Warsaw, and after a dinner at really great restaurant, we found Debra took the dog for a walk and came back with some images.
We got out. We had fun. We took pictures. This pandemic still scares the crap out of us. We properly social distance and masked up when we came near anyone. While these aren’t the best photos ever, they are our photos from a day of driving and exploring. I encourage all of you to load up your car and get out there. It’s a lot more fun if you do it with a friend, and I was fortunate enough to have two of my best friends with me, Debra and Maggie.
I hope you enjoyed these. Please stay safe.
Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through photoPXL.com, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.