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Author Topic: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?  (Read 1882 times)

hbelkins

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2018, 07:53:10 PM »

I started taking pictures while driving while using a 35 mm SLR film camera with a 150 mm zoom lens. I learned that by setting the focus to infinity, I could usually get a good picture, but I still had to compose the picture through the viewfinder. It wasn't always convenient to pull off to get a photo, so by trial and error, I became proficient at it. Of course, back in those days you had to buy film and pay for processing and printing, so I wasn't as prolific at it as I am now.

The bigger viewscreens of digital cameras were a great help, as was the fact that I no longer had to pay for film or prints. Plus, the cameras became a lot smaller and lighter. I don't think twice about taking pics while driving now. It's almost second nature.

Here are a couple of shots I took while behind the wheel with that old 35 mm film camera. I have tons of photos elsewhere and I need to find them and get the prints/negatives scanned.

[/url]1990s Negative Scans - 12 by H.B. Elkins, on Flickr[/img]

[/url]1990s Negative Scans - 33 by H.B. Elkins, on Flickr[/img]



During road meet tours, I actually prefer to be a passenger.
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thenetwork

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2018, 07:57:36 PM »

Driver:  Because depending who's driving, I can get to passenger "carsick level" pretty darn quick.
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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2018, 08:53:13 PM »

I prefer to be a passenger, mostly because I can't manipulate my DSLR with one hand. However, I have gotten better with taking photos using my phone (a Pixel 2 XL) behind the wheel:

Yeah, phone cameras are actually pretty good now.  The telephone lens on my iPhone Plus is actually pretty much a perfect focal length for road photos.  In fact, the telephoto lens on the Iphone X is even optically stabilized.  I'm not much a fan of the phone ergonomics though.  Something else... the iphone can record 4K at 60fps.  Most expensive DLSR cameras can't even do that yet.

According to a few reviews that I have read, the Pixel 2 is supposedly the best phone camera on the market.
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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2018, 10:10:23 PM »

I prefer to be a passenger, mostly because I can't manipulate my DSLR with one hand.

Thank you for making this not a completely one-sided discussion :D

This is one of my main beefs with taking pictures while driving. I need both hands to have a hope of getting a good shot from my phone camera. I do have an actual camera, which comments in this thread have prompted me to dig up, with the intention of using it (or at least attempting to use it) one-handed on my commute tommorrow.
The other issue is the length of the process required to upload pictures from a camera (vs a phone) to the forum.



But of course, road photography is only a subset of the larger discussion, so let it continue  :)
Anyone else have the problem of planning, predicting, and analyzing traffic flow excessively while driving?
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2018, 10:15:51 PM »

I prefer to be a passenger, mostly because I can't manipulate my DSLR with one hand.

Thank you for making this not a completely one-sided discussion :D

This is one of my main beefs with taking pictures while driving. I need both hands to have a hope of getting a good shot from my phone camera. I do have an actual camera, which comments in this thread have prompted me to dig up, with the intention of using it (or at least attempting to use it) one-handed on my commute tommorrow.
The other issue is the length of the process required to upload pictures from a camera (vs a phone) to the forum.



But of course, road photography is only a subset of the larger discussion, so let it continue  :)
Anyone else have the problem of planning, predicting, and analyzing traffic flow excessively while driving?

There are methods to get around photos with a camera phone while driving.  I'm hesitant to give advice but one that is fairly big is getting a flat dark cloth of some kind to minimize windshield glare.  Also, never travel in the direction of the sun if you intend to take a highway album while moving unless you want to reach your hands out the window or pull over at every sign you want. 

MNHighwayMan

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2018, 10:41:56 PM »

When I take pictures while driving (not often), I rest my phone on top of the steering wheel, holding both the phone and the wheel together. Never really had any issues with blur or noise doing that. Getting the timing down, so the picture is not too close or too far, is definitely something that requires a little practice, though. For the pictures I post here, I also straighten them and correct the perspective before uploading them to eliminate stilted or leaning perspectives that make the subject (usually a sign) look funky/off-kilter/just straight-up bad.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 10:44:53 PM by MNHighwayMan »
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Beltway

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2018, 11:18:31 PM »

On a road trip, which do you prefer, to drive, or to be a passenger?

Given how rarely I get to be a passenger, I take it whenever I can and enjoy it!
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hbelkins

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2018, 10:56:17 AM »

Until phone cameras get optical zoom lenses and more control over the exposure other than digital manipulation, they'll never be as good as standalone cameras.
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Beltway

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2018, 11:01:54 AM »

Until phone cameras get optical zoom lenses and more control over the exposure other than digital manipulation, they'll never be as good as standalone cameras.

Modern digital point-and-shoot cameras are inexpensive and take very good photos and include a zoom lens, and they are a lot less expensive than an SLR.
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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2018, 11:04:35 AM »

Until phone cameras get optical zoom lenses and more control over the exposure other than digital manipulation, they'll never be as good as standalone cameras.

There are a variety of quality apps that allow full exposure control of a phone camera to the level of a DSLR shooting experience.  You can even get raw output from most phone cameras, something that not many point and shoots allow.
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Buck87

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #35 on: March 05, 2018, 11:21:20 AM »

Driver. Gotta be in control
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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2018, 03:05:55 PM »

I prefer to be a passenger, mostly because I can't manipulate my DSLR with one hand.

I've gotten better as a driver; it took me a year or two. Getting out of the habit of Aperture Priority to Shutter Priority, and only trusting Manual Mode with a 50mm prime lens was a habit. Definitely at least 1/500s and f/5.6 (f/4.5-5.0 is pushing it) for ISO 100-200 in ideal lighting, any wider when moving is likely to be blurry when moving. If the subject is far enough away, you can always go down to 1/250 or even 1/100 for things like city skylines when travelling in a straight line.

If your lens and/or camera body is heavy, it's not so easy...one perk to the lower-end models is that they're lighter. Drawback to one-handed shooting is that I have to tilt/rotate about 90% of my images. And while driving on a curvy road with a stick shift, the camera pretty much has to go back in its bag.

I've found it clumsy to use a phone's camera, even when a passenger. I used to have an HTC Evo 3D, which had a camera button about where you'd want to place it on a point-and-shoot, where you didn't need to be three-handed to operate it without fear of dropping it. But the photo quality, image compression, white balance, and color gamut was weak, compared to phones just 2 years later. I like my DSLR, but I have to admit the iPhone 6 no longer a terrible substitute in good lighting for still subjects.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 03:10:30 PM by formulanone »
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kkt

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2018, 03:55:54 PM »

I enjoy driving, especially if conditions are good.  But I also enjoy looking at scenery.  Put me down as easy to please, I guess.  Just get off the interstate when we can.  :)
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adventurernumber1

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2018, 04:06:42 PM »

I am now unable to drive due to a very large range of factors (including being on a very sedating medication), but I was driving with a permit a few years ago (in 2014 and 2015).

I can say that I prefer being the passenger in the car. I don't have to worry about the stress of avoiding an accident or a ticket, which would drive me crazy, especially since I have severe anxiety problems. I am also very easily able to take road photos and road videos - and I am able to freely look at my road atlas (on paper) or Google Maps (on my phone) at any point in time. Heck, when in the car on roads around town (that I've been on many times) at night, I've even browsed and posted on this forum before. I can put CDs into the CD player, and I can easily adjust the air conditioning, and more. And if the fatigue proves to be too much, I have the ability to sleep. As a passenger, I can focus more on the roads themselves, and I am less chained to the stress of coordinating my vehicular actions perfectly with all other traffic. Driving, back when I could do it, was very stressful and nerve-wracking for me, but as a passenger, I can really enjoy and truly take in the roads, with no distractions.
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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2018, 08:07:40 PM »

I prefer to be a passenger, mostly because I can't manipulate my DSLR with one hand. However, I have gotten better with taking photos using my phone (a Pixel 2 XL) behind the wheel:


Also, please do tell where that road picture was taken - that looks like a nice stretch of road.  :nod:  :camera:
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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2018, 08:23:05 PM »

Just to throw further support behind the iPhone camera.  I shot this tonight on my way home from work.  Some of the fine detail has been smudged out through in-camera sharpening and noise reduction, but it's a pretty sharp image, particularly since it was overcast about a half an hour before sundown.  A point and shoot camera isn't going to be able to do too much better than this.


http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/Ontroads/IPhone/IMG_1722_edited.jpg
I did edit this image in Photoshop.  The straight out of camera image can be found here:

http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/Ontroads/IPhone/IMG_1722.JPG
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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2018, 08:50:24 PM »

I prefer to be a passenger, mostly because I can't manipulate my DSLR with one hand. However, I have gotten better with taking photos using my phone (a Pixel 2 XL) behind the wheel:


Also, please do tell where that road picture was taken - that looks like a nice stretch of road.  :nod:  :camera:

Based on what's on the green sign in the background, it's on US 52 in Winston-Salem, NC. Interestingly, the exits/mileposts are numbered north-south, despite US 52's east-west number.
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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2018, 08:57:34 PM »

I prefer to be a passenger, mostly because I can't manipulate my DSLR with one hand. However, I have gotten better with taking photos using my phone (a Pixel 2 XL) behind the wheel:


Also, please do tell where that road picture was taken - that looks like a nice stretch of road.  :nod:  :camera:

Based on what's on the green sign in the background, it's on US 52 in Winston-Salem, NC.

Thanks! Even when I zoomed in on the picture, the green sign was still too blurry for me personally to sufficiently read, but maybe my eyesight is not as great.  :-D

Even still, I am surprised I didn't just recognize the stretch of road, because I've actually been on US 52 (as well as other roads) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (back in June 2013), but I guess I just forgot what it visually looked like (even though I find it to be a cool stretch of road).  :-D
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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #43 on: March 05, 2018, 08:58:57 PM »

Based on what's on the green sign in the background, it's on US 52 in Winston-Salem, NC. Interestingly, the exits/mileposts are numbered north-south, despite US 52's east-west number.

The same is true of US-52 in Minnesota, as well (although not all of the exits have gotten exit numbers yet). It even uses North/South directional banners.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 09:03:48 PM by MNHighwayMan »
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hbelkins

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2018, 02:12:49 PM »

US 52 is signed north-south in North Carolina (and Virginia and West Virginia and Iowa and Minnesota, that I know of.) It's signed east-west in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. From what I've been able to tell, South Carolina is inconsistent and signs it both ways, depending on where you are.
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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #45 on: March 09, 2018, 05:53:10 PM »

For the most part, I prefer driving over being a passenger.  Especially as I've been known to loudly blurt out sudden reactions to things I see (in Massachusetts, such reactions are often for work-related reasons as opposed to just being a roadgeek)- I'd rather be a driver and have my passenger get into a sudden panic over my reactions than the other way around.
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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #46 on: March 10, 2018, 01:09:35 PM »

....

+1 to 1995hoo, though my wife's problem isn't lane changes. Her problem is that she likes to get so close to the car in front that I can read that car's gauges. I keep stomping on an imaginary brake pedal the entire time.

Another one I realized last night: My wife—like me—is required to wear corrective lenses while driving (we both have the restriction on our licenses). She doesn't like to wear her glasses. Bothers the crap out of me if she drives without them. Yesterday, due to a variety of circumstances, my car was at the subway station and she wound up having to go get her car during the day, so we drove home and forgot about my car until I went into the garage for something. So she drove me to retrieve it and didn't wear her glasses and wouldn't put them on when I asked. Really bothers me because if you have that restriction, it means you failed the DMV vision test. I get that she knows where she's going and such. I do too. But if I don't wear my glasses, my distance vision suffers and I'd worry about not noticing something in the road and the like. I guess she doesn't share that worry.
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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #47 on: March 22, 2018, 10:57:14 PM »

Driver. See my Maryland-Ohio trip in December 2016.
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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #48 on: March 23, 2018, 09:45:22 AM »

Driver.  More control.  If I know something cool is coming up, I can slow down a bit to better my chances of a photo; otherwise I'm at the mercy of someone else's speed.

The only thing is that when I'm driving with my wife in the car, she HATES it when I take photos while driving.  She says it's too much of a distraction.  I've told her that I don't focus too much on the viewfinder and to some extent, it's "Point, shoot, and hope for the best."

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #49 on: March 28, 2018, 11:42:25 AM »

To answer the question in the OP:  I prefer to drive.  I can use the cruise control to maintain a steady speed, I can brace myself against the steering column when taking turns at speed, and I generally find my preferred following distance at most speeds is greater than most other people's.  And perhaps most important of all, I just like to drive.

I don't use cameras when I am driving.  It ruins my enjoyment of the experience, it is a distraction, and it increases accident risk to a level I find unacceptable.  I accept others' point that practice and appropriate choice of gear mitigate these disadvantages, but even so I have no personal interest in going down that road.  I generally document interesting and unusual sign messages by committing them to memory and then looking them up using StreetView.  From time to time I toy with the idea of getting a camera rig to create a permanent record of leisure drives, but I don't think there is anything currently on the market or capable of being assembled from off-the-shelf components that meets my preferences as to capability, image quality, data storage footprint, and electrical load on the car's starting and charging system.
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