I belong to a local camera club and also an online photo competition/gallery website. I’ve been members of both for about a year now and have worked hard to rise up in the ranks so to speak. I have friends from the camera club ask for advice and suggestions about photos they’ve taken. While I’ve enjoyed viewing their work, there has been a couple of times when I’ve been show images they’ve taken when in a moving vehicle. The images are often blurred and aspects are distorted. I’ve taken a couple of pictures from a moving vehicle a couple of times and I’ve have good results, but I’ve always been able to control my environment.
Even though I’ve had good results, I would not suggest trying to take pictures from a moving vehicle whether car, train or bus. I got lucky. When traveling, the best thing to do is to stop and grab your shot and then continuing on your way. In fact a lot of books written by professional photographers suggest carrying your camera with you at all times just for those instances that you come across a scene that screams out to be photographed. Now with cell phones, it’s even easier since the camera is a multi-function device. However, I’m not sure these professional photographer authors intended for images to be shot while it’s moving. Now I understand that stopping a vehicle may not be possible epecially when traveling by public transportation. I don’t think the bus drivers or train conductors would be too accomendating with these type of request. So my best advice is not to take the shot unless your an experience photographer. While this may seem insulting for someone starting out, it isn’t meant in a negative way. Experienced photographers are familar with their equipment and/or apps to accomendate for the motion where as a novice would be shooting blindly into the dark and may just lucky with their results or discouraged by them. However if my advice hasn’t discouraged your from trying your hand at photographing while in a moving vehicle, here are some tips for getting the best results.
If you take a picture out of the side window of a fast moving car or high speed train, the result will be as blurred as if you were standing still while a car or train was passing you by. What matters is the speed of the two objects relative to each other.
When you shoot out of the train or car, the closest objects will be blurred most, the ones in the distance will be blurred the least.
How do you cope with this? Simply increase your shutter speed, as you would do to freeze the movement of a fast moving subject. A photo taken at 1/1000 s will be much less blurred than one taken at 1/60 s.
Usually, it’s best to set your camera to time or aperture automatic so you do not have to fiddle with the settings for each photo.
This will lock in either a certain fixed exposure time, or a wide open aperture, providing the fastest exposure times possible with this lens opening.
The drawback is that this reduces depth of field, but when shooting from a car or train, you usually are dealing with infinite distances anyway.
It’s a good idea to set your camera to manual focus at an infinite distance.