Sunday, April 12, 2009

Drive-By Shooting

“Sometimes, when you are a man, you like to wear stretchy pants in your room, just for fun.”
-Nacho Libre

Sometimes, when you are a tourist, you like to take photographs out the window of a speeding car, just for fun.

The risk, of course, is that you’ll get photos like this:
This is a photo of the Washington Monument. Really. Trust me. Can’t see the Washington Monument? That’s only because it happens to be behind that street post just then.

Here’s another shot of the Washington Monument I was able to take a few seconds earlier:

Similarly, here’s one of my shots of the Jefferson Memorial:

And the shot I was able to get a second later:

All the folks on the steps were gathered there to enjoy the free entertainment that is part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Here’s one more drive-by shot that shows some of the beautiful blooms:

One of the disadvantages of taking photographs like this, is that you are setting a bad example for children nearby who would like to borrow your camera so THEY can take a shot out the window TOO. When six-year-old Ada asked if she could borrow the camera while we were on a shuttle bus at the National Cherry Blossom Festival, I agreed, but only if she kept the camera inside the window. Here’s the shot she captured:

She’s did a good job, didn’t she? Especially since I only let her take one photo instead of letting her snap, snap, snap away like I had been doing!

Here’s a little video of the airplanes landing at Reagan National Airport that I was able to capture from the shuttle bus. (By the way, the name of the place is Haines Point, which I said incorrectly in the video).

Sometimes, when I’m taking pictures out the window of a speeding car, I’m not doing it just for fun, but because that is the only way you can capture certain shots.

Like this one of a unique aircraft we saw flying around near NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center as we were returning from Chincoteague Island, Virginia.

The day trip we took to Chincoteague Island gave us several interesting drive-by photo opportunities. At one point, we got lost and found ourselves in a trailer park. I was pretty impressed by how people had started with a simple trailer, and built houses around the trailer as they could. Here’s a shot of one of them:

I was also interested to drive by this house built on the end of a dock.

While we were at the beach at Chincoteague Island, I was able to capture this shot of a surfer there. This is a very hardy surfer, since it was very cold.

(I must admit, this was NOT taken from a moving vehicle like all the others were. Because it was hard to capture, however, that makes it worthy of this blog post, in my humble opinion. It was hard to capture for two reasons: 1. The surfer himself had a hard time catching a wave. 2. I had a hard time catching him catching a wave. So, I got lots of garbage photos out of it, just like I do when I’m drive-by shooting.)

Here’s one more shot of the surfer:

I crossed the border into Virginia several times, and most of the border crossings had a nice “Virginia Welcomes You” sign. On our drive to Chincoteague Island, though, a gas station had a very different type of sign, a confederate flag that said “The South Starts Here”. I didn’t have my camera then, but I was able to get a drive-by shot of it on my way out of Virginia, where it said “The South Ends Here”. I haven’t spent much time in the South and so I don’t know how confederate flags are received there, but in my mind that wasn’t a welcome sign…it seemed more like an un-welcome sign, especially for African Americans.

By the way, I was interested to learn that this area was the birthplace of Harriet Tubman, and was also the location of many of the "stops" on the Underground Railroad that sheltered fleeing slaves just before the Civil War.

But I digress. Back to drive-by photo shooting.

Finally, here are some of the shots I took of the bridge over the Chesapeake Bay as we were driving across it:

I liked being able to capture both cars and boats in a single shot:

I liked the sense of movement in this shot:
I liked the sky in this one:

And this one has an interesting portion of the bridge:

In conclusion, Nacho Libre and I would like to dedicate this post to digital cameras. Without them and their no-cost delete functionality, drive-by shooting wouldn't be nearly as much fun.


Lori said...

Cool post. Gotta love digital cameras!!

Julie Johnson said...

Loved it! Brought back lots of memories...let's do it again soon!