3 Mind-Bending Time-Twisting Road Trip Photo Projects


Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Ahh, road trips. Get out on the open road jamming to your favorite tunes with the wind in your hair, and time stands still.

Seriously, road trips can warp time! And we’ve got a few photo projects to prove it.

Next time you’re gonna hit the road, pack your camera and try one of these time-bending projects.

Read on to learn how to animate your road trip mascot, slow down your road trip buddy and add some magic to what you see out your window.

3 Time-Twisting Road Trip Photo Projects

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Packing List:

beforeMake sure you’ve got everything you need before you get on the road.

  • Your camera (you might even want 2)
  • A tripod and/or
  • Duct tape
  • A travel mascot
  • Extra battery
  • Power converter (so you can charge your extra battery from the cigarette lighter
  • Dry erase markers

We happen to have a camera that has a time lapse setting buried in the menu (sweet!). If yours doesn’t, you can either get an intervalometer or check out the Digital Time Lapse Camera in our shop.

Also keep in mind, if your camera is tied up taking a time lapse you won’t be able to use it for anything else (so bring a spare!)

Animate with Time-Lapse!

The idea behind Time Lapse Photography is to take a series of photos of the same thing over time and smash them together so you can see life move in super-speed.

We wrote out the basics in this awesome tutorial a while back, and now we’re gonna one up ourselves and turn our time lapse into a stop animation!

music by Goddamn Electric Bill

All you gotta do is have something in the frame, in this case Shep the Octopus, move ever so slightly every time you take a picture. Then when you put all the photos together… it’s alive! Isn’t our octopus the cutest?

For this video we took a picture every 30 seconds and had our camera duct taped to all the stuff packed in the back seat, but using a tripod is awesome if you’ve got the space. If you’re gonna film a long trip have an extra battery at the ready and set your camera to take lower quality photos (so the files aren’t too big!)

Cross Country Cartwheel

music by Levi Weaver

You can use time-lapse to speed things up but you can also use your camera to slow things (like your road trip buddy) down.

  • Set your camera to the continuous shutter setting – so when you hold the shutter down it will take continuous pictures until you release it.
  • Hold down the shutter button while your friend cartwheels/crab-walks/hops on one foot/somersaults in front of any landmarks you come across in your trip. (Have them go the same direction in front of each landmark.)
  • Try to keep your camera still (or use a tripod) and have your friend start and end out of the frame
  • Once you’re home use your favorite video software to make a movie, an animated gif or a moving picture of them cartwheeling all the way across your trip!

Leave Your Mark On the Open Road

beforeYour car might not have space age windows (ours sure doesn’t) but don’t let that stop you from interacting with what you’re seeing through your windshield!

Use a dry erase marker to draw on your car window and make the world a little more interesting! Then photograph it of course. Just make sure you use a narrow aperture so that everything is in focus.

Add cows (or a UFO) to a field, sea monsters to a lake, or a Ferris Wheel to a parking lot. You could even have a T-rex scale a building! Let your cabin fever goofiness take control and see what you come up with!

The best part is that your car gets to be in on the fun too! And doesn’t your car deserve that after all the work it’s done to get you here?

Even More Road Side Attractions

  • Try photographing your whole journey through the side-view mirror. “Closer than they appear” means “Wide Angle” in photog speak! You could even make a time lapse video this way!
  • Instead of making videos, turn your time lapse or continuous shutter photos into a flip book!
  • Try taking photos of landmark’s reflections on your car like Ian Press Photography and Wolfgang Wildner did.
  • Need more kicks? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Road Trip Photography
  • Don’t have a road trip planned for a while? Don’t fret, even trips across down will give you enough time behind the wheel to do these projects!
Posted in Inspiration, Photo Projects, Tutorials