Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Next month, John and I are going to do another of our delightful just-get-into-the-car-and-drive-for-mind-and-butt-numbing-distance trips. 

I love these vacations. Just love 'em. 

Although we do have a mid-trip destination point, what we see and do going to and from there is entirely up to us and our whims. Lulu won't be joining us. She is going to visit her friend Skippy across the street, so she'll be happy and well cared for. We'll throw some junk into the car, charge my camera batteries, put some bottles of water into a cooler, and off we'll go. It goes without saying that a 2014 road atlas, a Garmin, and Google maps loaded on our phones will go with us as well. 

How DID people travel without smart phones back in the day? We do have a tentative route planned that includes a stopping point in Glacier National Park (Yessssssss!) with some hotel reservations made; but as is our history on these types of outings, more often than not we change our mind about just about everything. A few calls later, our reservations cancelled, new ones booked, and bam. On our way. If I have a low energy day, we can modify our plans. If I have a really good day, we can accommodate that too. 

Which brings me to one of my favorite parts of a vacation: planning and shopping. 

Yes. I'll let John handle the heavy lifting on the planning duties, but then I get to shop for items that would be required for our destination. For example. I'm finding it harder and harder to keep my grip steady when taking pictures. My shaking could be due to prednisone, caffeine, or my albuterol inhaler, but for whatever reason even with the image stabilization feature turned on, lots of my pictures just aren't in focus. And now that I've had my cataracts fixed, I can TELL that they're not focused. 

Woo hoo.

Since we plan on stopping by Glacier National Park, the photo ops will be unbelievable, and I want to grab as many great pictures as I can. So with the hopes of minimizing my tremor-induced crummy pics, I decided to investigate using a monopod for my camera kind of like this one:

We have a tripod, but it's bulky and time consuming to set up. I know that even though it would be sitting in the car, I'd not use it just because it would be cumbersome. And then the grizzly bear would be long gone by the time I'd have it set up. "Oh, come back Mr. Bear! Julia wants your picture, pretty please?!" Mmm Hmmm. 

Some photography sites have recommended buying a monopod that can be used as a walking stick and folds up small enough to fit in a backpack. I'm thinking buying one of those may be a good idea. 

I've also read that they're great for taking selfies. Like this one, found here

Maybe JOHN can take a selfie, but I avoid putting myself into any camera frame regardless of who is taking pics, so I'm thinking I'll pass on this particular model. 

Anyone have some photo taking tips for shutterbugs with the shakes? 

1 comment:

Kate S said...

Another option is a tripod that is flexible. The brand that I'm familiar with is called Gorilla pod - search for it on amazon, or where ever.

It has three flexible legs, which allow you to wrap it around things, such as a sign post, small tree, etc, as well as put it on objects. One of several models here.

My daughter used this while traveling overseas, and found it light and useful.

Plus, given your tendency to anthropomorphize things, I'm sure you could find a good name for it - after all it's already named after a gorilla!