Dissecting the Shot

Since I've gotten quite a few people wanting to know how I took the shot for the Global Photowalk Contest, I thought I would show everyone my original plans for the shoot and how the shot came about. Just like most projects, the shot that I entered in the contest was not the original shot that I had planned on taking. 

Since I had no prior knowledge of the theme for the contest, I had already planned on driving to Smith Rock State Park since I can get just about any kind of shot there. Once the theme "The Road" was announced, it changed my plans drastically. After taking a couple of pictures of the road, I realized I really wanted to implement an element of motion into the photo. A few years ago I took a photo at night from the back seat of a car looking through the front windshield and it turned out nice. My original plan was to try this shot, except during daylight. I didn't really like how it turned out.

After I took a few shots from inside the car, that's when I realized that the best shot would have to be from the outside, after all nobody wants to spend an hour getting rid of the bugs on the windshield in Photoshop. Since I was just about the only person around on the rural highway, I thought, "Why not?". After all I had just listened to an interview with Chase Jarvis where he took an unreleased Nikon camera that they had sent to him for evaluation and strapped it to a helicopter, with great results. Fortune favors the bold, right? So I took my tripod, flipped it upside down and hung the camera outside the window while I was driving. I had the straps for my neck strap attached which I then used to make sure that I wasn't hanging the camera too low to the ground, I could feel them drag the asphalt before I would grind the top of my Canon 5D off. After that it was a matter of finding the rest of the elements which took about 10 minutes of driving around. I had it narrowed down to about a half mile stretch of road and I knew which way I wanted to be travelling. After a few practice shots I got the timing and exposure down fairly well and after reviewing a few shots I realized that I wanted at least a portion of the car in the shot, even though it did need to be washed.

After about 10 shots, the image below is what I ended up with. I found out quickly that going about 35-40 miles per hour in second gear offered the smoothest shot and allowed me just enought time to hit the shutter button, lower the camera and get to speed. If I was a little too slow then the picture was taken when I was shifting and the camera moved slightly because of the change in speed (oh yeah, I forgot to mention that my car is a manual).

I continued to take a few shots on the way back to town but none of them had all the elements that I liked in the one above. 

Thanks everyone for the comments and compliments, I greatly appreciate it. Thank you.