I’m not a fan of photographs from windows- any windows- as a rule, but when you’re in the field you spend so much time in four-by-fours (see Field Visit Bingo) that sometimes, you have no choice.
Shots from car windows tend to be bland and blurry. It’s a rule of thumb in landscape photography that you don’t take a landscape from where you are, but you move into the landscape to take the photo. Very rarely do the elements line up to give you the right composition- and when they do, they’re usually shooting by so fast that if you’re late by a tenth of a second you miss the moment, and if the shutter speed isn’t high enough, they blur right out. It’s rare to get a sharp image- although by shooting more forwards and less sideways, you reduce the movement of the landscape relative to yourself.
For me, the above image, snapped from a speeding Land Cruiser several hours out of Nairobi, isn’t perfect- but it somehow works for all its imperfections. There’s no hiding what it is- a photo taken hanging out of a car window: the location of the cyclists and the little corner of road make that clear. The foreground is blurred, and the cyclists moreso. The rear tyre of the second cyclist has been clipped by the edge of the frame, and there’s even a little lens-flare catching against the low sun.
But I love the elements. It was a gorgeous sunset, and the sky and terrain were both full of drama. The cyclists- one in a football shirt- are typical of the area and tell their own story about place. And I actually think their blur adds something to the image, a sense of moving towards a brighter horizon. For all its quirks, I was pleased with how this shot turned out.