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Road Trip

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Published Jun 30, 2015 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 33 Contributors

    33 photos selected by

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    I took my child for a trip to south east asia, to very remote places. fare away from iphones ,com...

    #trip #emotions #girl #travel

    Being on the road with little agenda and a camera in the car is my favorite kind of trip. It’s different than being in a car on assignment, with the sole purpose of finding photographs. In the latter, there is an overwhelming sense of dread. “Will I have the right kind of light? Will I find an interesting subject? Will the art director be happy with what I’ve found?”

    On a road trip, I get to decide what’s good. Of course, it’s great when everything works together to get a well-lit, compositionally excellent, and interesting picture. But I also like those stolen snapshots that capture the serendipitous feel of freedom that comes with being on the road. It’s hard being an editor and trying to choose just the right pictures for a story. I have to fight the temptation to chose what the audience would consider great shots. The challenge and the reward for me is making those final choices. In the words of Billy Bragg, one of my favorite songwriters, “ ... you have to learn to take the crunchy with the smooth ... ” He was talking about love, but I trust you understand my meaning.

    Rowena Crest, Oregon

    #columbia #gorge #trip #river #camp #rowena #explore #street #oregon #road #travel #crest

    Editor's Note

    This is a perfect example paying attention to where you are and looking for a definitive view that will sum up a travel experience. I'm getting a little carsick just looking at this picture. Congra... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    There's nothing like a VW bus to become a real gipsy. I took this photo 2 years ago on a Brasil r...

    #brasil #roadtrip #summer #volkswagen #camper #travel

    Despite knowing how underwhelming the world's largest frying pan really is, I kept that from my f...

    #north_carolina #breakfast #road_trip #blackandwhite #eggs #frying_pan #sightseeing #lol

    I asked her for a photo because I thought she looked so natural and organic as the fruits at her ...

    #roadtrip_assignment #french #province

    I took over this truck and had to stop to get a picture of these dogs. It was on a road trip to P...

    #dog #ruta_40 #patagonia #south_america #animal #road #argentina #car

    After a few hours drive, we arrived to Byron glacier outside of Whittier AK, we took the state pa...

    #roadtrip #hiking #alaska #glacier #adventure #travel

    Editor's Note

    A successful picture helps place the viewer in a scene. Here, the photographer's choice of a low camera angle helps deliver that feeling. The photographer is squatting in the stream, at the end of ... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    My youngest after we stopped on a road trip from Phoenix to Yellowstone at a roadside homemade ic...

    #treat #icecream #delicious #eyes #young #black__and_white #girl

    Editor's Note

    Lip-licking stop along the way. We've all had the experience. But to find a spot with such wonder... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    While we were road tripping through South Africa we stopped literally in the middle of nowhere an...

    #landscape #roadtrip #letsexplore #southafrica #farm #explore #lost #travel #car

    I always have the camera with me while I drive. I see, from the car, things that go unobserved wh...

    #landscape #cows #black__and_white_landscape #trip #croatia

    Tinkertown Museum in Sandia Park, NM is one of the best roadside attractions in america and you w...

    #roadtrip_assignment #roadtrip #roadside_attractions #bestsummertrips #travel #tinkertown

    Editor's Note

    This view through an old window takes advantage of the contrasting surfaces. The gray window serves as a great frame for the colorful figurine of Jesus showing through the reflections, giving the f... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    Looking back at the sunset and Golden Gate Bridge through the rear-view mirror. I have a new Niko...

    #bridge #bay_area #san_francisco #anticapatethemoment #travel #golden_gate_bridge

    Editor's Note

    Creative photographers know that reflections can be used effectively to make a picture more inter... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    On a road trip throughout Montana, I stopped at Fort Benton. On Front Street, I noticed an Americ...

    #truck #americana #reflection #stars_and_stripes #fort_benton #montanamoment #flag #montana

    After spending the night in my semi-converted Hyundai waking up with the sun on an amazingly warm...

    #america #roadtrip #washington #quinaltriver #olympicpeninsula #olympicnationalpark #coffee

    Peek-a-boo with echoes from old times at St. Thomas Indian Mission in California. Alma enjoyed la...

    #bw #unconditionaldogs_6 #unconditionaldogs_5 #greatestlandscapes #unconditionaldogs_1 #unconditionaldogs #unconditionaldogs_3 #architecture #unconditionaldogs_7 #unconditionaldogs_2 #places #travel #unconditionaldogs_4

    Editor's Note

    This is why it's important to get an early start. I personally can find it very difficult to get going. But as you can see here, there's nothing like the low-angle directionality of the sun early o... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    This particular road trip started in Solihull (4,600 miles from home). I left after glancing at g...

    #reflectwhatyouare #incaseyoudontknow #incaseyoudontknow_1

    Pretty certain we were uncertain of our bearings, we consult our map during our month of travel t...

    #roadtrip #plot #map #van #lifestyle #newzealand #trajectories #travel #road

    Driving the Sahara Desert in the welcoming country of Algeria, gives you the feeling of being com...

    #sahara #algeria #travel

    Editor's Note

    Once again, a scene so incongruous it just screams to be photographed. I especially like the way... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    During the road trip in Arizona, we stopped at the carwash near Page hoping to clean our very dir...

    #roadtrip_assignment #roadtrip #letsexplore #arizona #adventure #bestsummertrips #navajo

    Editor's Note

    I was happy to read that Tatiana took advantage of an unsuccessful pit stop to meet some new friends. She got a great shot out of it, but I really liked reading in the caption that she was able to ... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    Spring snow flurries marked our meandering journey through Yellowstone's Lamar Valley. As I stepp...

    #landscape #roadtrip #adventure #people #ontheroad #senseofplace #yellowstone #travel

    Editor's Note

    When I first saw this shot I thought our servers had corrupted the image. But then I remembered the mural-covered RVs I have seen out on the highway and realized this was no trick, just a very good... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    Captured this tunnel at the right angle. Looks like a portal to another dimension. Rightfull...

    #tunnel #snow #portal #iceland #road

    Editor's Note

    It must be difficult driving around Iceland on a winter day looking for something interesting to photograph. This is a great job of seeing, noticing something out of the ordinary and then getting i... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    After the rain the sun was coming out from the clouds, the wet ghat road was like mirror, an...

    #black__and_white_nature #tamilnadu #ghat #black__and_white #rain #walk #india #nikon

    Editor's Note

    It's great when a scene comes together like this. I'm guessing that a few minutes before this sho... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    This photo was taken in Barcelona at the Mercat de la Boqueria. I love how the little Lucha Libre...

    #market #libre #barcelona #lucha #graphics #typography #culture #mercatdelaboqueria #beer

    Landscape from the window from a car on a road from Tashkent city to Samarkend city in Uzbekistan

    #field #sky #road #green

    AB

    #cycling

    The picture was taken with a point and shoot camera by Sony while coming from Crozet to Charlotte...

    #night #snow #roadtripassignment #city #wild #storm

    Editor's Note

    I wonder if this isn't all the better for having been shot with a "cheap" camera. The slow shutter speed and confused white balance, where the camera chose to correct the normally yellowish car hea... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    I found him by following the smoke coming from behind the trees on a hillside, expecting to find ...

    #bucolic #bucovina #rural #romania #smoke #charcoal #nature

    I captured this image as a passenger on our Road Trip to Palouse Falls National Park, Washington,...

    #landscape #palouse_washington #road_trip #carwindow #farmland #red_barn #nature

    Rangdum is a tiny hamlet with ten houses, a couple food stalls and some guest houses (all for tra...

    #kids #zanskar

    On a road trip North today, I decided to stop at a place on the highway I have driven past many t...

    #anachronism #dinosaur #laughoutloud #stagecoach #thelogbarn

    We were driving through the mountain of mexico during night. excited by the road trip we haven't...

    #shine #sunrise #letsexplore #road_trip #light #kombi #portrait #bestsummertrips #travel #dawn

    Editor's Note

    What a great way to show the end of a pleasurable experience. There's nothing like driving at nig... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    At a remote gas pump, filling up a Cessna 152.

    #letsexplore #urbantransit #airportscenes #fill_er_up #ngmhealth #gas #152 #cessna

    Editor's Note

    I like how quiet your photo feels Jassen — the single light source wonderfully highlights the shapes and lines in the frame. And by shooting wide, you've visually emphasized that there is nothing e... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Life in the desert happens at night. Staying in a very hot bleached out trailer park in the deser...

    #roadtrip #moonlight #desert #vacations #trailer_life

    Editor's Note

    Once a photographer starts to pay attention to the incredible variety of light throughout the day and night, it's hard to not spend every waking moment thinking about how a scene will be depicted i... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    To get across the feel of being on the road, we needed blurry grab shots out the window, like Armando’s just barely recognizable cows. We needed a simple encounter with a robin that decided to check out the car on a Welsh road trip. We needed miniature lucha libre masks on bottles of beer: Who could have imagined that?

    A couple of shots are a little more posed than I thought I’d like, but when faced with the possibility of not using a shot of the World’s Larges Frying Pan, I couldn’t bring myself to take it out of the mix. Likewise, the kids mugging for the camera in Rangdum, India, at first seemed too camera conscious, but upon further reflection I realized that this shot shows quite a bit about how these kids relate to outsiders coming through their village.

    I had a great time looking through the pictures, joining you on the road. Who would have thought that we would see a Cessna filling up at a remote gas station? This is the kind of surprise that keeps us heading down the road, looking for another picture. Thanks for the ride.

    About the Editor
    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel
    Dan is the director of photography for National Geographic Traveler magazine, is based in Washington, D.C., where he spends his days looking at pictures of some of the most beautiful places in the world. Since picking up a camera in the 8th grade, he has been fascinated with photography and ...

    Photographers Published In the Story