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Packing the right gear for your all-American road trip is key to snapping Insta-worthy selfies along the way. Don"t get caught with a dead phone battery or blurry pics that don"t do Route 66 justice. Be prepared for every selfie opportunity with this checklist of must-have items.
First up is a portable charger. Your phone"s battery life will drain fast while using the camera, maps and social media apps. Bring a high-capacity external battery pack to juice up your device when outlets are scarce. Consider a solar-powered charger that harnesses the sun"s energy. Popular options from Anker, Mophie and RAVPower keep you powered up on the go.
Next is a mini tripod or selfie stick with Bluetooth shutter control. Asking strangers to take your photo doesn"t always get great results. With a tripod and wireless remote, you can frame the perfect solo or group shot. Flexible options from GorillaPod, SelfieWorld and Xenvo allow you to mount your phone anywhere. Look for a lightweight, compact tripod that packs easily.
Don"t overlook phone accessories like clip-on lenses and ring lights. Add-on lenses like those from Moment let you switch between wide-angle and macro. This opens up creative possibilities for your portraits and landscape shots. Ring lights illuminate you evenly for flawless selfies, even in low-light. Try options from GVM, Sensyne or Emart.
Backup your photos with a wireless drive like SanDisk Connect or Leef. As your camera roll fills up, offload pics so you keep shooting. Some drives have SD card slots to quickly transfer your DSLR shots too. Alternatively, sync your phone pics to the cloud with apps like Google Photos.
Clean your lens before each stop with a microfiber cloth or wet wipes. Smudges from your fingers quickly build up and make photos look fuzzy. Lens cleaner kits also help remove stubborn dirt and dust.
Finally, bring extra batteries and memory cards for your main camera. A DSLR will take sharper pictures than your phone, so carry multiple charged batteries and high-capacity SD cards. Can"t fit your big camera? Bring a compact point-and-shoot as a lighter backup option.
Posing with the kitschy, colorful signs along Route 66 is a must for any road tripper. Retro motels, diners, gas stations and more are happy to let you snap selfies and group shots in front of their iconic signs. These nostalgic neon and mid-century markers make for fun photographic mementos of your drive. Play around with poses, perspectives and compositions to make the most of the photo op.
Get right up close to the sign and hold it over your head or next to your face. This emphasizes you and your expression while highlighting the cool retro branding. Change up your stance to sitting, jumping or leaning on a pole. Capture the long shot of you dwarfed by the massive signage too. Shoot from different angles like straight-on, from below, or side profile.
Frame the sign artfully and ensure it is fully visible, not cut off. Watch your background so the focus stays on you and the marquee. Shoot at magic hour when the golden light makes neon glow. Try a slow shutter speed to get light beams and bokeh.
Pose with vintage cars parked out front or patrons in 1950s fashion for added nostalgia. Perch sunglasses on your head, snap suspenders or tie a bandana on for a themed look. Group shots are extra fun"coordinate poses with friends or improvise humorous interactions.
Get creative with formation, levels and movement. Mimic the font or shapes for inventive one-of-a-kind images. Include your ride in the shot. Capture candids of your travel buddies genuinely enjoying the moment.
Famous retro sign photo ops along the route include the Munger Moss Motel, Cadillac Ranch, Blue Swallow Motel, Wigwam Motel and Continental Divide. But don"t drive by lesser-known gems"stop at every colorful, aged, weathered sign. Local joints will appreciate you highlighting their history.
Apps like Photoshop Mix, Snapseed, and VSCO help you edit images to emphasize neon colors, add vintage filters and fix lighting imbalances. Overexposed signs or harsh midday shadows are easily tweaked. Crop tightly around you and the marquee. Add text like the route mile marker or location.
Post your best snaps on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Tag the location so others can check it out. Share a series in an album or highlights reel set to retro tunes. Caption the memories with a quote from a nostalgic song.
The wacky roadside attractions along Route 66 are endless photo ops just begging for your creative spirit. Giant statues of Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox, the Gemini Giant spaceman, and the Blue Whale of Catoosa offer oversized fun. Jolly Green Giants and happy A&W Root Beer mascots let you channel your inner influencer for humor and whimsy. Play with scale and perspective"pose as if you"re propping up the tilt of Pisa or bench pressing a giant statue.
Channel your inner child and actually climb on art installations, big critters and playgrounds. Mimic the look on the Jolly Green Giant"s face or make the Easter Island head"s expression. Act out silly scenes like getting squashed by the giant"s foot or waterskiing behind the whale. Use forced perspective to look tiny next to the enormous art. Pose like you"re fixing the spaceship or feeding the big blue mammal. Suspend your disbelief and engage with the moment.
Landscape shots capture the oddball roadside giants in context. Perch on the Muffler Man"s shoulder or dangle your feet off the Big Texan cowboy"s arm. Frame both yourself and the larger-than-life oddity from afar to emphasize the sheer scale. Play with bokeh by shooting through fence cutouts or foreground objects to artistically highlight you in focus against the epic installation.
Selfie sticks help you photographically merge with mermaids, jackalopes and more fantastical beasts. Get eye to eye with a giant critter as if you"re Dr. Dolittle. Reach high or lie down low to align properly with whimsical sculptures. Enhance the 3D effect by selecting a shallow depth of field. Add bokeh sparkle filters for a magical vibe.
Use lighting to amplify the mood of your chosen roadside attraction. Shoot at golden hour for warmth or blue hour for mysterious tones. Stage night shots illuminated under a full moon or neon marquee. Add streaks of headlights or glowing carnival rides with long exposure. Pick cloudy days to avoid harsh shadows"a giant looming in flat light can be extra eerie. Learn lighting techniques like bracketing and HDR.
Part of the fun is documenting the journey to offbeat attractions like the Enchanted Highway"s scrap metal sculptures leading up to Salem Sue cow. Capture you and your roadtrippers pointing excitedly to quirky sights along the route. Pull over for impromptu dance parties and silly poses in front of anything humorous. The more color and artistry, the better.
Your set of wheels on a Route 66 road trip is a memorable part of the journey. Capture glamour shots with your ride at iconic attractions to memorialize your unique vehicle"s contribution.
Showcase your sweet ride whether it"s a classic hot rod, Harley hog, VW camper or whatever fuels your wanderlust. Park at an angle to feature the curves and angles of your specialized transport. Get low angles from the front grille or high shots overlooking the roof. Play with leading lines that draw the eye along shiny chrome and colorful paint.
Pop the hood at stops to highlight engine details. Get artsy cutaway views showing you leaning on the open engine bay. Find visually interesting locations like a retro garage, next to an old pump, or framed by the open trunk. Shoot from inside the car for intimate views of worn leather seats and vintage gauges.
Make sure your license plate is included to personalize the vehicle, unless anonymity is preferred. Add custom mods, stickers and van art to showcase personality. Coordinate your outfit and props to the style and color of your ride. Pack a tire brush, car wash kit and wax to keep it picture-perfect.
Park at roadside attractions and frame your transport creatively. Align with the lines of buildings, trees or statues. Juxtapose against giant art like Cadillac Ranch. Contrast modern and retro styles. Use leading lines to direct the eye. Mind your backgrounds so the focus stays on your sweet ride.
Moving vehicle shots require a second driver or cruise control. Don"t compromise safety just for cool open road images. Capture candid moments of passengers singing along or laughing together. Shoot out the window framing the never-ending road ahead. Play with motion blur of whizzing scenery.
Pro tips: Bracket exposure for high contrast situations like dark tunnels. Pack variable ND filters to allow artsy motion effects even in sunlight. Use a beanbag or window clamps to stabilize your shots. Capture the magic hours of golden sunrise or sunset lighting up the landscape.
Selfies give the classic "feet on the dashboard at sunset" shot. Or stretch your arm out the window holding your camera backwards. Vantage points from the hood or roof make you part of the scenery. Just take proper safety precautions at higher elevations.
At hotels, frame your rig with neon signs and Route 66 iconography. Capture candid moments of your roadtrip gang hanging out by the car, maybe enjoying a picnic dinner. The vehicle tells the story of your shared adventure.
After your epic road trip down Route 66, you'll likely have hundreds if not thousands of photos to sort through. Editing your pics takes them from so-so snapshots to social media stunners. A few easy edits make a world of difference in turning lackluster images into artsy keepers. The right apps help you quickly adjust lighting, colors and details to make your photos pop.
Start by culling out the bad pics so you only edit the best shots. Check sharpness, exposure, and composition to weed out any unusable images. Ten percent of your photos will likely be standouts, so pare down to these hero images.
Next, adjust brightness, contrast, shadows and highlights as needed. Snapseed, Adobe Lightroom and VSCO offer one-touch tools to instantly fix lighting issues. Use the whites, blacks and curves sliders to open up shadows or tone down blown-out skies. Pop color with saturation and vibrance controls. Play with color temperature to fix any blue or yellow color casts from mixing light sources.
Apply effects to create a cohesive vibe for your images. Go for a warm vintage feel with film filters or faded matte look. Add drama with dark moody tones and crushed shadows. Mimic your favorite influencer's style with preset packs. Don't go overboard though"subtle filters look more realistic. Fade them to 30-50% opacity.
Selectively edit parts of your image with the brush and radial tools. For example, darken just the sky or brighten only your subject's face. Sharpen eyes for an instant mini facelift. Soften hair, skin or backgrounds using the blur tools. Take acne, oil shine or temporary blemishes away with a tap.
Fix skewed perspectives using the transform tools. Remove distracting objects that take away from the focal point. Clone over trash, signs or anything unwanted. Crop tightly around the subject to cut out clutter.
Finally, add finishing touches to polish your photos. Vignette the edges, add film grain for texture, tweak white balance, play with textures and overlays. Subtle touches can make a big difference. Don't go overboard on anything that looks obviously edited. Aim for enhancing reality, not transforming it completely.
Throughout editing, zoom in to check fine details and colors. View at full size on a monitor, not just your mobile screen. Take breaks to give your eyes a rest. Revisit images another day with fresh perspective. Ask for honest feedback from travel companions.
Sharing your epic Route 66 adventure on Instagram is the modern equivalent of the classic road trip tradition of mailing postcards along the way. Uploading your best photos lets you instantly connect with friends, family and fellow travelers worldwide. Instagram makes it easy to craft captivating visual stories that showcase your trip highlights in real time.
Curating your Instagram grid and stories thoughtfully while on the open road takes a bit of effort. But the payoff of engaging your followers in the journey makes it worthwhile. Approach Instagram like an old-school scrapbook documenting your experience. Find the narrative that ties together your photos through locations, themes or experiences.
Many roadtrippers choose an overarching hashtag like #Route66RoadTrip to unify their stream. Numbering posts in order like Day 1, Day 2, etc. pieces the adventure together for your audience. Geo-tagging each spot also helps followers track your drive west and discover waypoints worth a stop.
Mix still landscape shots with action set in iconic locales to capture both destination and experience. Show your followers the retro neon signs, roadside oddities and stunning desert vistas that make Route 66 special. Also give them a peek into the silly road games, singalongs and new friendships that breathe life into your images.
Leverage Instagram stories to supplement your grid with quick behind-the-scenes moments. These disappear after 24 hours, so share as you go without overthinking. Stories bring spontaneity that reflects the impromptu nature of road tripping. They feel intimate, taking followers along for the ride in real time versus polished highlights.
Many travelers instant message their inner circle via IG when cell service is spotty. Close friends and family may appreciate quick check-ins that you"re not stranded in the desert, while dormant acquaintances may prefer curated retrospective shares. Know your audience.
A common roadblock is lack of time for editing on the go. Try batch-editing a day's photos during downtime like at the hotel or campsite. Quickly apply your preferred filters and presets in bulk. Jot down captions collectively inspired by the day's adventures while memories are fresh.
Pro tip: Schedule posts in advance when you have service so your feed populates automatically when off the grid. Use planning apps like Preview or Later to space out shares over coming days and weeks. This prevents clogging followers" feeds all at once.
With apps like RoadTripper66, find Instagram hot spots along your route to plan potential picture-perfect stops. Other travelers who hashtagged their images there give you an idea of vantage points. Broader hashtags like #Route66 also showcase the most iconic and popular photo ops.
Not every amazing attraction warrants a social post. Remember to be present and make memories without viewing the trip just through your camera lens. Photography fatigue is real"give yourself permission to simply soak up the experiences at times.
The open road beckons, offering stunning vistas and endless possibilities for adventure. But road tripping comes with inherent risks that require caution, especially when attempting ambitious selfies. DON"T let the perfect shot come at the price of safety. Planning ahead and making smart choices allows you to minimize hazards while still capturing share-worthy memories.
First assess conditions before attempting precarious selfies next to cliffs, canyons or balancing on guardrails. Loose gravel, gusty winds and uneven terrain can quickly turn an innocent pose into a traumatic tumble. SCOUT locations in daylight and sober. If a perch requires risky acrobatics, have a friend photoshop you in later. NO image merits bodily harm.
When posing with wildlife, maintain a safe distance and NEVER interact or feed. Bison may charge, snakes bite, and bears attack if feeling threatened. Be alert for signs like hissing and raised fur that signal you"re too close. TEASE the shot from afar with a zoom lens versus compromising your well-being.
If you must stop on the shoulder, turn on flashers, exit cautiously, and DOUBLE check for oncoming vehicles. Wear reflective gear at night and place road flares. NEVER assume drivers see you.
When hiking to remote areas, carry a GPS locator or satellite messenger like SPOT. Tell someone your detailed plans and check in routinely. Fully charge devices and pack backup powerbanks in case you get stranded overnight. WEAR appropriate footwear, watch your step, and know your limits. Don"t let ego push you into dangerous terrain.
Around water, know your swimming abilities, read warning signs, and beware of slippery surfaces. Avoid ledges that require diving and stay away from turbulent rapids or waves. Currents are stronger than they appear.
During storms, take shelter immediately. Lightning can strike even 10 miles away from rainfall. Avoid hilltops, isolated trees, or open fields. Be prepared to postpone that epic thunderstorm shot until safe conditions return.
The rise of social media influencers provides a wealth of knowledge for ordinary travelers looking to up their selfie game on the open road. These pros make picture-taking look easy, but it takes skill, preparation and insider know-how to consistently capture eyecatching images.
Landscape photographer Chris Burkard relies on off-camera flash to illuminate shadowy highway tunnels or under-lit signs at night. By lighting himself separately from the background, he stands out strikingly. Off-camera flash creates dimension and directional light for dramatic effect. For group road trip shots, Chris sets up multiple flashes in strategic positions, taking test shots to balance exposure.
Fashion blogger Danielle Bernstein scouts photo locations the day before at golden and blue hour to plan optimal timing. She returns the next day during ideal lighting conditions to shoot influencer-style outfit pics and detail shots highlighting textures. Planning ahead for flattering light helps Danielle flawlessly integrate clothing brands into travel content.
Jetset influencer Murad Osmann of #FollowMeTo fame brings a collapsible reflector to bounce light onto his face for well-lit selfies. Whether shooting in shade, indoors or on overcast days, the reflector brightens facial shadows caused by harsh overhead light. Soft, even lighting is key for professional results.
Nomadic creative Peter McKinnon mounts his camera on the hood of his van to capture artsy motion shots gliding down the road. A retractable armor cable secures his DSLR while a remote app controls shooting. This rig allows moving time-lapses and smooth panning footage of roadside landscapes without dangerous distraction.
Photographer Chris Burkard often frames himself small in the scene to portray expansive environments dwarfing his 6"3" size. But lifestyle blogger Danielle Bernstein gets close to camera using wider focal lengths to highlight relatable details like makeup and styling. Framing relative to your niche helps reinforce your personal brand.
Travel couple Jack Morris and Lauren Bullen time road trips to optimize lighting schedules. For desert sunrises, they research shoot locations proximal to lodging that align with dawn's early light. Meticulous planning prevents disappointing misfires when magical lighting moments are fleeting.