Hack Your Commute for Photography Inspiration

Looking to recapture your photography inspiration? Look no further than your daily commute. It’s easy to hack your commute and create endless photography opportunities and inspiration.

Sunrise silhouette of ducks on a lakePhotos via Boost Your Photography

Find inspiration on your commute

It is unlikely that the daily commute is a highlight of your day. Most of us hardly think about our commutes, other than maybe how much time it takes away from our day. My regular commute involves a few major roads, a brief stint on the highway, and another slog through the stop-and-go traffic of local thoroughfares.

Hardly photographic fodder, you might think. Most days I’m bound to agree with you. But with a little investigation, I found several alternate routes to work that added negligible amounts of time to the length of my commute. By adding just around 10 minutes, I discovered a more meandering route that passes two large parks around one of our lovely local lakes.

Backlit photograph of a purple flowerWhat could you discover in or around your current commute? Think about parks or green spaces. Seek out water, from small lakes or streams to bigger rivers or even oceans. Consider iconic buildings or unique architecture. What draws you to photography and how could you feature that?

Why you should hack your commute

There are so many benefits to using your commute for photography, the first of which is the timing. Early morning and late afternoon lights are some of the most beautiful for photography. The golden hour and blue hour make for incredible photographs and memorable images. Sure, we aspire to wake up early on the weekends and shoot the sunrise, but why not spend some time shooting the sunrise when you already “have” to be up?

Comparison of two photographs of a lake at sunriseMy favorite time of year to alter my commute is during the early fall and late winter, when sunrise neatly coincides with the time I am driving in to work. An early morning sunrise has so much more potential when I am spending 10 minutes out of my car near a lake than sitting in traffic on the highway.

Foggy reflection shot of lake with light trail
A second reason to hack your commute is the burst of inspiration and positive energy it adds to your day. An incredible fog, a lone bird, or a sparkling moment with a flower is often enough to send me riding high into work on a rush of adrenaline and creative energy. Starting my day with photography puts me in a positive mood and gets me ready for my next challenge.

Start small

It does not take much to hack your commute. Think about how you can carve out an extra 10 or 15 minutes from your morning, even just once a week or once a month. I find that forgoing morning email and Facebook browsing while drinking my first coffee gives me more than enough time for a full-fledged photographic morning mission. Maybe you’d prefer to set your alarm those few minutes earlier or plan to arrive at work just a little later than usual.

Log Rolling EquipmentMake a plan for a few places to explore or of some favorite, nearby destinations. Knowing where you want to go makes it easy to respond when a perfect morning arises – those gorgeous, brooding clouds or that hint of deepening fog. You never know what you might discover!

How will you let your commute inspire you?

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