Recently I had the urge to take a day trip along the lakeshore. I didn’t want to take all my gear with me. So instead, I grabbed my Tamron 28-200mm lens and Sony a7 IV and went out to capture some great scenes.

The Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 was one of my first lens purchases when I switched to Sony E-mount. It gave me the versatility to use it for almost any use case and provided fast autofocus and great optics. I knew I could come away with photographs I’d be pleased with.

Preparing for your day trip journey

There are two major elements that go into a day trip. First, you have to know where you’re going. Look at not only the towns you’ll be visiting but also any specific locations you want to photograph. Have somewhat of an idea of what to expect, by looking at photos on Google Maps, Yelp and photo sharing sites like Flickr. During my day trip, I ventured out to Holland, MI, then ventured south to St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, before ending in Saugatuck.

But two, you also need to know what gear to take. Because I wanted to travel light, I put my camera and 28-200mm lens in a HEX sling bag, and then also packed in some filters, lens cloth and extra batteries. Having a versatile lens like the Tamron 28-200mm meant I didn’t have to fuss with changing lenses or overloading my bag.

Be willing to make changes

Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you should follow it to a T. Let it guide you. But, ultimately be prepared and willing to make changes if you see something that catches your eye. Spending 30 extra minutes at an amazing location might mean cutting a trip to the next town short, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

When I first set about with my friend, our plan was to hit the Holland tulip fields last, on the way home. We realized that it’d be less busy, and probably better light, than in the middle of the morning. And we’re so glad we switched things up!

Working the scene

Because the 28-200mm provided me with quite a wide focal range, I was able to capture some significantly different-looking photographs by just zooming in (or out). For example, take the water shots below. While I started wide and captured some long exposures, I ultimately zoomed in all the way to 200mm for some wave detail shots.

Both photos are entirely different, providing different views and looks to the location. And yet, they were photographed from exactly the same spot!

At the same time, when you get to a location and you have one shot in mind … don’t let that stop you from finding other things that are interesting. Take the below shots as an example. We stumbled upon an orange bike next to the tulip fields in Holland, and I shot through its spokes for an abstract view. Then, in Benton Harbor, we found this broken window, which made for a really cool reflection view.

Ultimately, enjoy your one-day vacation!

For my first day trip in quite a while, I got to explore a few towns I hadn’t been to in quite some time. Sometimes it’s fun to be a tourist, and it was great to get back out.