Tuesday, June 16, 2015

5 Recommendations for Travel Photo Blogging

I have been sharing my travel photos for the last 8 years and thought I would give some advice to those who may be newly interested or just getting started. The advice below is not an endorsement of any equipment or apps that I may mention but an example of what works for me. Below, I have recommendations for the camera to choose, photo file management, organizing trip information, and finally photo sharing.

1. Camera

My personal belief is that the camera is only 95 percent of the quality of the picture, the remaining 5% the quality of the camera. The travel photographer should be ready to capture anything quickly and based on that, I recommend a multi-purpose camera one with a lot of zoom and functions to allow you to change type of settings on your camera quickly.  I personally use a Panasonic Lumix FZ200, which is considered a superzoom camera but also has a Leica Lens, making my photos just a bit more crisp. However, there are many of these multi purpose cameras from which to choose.

2. Photo file management

There are two main stages to file management, during and after the trip.  During the trip I use my phone as the main repository of the the photos I take. This helps with the later steps including editing, sharing and permanent storage,as I will explain below. I use a multi memory card reader to transfer the photo files into my phone,although many newer cameras have built-in transfer systems such as Bluetooth or WiFi.

Once the photos are in your phone permanent storage storage is easy using one of the cloud based apps like "Dropbox". Placing the photo files in the phone camera photo directory will allow automatic syncing of the photo files when you return home or when you have access to WiFi. Dropbox then syncs with my computer.  After each trip I move my photo files out of my "camera uploads" folder to a new folder that has the end date of the trip and a few descriptive words about the trip in the folder name. I move my files to a external hard drive and this becomes the single local repository of all my original photo files with all the files synced in the cloud. All accessible from any device on the internet.Dropbox allows you to remove older folders from syncing, so only the recent files (this years photo files) are on my computer.

The recent upgrades to Google Photo+ allows you to search your photos by place and "thing". This seems a great way stimulate ideas for your next blog. I have recently started uploading all my backup photos here to have a more robust look at my photos. Google offers unlimited storage if you allow Google to automatically reduce the file size.

In Summary, my original photos reside on my external hard drive and the cloud, with reduced versions on Google Photo+.

3. Trip information

I use my phone to take quick notes about the places I am visiting. This makes it a lot easier to remember important facts that you may want to blog about after you return from a long trip. There are a lot of note apps available to choose from but I like Google Keep for my travel notes.

4. Photo editing

You will find many photos are not perfect, once you have a close look at them in better light or better screen (like your smartphone). Quick touch ups can be done quickly on your smartphone with "Snapseed", a Google App. I usually try edit my photos that evening after I transferred the photos into my phone. I use the "Quickpic" app to view and review my photos and "Snapseed" works nicely with "Quickpic".

5. Photo sharing

There are many platforms available to share photos and I am not going to address them all but show you with the links below what I use.  Most of my photo postings start with my Thailand Explorer Blog and from there it is about links and followers which is the key to having many viewers. Keep that in mind when you are building your following.  I have included the number of followers of each of the platforms below:

Thailand Explorer Blog
Google plus (885)
Google plus page (1,276)
Flipboard (907)
Facebook Page (7153)
YouTube (61)
Twitter (4,471)
Pinterest (135)

Gaining followers takes time and effort.  As you can see I have had my Facebook page for quite a while.  

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