Documenting Your Trip

Photographs and Videos

While away on the road it is tempting to want to document everything, but there are times when setting down your camera and enjoying the experience will have its rewards. With the ever-presence of digital cameras it is all too easy to over record one moment as other episodes transpire in your periphery. And at some point, you will need to sift through all of those images. Of course, don’t let this keep you from having a camera ready at all times – you never know when something unusual or exciting will happen before you.

If photography is going to be a big part of your trip, then do some research on your destinations so you can better prepare for the shots that you want. Think about what you want to remember when you are capturing pictures or videos. Whether you are looking at a grand attraction like the Taj Mahal or a little unknown, rundown train stop in the middle of nowhere, quickly capture a basic wide-angle shot, and then move in closer for details that are often lost in the big picture. Sometimes those little details along with shooting from low, high and oblique-angles will lead to more dramatic photos. Many times the most interesting images can develop from just walking down the street.

If visiting famous landmarks, look for plaques that describe their locations. It is smart to take pictures of these or any other plaques that may be of interest. This way you won’t have to write down the information while shooting. Capturing place markers with your photos will help identify where the photos were taken and significantly help you when you are going through and organizing your photos. The other option is to get a GPS tracker to note where you were. This can be really helpful when you are off the beaten path and want to locate where the photo was taken.

When traveling with your camera gear don’t forget to include camera cleaning supplies with your pack. Several companies make small cleaning kits for both your lenses and your sensors. It may be a challenge to find these supplies while on the road, and there is nothing worse than taking the perfect picture only to realize that your sensor or lens is dirty or moist, leading to a ruined image. If you have some dust on your camera’s sensor and you can’t get it cleaned, try to shoot with a larger aperture on your camera. This will make the dust less visible in your pictures.

Try protecting your photo equipment in a pack that is inconspicuous. You might try and travel with a small padded camera bag inside a regular backpack or messenger bag. When carrying a camera bag consider one with compartments that can be locked. Also think about keeping your gear in something that can provide protection from rainy and windy weather.

Traveling light means selecting a small amount of gear to take with you and selecting the gear that will give you the most options. I travel with a pretty big kit, but photography is a big part of my travels.Never underestimate the power of a good compact camera, like the Canon G9, which can be as good as a DSLR, while it takes up very little space yet captures stunning images.

Online Travel Journals/Blogs

Setting up a free travel blog before you go through a service like MyTripJournal.com, or another if you prefer, can simplify the way you communicate with friends and family back home and replace writing general emails to all. Make sure you test out the service on a couple of different computers to ensure you can use the tools while you travel.

When writing about your trip, think about telling your experiences through your emotions. Simply providing information about where you have been and what you have done without the emotion will not do justice to what you have experienced. Plus it’s these precious detailed memories that you will want to remember and laugh about later.

Physical Journals

 

In addition to online travel journals/blogs, never underestimate the value of a good notebook and pen. Go with something that is made well like a Moleskine notebook. You need something that can take the abuse on the road. I always carry one to jot down notes and thoughts. It is also a good place to keep all your thin keepsakes, small papers and contacts from fellow travelers that you will want to keep for the future. I usually keep strips of scotch tape in the back of mine, and when I get back to where I’m staying, I tape little mementos in the notebook and make notes of the things I don’t want to forget. You might sit in a café and pause for a few minutes to compose your thoughts. It may be sometime before you can write a full entry in your travel blog or make a full entry in your journal. By making quick notes you should be able to remember the important little details.