Summer Vacation Photos

When on vacation, it’s nice not to have to lug around a digital SLR everywhere. Point & shoot cameras have come a long way. This picture taken with the Canon Powershot G3 is more than adequate for documenting vacations and other familiy events. ISO 50 1/200 sec @ f7. Though they have limitations, if you understand their capabilities, you can still get some very nice pictures. I made this by laying on the ground so that my kids appear like they’re rock climbing.

If you’re reading this, you’re like me, you have gigabytes of personal pictures scattered over many volumes of hard drives.

Some of these pictures are so out-of-focus and so poorly exposed yet I can’t bring myself to erase them. Why is that?

Anyway, these images unless they’re printed or put in some sort of video or slideshow, will remain latent never to be seen by anyone except you. It’s time to get busy.

Taking good notes is important. Why? Well, I can’t remember the name of this glacier which we visited during our Alaska cruise in 2004. When I do find my notes, I’ll update this caption. Canon 1D with 800-200 zoom.

At the very least, you should put small jpeg versions of these pictures into a digital picture frame.

If you don’t feel like spending about $100, maybe you have an old laptop laying around, use that.

I found some resources for converting an old laptop into a digital picture frame.

To get started, you’ll need to:

  1. Organize all those images or at least gather them into one central location.
  2. Sort and somehow add keywords and categorize them
  3. Create a printed book of your favorites
  4. Create a slideshow, score them with music, burn into a DVD
  5. Do #4 but put them online so you can share them with all your friends and family.

Though you can do all 5 on any platform easily, any Mac user will tell you there is no easier way than using Apple’s iLife suite.

Your workflow will be the same regardless of platforms.

Sort, rate and then organize.

If you have Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom or Apple’s iPhoto or Aperture, you can rate your pictures then sort by rating then separate the good from the bad and ugly. Here’s how using iPhoto 08 .

Fix the the flaws

This is where you are actually editing the pictures, removing red-eye, cloning out the dust spots, enhancing and adjusting color and cropping.

It may be a good place to add some keywords to make locating your pictures easier.

Find a balance

On a stopover in Juneau my kids posed with a resident and another tourist. Powershot G3

When I’m on a vacation, it’s really tough to not think about pictures especially when you’re traveling to someplace very pretty and picturesque.

My biggest problem is deciding what photo gear to bring.If you see me on a cruise and I am dressed in the same clothes day-in and day-out, one of 2 things have happened:

  • I brought too much gear (which I hand carried), checked in all my clothes & my bags got lost
  • I spend too much money on gear & not enough on me
In Skagway, I wanted to explore this charming built for tourist town, but I had to see what the rest of the gang wanted to do, so compromise.

The best advice I can give you is to do some research and set some realistic goals especially when you’re traveling with your family.

I can think of the number of times my interests in something don’t jibe with the rest of the gang and we have to compromise.

As much as I would have liked to abandon the family and just go nuts with my cameras, I feel the trip wouldn’t be as memorable without spending time with my loved ones.

Plan ahead

When you know your itinerary, break out the map and get a look at what’s possible and what’s realistic.

Many people set such unrealistic goals.

For instance if they’re going to India, they immediately want to see the Taj Mahal especially after seeing Slumlord Millionaire.

They don’t realize the protagonists in the movie were in Mumbai and the Taj Mahal is about 600 miles away in Agra.

Take Good Notes

We awoke to this peaceful, amazing, unspoiled, wilderness on our cruise for many mornings. Powershot G3. Too early in the morning to pull out the Canon 1D.

This suggestion might feel like too much work but believe me, you will thank me if you do this.

Collect maps, keep receipts and other time stamped items like bus tickets.

These items with your notes you take with pen and paper will make your pictures very meaningful.

Even if you don’t have pen and paper, with a digital camera, you can take pictures of street signs and other things like closeups of business cards which will help you piece together a meaningful travelogue.

Telling the Story When You Get Back

After importing your images into your computer, view them by time captured.

That will mean the pictures will be displayed chronologically.

Include video if you have any.  Even if you don’t have great videography skills like yours truly, a  cute snippet of audio can be so meaningful when you look over these memories on video.

Here’s an exchange between Julie and Gabriel when we first boarded the Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas in the port of Vancouver.

Here are some images from the Alaskan cruise we took in 2004. My mother-in-law paid for all of us to go on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Hey, what can I say? I married well. Thanks mum!

14 thoughts on “Summer Vacation Photos”

  1. Hello Tim,
    Thanks for reading my blog and taking the trouble to comment. I haven’t been to the Caribbean but hope to do so one of these days. I’m pleased you enjoyed the pictures.

  2. Whao your alaskan cruise looks amazing, I would like to travel in.
    On my summer vacation I visited the Caribbean for a single vacation, I spent unforgettable 6 nights 7 days at charlisangels escorts resort in luxury beach front villa. Nice bolg… I am looking forward to experience a trip to Alaska.

  3. Hi Jude,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

    Although I use Macs, I sometimes have to teach on the Windows platform, so truly both platforms are not that different.

    From my personal experience I’ve found Macs to be more user-friendly.

    A new Mac Mini is not that expensive. It would be a nice place to try the platform without costing an arm and a leg. Plus the iLife Suite I mentioned comes bundled with the computer.

    My sister-in-law, a Windows user, loves her iMac and especially her iLife suite which allows her to do exactly what I mention.

    If you’re still hesitant about switching because of applications, the IntelMacs can run Windows so your applications on the Windows side can still be used.

    I have a Windows partition on my MacBook Pro and MacPro (desktop) out of necessity because I need to see how Photoshop behaves in the Windows environment.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. Great suggestions. I struggle with this all the time. But I’ve settled on my Canon Powershot in my handbag – I carry it on me at all times, and my Rebel xSi for ‘moments’. My maijor struggle right now is what to upgrade my computer to – I currently have a PC and I use Photoshop Elements. I’d like to buy a Mac, but that means installing a Windows mirror, and I’m not sure I want the hassle. If you have any recommendations I’d be grateful!

    Thanks for the wonderful tips all over this site!

  5. Jennifer!
    How nice of you to stop by and leave a comment! I am always exploring avenues to coach. The long 13-week semesters classes at RCC isn’t for everyone. Give me a call and I’ll see if I can arrange something for smaller classes.

    I think you did good buying a Canon 30D. That is a very nice camera. It is much more user-friendly than the Rebel models with higher megapixel count.
    You should subscribe to my blog because there will be things you can pick up on the posts.

  6. Hey Pete, thanks for sharing this with me. I was sad that I wasn’t able to attend the class as much as I would have liked. I am still shooting and just recently bought a canon 30d – if you are doing any more classes I would love to try and attend. I am now trying to wrap my brain around the affects of lighting – and still working on aperture, iso speed, and shutter speed – I am some what challenged with getting the photo I want, but I am slowly catching on – but of course, classes would help :))

  7. Tina!
    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Yes, it was definitely a great vacation. The pampering by the waiters and their attentiveness to us made us feel special. Mind you, I know how hard their work can be. I used to be a cabin attendant so I know.
    Love your blog by the way!

  8. Hello Crystal,
    Thank you for stopping by and commenting. If you’re on a Mac, the tutorials on how to use iPhoto will be a good place to start. If you’re on Windows, I’m sure there are similar organizational software which allow you to do so. The 3 such software I can think of are iView Media Pro, Canto Cumulus, Extensis Portfolio. Bear in mind, the more pictures you have the harder the application will have to work. At some point, I think Aperture and Lightroom will be the ones most photographers will end up using because of their integration with Photoshop.

    I think you should adopt some strategies starting now when you go on vacation. Take good notes. Once you have it organized you can upload your images onto a blog or photo-sharing website like Flickr. I don’t use those because I have a webserver with my own domain name.

    If you’re on the Windows platform, I’m sorry I can’t offer you more advice. Truly the path is the same. Computers are just tools like the difference between Canon and Nikon.

  9. Fantastic pictures! Thank you for the wonderful advice on how to categorize & organize photos better. I do have two full harddrives full of pictures! I have most of them in named files, but they need SO much more help(smile) so thank you so much!

  10. Not sure this came through the first time.I really enjoyed looking at the photos and reading the tips. You are an excellent writer and photographer. Keep sending them!

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