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Tips for traveling by commercial airlines and bringing your camera gear

Tips for traveling by commercial airlines and bringing your camera gear

Now let’s be honest: no one really enjoys traveling that much, but there is no one that dreads it more than photographers! Bringing expensive and delicate camera gear on any journey is naturally stressful, but when you are flying your nerves can get completely out of control. That is why I have put together some of my top tips for traveling by plane with your beloved camera gear – and getting there in one piece!

Airport Night Photo

O’Hare Airport At Night

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5 Resources for Getting Sharper and Clearer Photos

Nothing is worse than taking what you think is the most fantastic photo you can imagine, and getting home, loading it on your PC, and it’s either a little soft, or out and out blurry.  Some of these articles have duplicated tips, but each has some unique suggestions that will help you achieve  sharper and clearer images.


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3 Articles With Some Great Halloween Photo Tips

Halloween is coming.  Some great opportunities to test your skills at low light photography, and quick moving kids.  As with any photos, know your camera.  If you are going to use flash, you need to be familiar with the range of the flash.  If you are too far away from your subjects, they are not going to be lit well.  And of course there is the red eye problem.  Use camera settings that don’t require as much light, such as a high ISO setting, and a large aperture so that the scene is lit by the natural light more, and the flash doesn’t have to do as much of the work.  If your camera works well in low light, now is the time to utilize that capability.  I’ve found some great articles on the subject to give you some ideas.  For more inspiration, you can always go over to and and browse what has been tagged Halloween on those sites.

Digital Photography School posted a great article with a number of great tips.  From Flash, to low light shooting, and subject selection.  And a number of great photos for inspiration.  Check this article out for some great ideas.

Over at I found a couple more tips for photographing costumes and jack-o-lanterns.

And a couple more interesting tips at  One take-away from this site is on perspective. Get down to the level of the kids you are photographing.

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Back Up Your Photos!

When you think of the important files on your computer, the first thing that comes to mind is probably your financial records. Maybe you have word processing documents that have important information, as well as spreadsheets, and maybe data in Microsoft Money, or Quicken. Do you also consider your digital photos in that category? If you lost all of the files currently on your PC, what would you miss the most tomorrow? Which ones would you miss the most 10 or 20 years from now?

OK, quick quiz for you: How many copies do you have of each of your digital photos?

When you take photos off your camera, what do you do with them? The first step in keeping them safe and secure is keeping them in more than one place. The biggest mistake some people make is keeping them just on their computer’s hard drive, or “backing them up” by moving them from their hard drive to a CD, DVD, or External Hard Disk. Either way, they are keeping only one copy of each image.

Hard drives, whether you are talking about the one in your computer, or an external drive, can fail. These drives all have moving parts, and over time they wear out. Depending on what fails, you may or may not be able to recover data from it.

CD’s and DVD’s are fairly reliable. But over time, they may deteriorate. They can get scratched, or broken. Some tests have shown that they will also break down if left in the sun. There are some conflicting reports, but it’s safe to say that burning images to a single CD is not the perfect solution.

Keeping them at an outside service, such as Flickr or Photobucket may provide you with an off-site backup. But what if the site you are using for storage goes out of business?

If hard drives fail, CD’s and DVD’s aren’t perfect, and outside services could possibly go away on you, then where can you safely store your photos?

Everywhere! The more places you put them, the better off you are. Space permitting, leave them on your hard drive. Extra hard disks are cheap, so get an additional 500 Gig, or even a 1 Terabyte drive installed in your computer. Make a copy of them on an external hard drive, like the Seagate FreeAgent Desktop 500 Gig drive. And archive them to CD’s or DVD’s. Upload them to a photo sharing or printing web site. Keep copies of them somewhere other than in your house. Don’t let something as simple as a hard drive failure destroy year’s of digital memories.

Also remember that unlike some files on your PC, these will increase in value, at least to you. A snapshot of a friend or relative that may not be of the highest quality, that you may be inclined to delete, may be worth much more in years to come.

With 35mm film, there was just one negative. Any copies you made were lower quality. The biggest advantage with digital is that you can make as many copies of the file as you want, and they are all the same quality. So take advantage of this, and keep your files safe!

Further Reading:

Generation Lost

CD-R Life Expectancy

Understanding CD-R and CD_RW Life Expectancy

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