Monthly Archives: May 2013

Planning a Trip isn’t Easy: Here’s my Approach.

Well, it’s a long weekend here in the UK and so I’m determined to make the most of it by getting the framework of the Cambodia trip organised.

I think I’ve all but decided that the trip will be to Cambodia only; reading around the web it felt as if four weeks for both Vietnam and Cambodia was going to be too rushed. Dedicating a full four weeks to one country means a more relaxed pace, better opportunities to capture sights in different light conditions and to make repeated visits to places.

So the planning stage in now in full swing. By the end of Monday I would like to have the international flight booked. Not a simple task  in my World. Booking flights means that I need an idea of where I am going and how long I am spending in each part…

…which means I need to know what there is to see in each part…

… and how long I want to dedicate to each part…

… and how many days to allow for internal travel.

So the first step is hours in front of Google reading the official tourism sites, reading reviews from other travellers, search photo sharing sites for inspiration, reading about best ways to travel internally etc, etc. That’s a lot of information to store and manage and so you need a good system to keep it in order.

I use Evernote to capture and store large volumes of information. It can be free to use, it can be accessed from the web, from your PC and laptop, from your mobile devices and it  automatically synchronises changes amongst all of these. It also has a handy browser plug-in that allows you to not only grab a web page, but it also automatically stores the URL so you can always go back to the page at a later date.

Everything gets stored in Evernote: Booking confirmations, possible ideas for shots, sights to visit, reviews by other people, questions to find out answers to, maps, bus timetables. Everything.

Organisation is key for me, but so is simplicity. I like to prefix each note’s title with an indication of its nature. Ideas for things like where to stay or things to do get the ‘Ideas’ prefix; if an ‘Idea’ becomes a definite thing to do, it gets turned into a ‘Sight’; anything related to travel to, from or between places, or hostel bookings get the ‘Travel’ prefix.


Organisation with Evernote is key to my planning…


This way I can see pretty much instantly what is outstanding and when the time comes to plan a day-by-day itinerary I can look for everything marked a ‘Sight’ and make sure they all get included.

So, that’s this weekend. A lot of web surfing and note taking using Evernote. But by the end of it, I should be in a position to book flights safe in the knowledge that I’m going to see everything I want to.

Posted in Travel, Trip Planning Tagged , , |

Schlesisches Tor Station


Well, the plans to book flights by the end of the weekend have fallen through, but still I think I’ve actually picked a date to leave. Still umm-ing and arr-ing about whether to go to both Cambodia and Vietnam, or just Cambodia. In the meantime I thought I’d post an image from my urban gallery. I’m not quite sure why I like this one, but I think it is because it could be from any city in any country and it is only the writing that gives us a clue as to its origins. It’s the fact that it feels gritty, that it’s a little mundane that I like. Like everyone else, I like to photograph the exotic sights of far off places, but, for me at least, urban photography means photography away from the such tourist areas, in districts where the locals live, play and work. And irrespective of country or continent, such districts all look remarkable similar. A great testament to the fact that, across the World, we all all pretty much the same.

On the technical side, this was meant to be a blue-hour shot, but I was seriously delayed photographing some metro station and woefully underestimated the time to get to here from there. So blue hour had gone and the night sky was in full force. I wanted the red fire hydrant to dominate the foreground and even although the station is far bigger and brighter, I think I’ve achieved that. I decided on the mono conversion as without the deep azure of the sky the upper part of the frame lacked any interest and the red and white car lights, the traffic lights and warm lighting from the station all competed for attention. Too messy. Simpler to de-complicate the image by removing the colour and relying on the light and dark to tell the story. I’d be interested in what you think…

Posted in Frame by Frame Tagged , , , |