iphone shooter

iPhone shooter

I’ve been photographing my travels for over thirty years, and I’ve watched as cameras became increasingly smaller and more capable. Nowadays, even a humble phone camera is a photography system far superior to my old film SLR. Not to mention being slim enough to tuck into a shirt pocket, and having the ability to instantly share with a global audience. Truly mind-blowing stuff!

They say that the best camera is the one you have with you. Nowadays, I shoot with mirrorless cameras costing thousands, but often I’m not carrying one, or it is packed away securely, or otherwise unavailable when that fabulous photo opportunity hits. To capture the decisive moment, I reach into my pocket, pull out my iPhone, take the shot, and upload it to Instagram. In a matter of seconds.

The genius behind Map, Camera, Travel gives a detailed run-through – with photographs – of iPhone photography. There is a tonne of features that will enhance your shots right out of the box, not to mention various hardware and software add-ons.

My favourite? Wipe the lens before shooting. Otherwise, it’s a foggy day.

cruise ports good bad

Cruise ports: good and bad

Paul and Carole of Paul and Carole Love to Travel – catchy name, that! – have solicited advice from a shipload of cruisers as to their notions of the best and worst cruise ports. I’ve only been to a couple of them, but the verdict(s) tally with my own views. There’s one port stirring a bit of controversy, and amusement.

Then again, I love cruising, and if a port isn’t highly rated, I’m happy to sit with a good book and a cool drink and watch everyone else wasting their time.

But some ports are absolute crackers, and posts like this get me itching to go cruising again.

Scottish High Road

Scottish High Road

Angela and Graham of Mowgli Adventures give some practical advice on this classic Scottish road trip. I’ve actually driven most of this route a couple of times now, and I have got to say that it is one of the great road trips of the world. And I speak as someone who has done the Great Ocean Road, and a lot of Route 66 – once in a red Mustang.

The scenery is incredible. The Northwest, especially. Pick the right time of year, either spring or autumn in my opinion, and the roads are uncrowded, there are plenty of places to pull over for photographs, and the weather is clement. Well, usually. 

And the route is made up of great driving roads, mostly. Narrow, twisty, up hill and down dale, prepare to enjoy the trip. My son and I did it in a Jaguar, and it was exhilarating. We still talk about it.

Angela and Graham drove in a campervan, a far more practical vehicle, but their tips and pointers are relevant to all.

Magic Kingdom

The Grown-Up’s Guide to the Magic Kingdom

Kris of Nomad by Trade gives an insider’s guide to the Magic Kingdom. Where the best eats are – the photo shows the yummiest snack in the park, something called a Dole Whip, which sounds pretty dire in Australia, but apparently “dole” means something else in the States – the best rides, the best photo opportunities, even a few places to kick your boots off and relax a bit. I once spent half of a jam-packed day at the Magic Kingdom – the other half being at the Kennedy Space Centre – and it was awesome. Being able to shave a few minutes here and there makes more time for more things to do.

Not nearly enough time to see everything, but I had fun. I might go back another time and maybe tuck into a bucket of that Dole Whip stuff.

Airmiles

Earn airmiles without flying

Josie of Josie Wanders is living the dream. She and her husband are taking a year off to travel the world, and every day or so I get a blog post from a new place, each destination more exotic and exciting than the last.

She has been able to save a bundle on the cost of this junket by accumulating points. Points from flying, points from hotel stays, points from buying everyday groceries, points here, points there. They all add up, and before you know it you’re flying long-haul First class to the next exotic destination. For free. What a life!

I’ve done my share of these sort of shenanigans, but I totally take my hat off to Josie. She’s got the points game sorted. 

Frankly Sintra

Frankly Sintra

Sam Sparrow of As the Sparrow Flies writes about Sintra in Portugal, a place I visited last year. It was raining and there was zero parking and it was a frustrating experience. Although we eventually found a dodgy park in a churchyard and had a wonderful meal in a nearby tavern, we didn’t get to see the main sights. So we’re going back next year on a proper tour. In the meantime, Sam’s excellent post on the place will have to do.