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In this course, author and photographer Ben Long explores the tools and techniques behind modern-day travel journaling. Ben takes us on a road trip across the Southwest to detail a variety of methods for documenting the salient moments of a trip. Ben discusses and demonstrates software and hardware tools for capturing the notes, images, and location data from your trip, and assembling them into a journal that you can share with others or keep as a personal memento of your travels. He also shares tips on publishing your journal as a PDF or a printed book. Along the way, he provides insightful advice on establishing a balance between documenting your travels and experiencing them.
- Planning your route
- Packing for a journaling trip
- Mixing up the shots
- Finding your voice
- Importing GPS data
- Geotagging in Lightroom
- Editing and laying out the journal
Skill Level Intermediate
I don't know about you, when I get home, I hate unpacking. It, it, I have to force myself to actually right away, unpack. Otherwise, bags will just lay around for an embarrassing amount of time. But now there's this other thing. In addition to coming home and unpacking, I have to come home and I've got all this data that I have to monger. And that part I actually like. There's a lot of fun to going over all of the stuff I've captured along the way. And here I have the output of my Day One journal. I had tagged each entry in Day One with a specific name for this road trip.
So it was very easy for me to just grab the entries from this trip and spit them out as a PDF. And so now, I've got this really, nicely laid out PDF of my entire trip with my images and all of my text and everything. I am actually going to make this available for you to read, sort of. I'm going to go through and I'm going to edit out all the embarrassing parts and cut it down to a more reasonable size, because I wrote a lot more than I realized. If I spit out just the entries and put them in a PDF, I have 203 pages, so I'm going to cut that down for you. And that will be available for you to download and read just because I think it's a good idea for you to see what works and what doesn't.
And there's probably stuff in here that doesn't work. But this will give you an idea of, at least the voice that I tried to find, the tone that I tried to find. The stuff that I chose to m, chose to record. And, and some of it may make sense to you, and some of it might actually just be that it's meaningful for me. So, you'll get to have a sense of that. I've got some other cool data that I gathered up here, though. I pulled out all of the logs from my Geologger and brought them here into Adze. And so I can now actually see the entire trip, all stitched together into a single route.
So, these were all of the different routes that the GPS was recording every day, and in Adze I can merge them. So, I've got the entire route that I took. And it, there's kind of this loopty loop here in the middle because I, I went to Quartz Mountain and then in south western Oklahoma and then to New Mexico and then back to Quartz Mountain. So, it's kind of cool to get in here and actually be able to see the whole thing. There's also as you saw earlier a lot of cool data that I, that this program will give me. I can click on part of a route and it will tell me the distance and average speed over that route and so on and so forth.
Finally I did one other thing. I took that data and then exported it from Adze as a KML file, which is Google's file format. So I can now open that route up in Google Earth, and actually get another view of my entire trip. So here it is, the same route mapped on to Google Earth. And what's fun about Google Earth is I can really take, you know, whatever bird's-eye view that I want of, of my entire path here. And I can come in here and pivot my view around and really get down right on top of it.
And as I get in really close as you saw in an earlier movie, is I get really close in to kind of the mountain ranges and things. I can have a lot of fun seeing how my route passed through a particular types of terrain. It, it gives you a very different perspective on your trip. When you're looking at a flat map, you go, oh yes, I crossed a great distance. But here as I'm hovering over, like the Texas Panhandle looking out towards the Pacific Ocean and seeing the exact path that I took, it just gives me kind of this cool perspective on where I went.
It's difficult sometimes to conceive of distances that you've traveled or to really get that, wow, I just traveled across half a continent. And this is a fun way to kind of look at. And I get this facility basically for free, because it's just another thing that I can use with that data that I was capturing as I rode, simply because my GPS was storing a geo-log. So, also this geo-logging information is built into my Day One journal because it's, since I tagged all of my images, Day One was able to figure out where exactly each entry was made. So, I have this fantastic way of going back later, and I'm not going to say reliving my experience on this ride.
But going back and really having a great way to stimulate a lot of memories. I can already look through the journal and go, oh yeah, I had forgotten that that happened. And it hasn't been very long, which actually disturbs me a little bit. But it's also a great relief. So, I'm very pleased, I, I think it worked out well. I like a lot of the pictures that I got. I'm glad I've got this document. I've got all this cool data. I have to say I'm a little bit disappointed by one thing. I was really looking forward to the ride back. I was going to take a different path. I was going to go along, because it's now winter, go take a very southern route. And I'd, I'd gotten some new heated gear that I was really excited to try, and at the last minute my plans changed.
I was going to take about a week to get back, and instead I was given an offer to go shooting, possibly in North Africa. And so I stashed the bike in my parents' garage and flew home. Had just enough time to get all this mongered. And now I'm ready to hit the road again. Which actually I'm glad about because it's, it's difficult being off the road. I gotta say, I was really just starting to kind of hit a stride. So, I'm looking forward to taking all of this back out onto the road, and going and journaling an entirely different continent.