Tag Archives: photography

Ebook news digest: travel writer or blogger, iPhone photography, European libraries, writing that second book

2017-06-20

News on ebooks, writing and photography

acer tablet with Bluetooth keyboard
3 Big Differences Between Travel Writing and Travel Blogging
Travel Blog Success

There are differences between travel writing and blogging, and in the long term, they are fundamental for a writer to understand. Yet, it is perfectly all right and possible to do both.

7 iPhone photography features you probably don’t know about
Picturecorrect

Useful features once you take the time and learn to use these iPhone camera functions. For instance, burst mode is a vital function for photographing fast moving subjects, and HDR mode can give good results in strong, bright light.

‘The future of their businesses is at stake’: European publishers are exploring alternatives to the duopoly
Digiday

European publishers whose revenue is increasingly depending on online advertising are not happy with Facebook and Google. Not only these companies borrow publishers’ content and make money with it, but they also take a large share of the online advertising revenue. Not anymore. Many big European publishers have switched to alternative ad networks.

5 Things All Writers Should Know When Writing a Second Novel
Writer’s Digest

The article talks about fiction books, but it is valid for nonfiction writers as well. Many non-fiction authors have told me that the hardest part is to commit to a new project and start it, because after the first book everyone knows how much hard work it was.

Scandinavia guidebook – free download: travel tips and cultural insights into the Nordic countries
Klaava Travel Guide

Sweden’s West Coast is one of the hidden gems in Europe as far as travel destinations are considered. The large wilderness region of Lapland that covers the northern parts of Norway, Finland and Sweden is an outdoors lovers paradise. And city life in the north? It is covered as well.

Stunning Photographs of European Libraries
Fubiz

In European cities, libraries are often operating in magnificent old buildings. Some have originally been designed as public spaces, some have been converted into libraries, but in any case, these pictures are amazing.

The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work [Infographic]
Toggl, Mart Virkus

The pioneer of remote work IBM famously called its remote workers back to their cubicles, but the trend of remote work continues to strengthen.

Keine Einigung über E-Book-Steuer
Boersenblatt

EU has already agreed to adjust the VAT of ebooks so that member countries could tax digital books in a fair manner, but the news is that the first meeting that was supposed to start implementing the new regulation halted the whole process. Now, we wait.

The best smartphone for travel photography

2017-05-27

Smartphones, especially high-end models, come with so good cameras that even some professional photographers admit they use camera phones for photography. It is, after all, the one camera that is always with you when traveling, commuting or visiting friends. Different phone manufacturers use different camera components, and most importantly, different software algorithms that create an image from the captured bits of light. So, there are differences, but which smartphone camera is the best?
Google Pixel XL smartphone
Android Authority ran a test for high-end smartphones in order to find out the best camera. This time, they did not ask the experts, or measure the various aspects of digital images, but they asked the public. Anyone could vote for the pictures taken on each camera. The pictures can still be viewed on this web page.

The pictures of a camera that received the most votes was the winner. If professional photographers and camera experts had evaluated the sample images and chosen the best camera, the results would have been different. The public and the experts simply look for different things in images.

I remember when Sony was the number one television manufacturer in the era of CRT tubes, and everyone competed against Sony telling how natural the colors on their TV sets were. Many tests were organized where the public could choose the TV set whose colors they liked the best. Usually, the TV set with the brightest colors won. Having the brightest colors doesn’t have anything to do with image quality, but if that is what the public wants, that is what the public will get.

Anyhow, this is a refreshing way to rank cameras. High-end LG and Samsung camera phones have done well in all types of tests, and this test confirms it hasn’t been for nothing. The Apple iPhone didn’t participate in the test because it was meant for Android phones alone.

The results – the best smartphone camera is:

1. The winner was Google Pixel XL
2. Samsung Galaxy S8
3. LG G6
4. Sony Xpera Xzs
5. OnePlus 3T
6. Huawei P10

Google Pixel XL smartphone by HTC
View the test images and detailed results on the test page.

It would have been wonderful to have Nokia in this camera test as well. Recently, the company has introduced Android phones, and it had the best cameras when it was still the king of mobile phones in the 2000s.

Ebook news digest: peer support for writers, how traveling professionals avoid loneliness, free ebooks

2017-04-13

News on ebooks, writing, photography, copyright on April 13, 2017

bricks-and-mortar, book shop in Gothenburg

5 Reasons Fellow Writers Are Essential to Your Writing Life
Writer’s Digest

Peer support, sharing experiences and information can help every writer at some point of a writing life. Writers are not always extroverts who are happy to chat with anyone, but finding colleagues is definitely worth the effort.

Travel Photography Tips
National Geographic

A long article worth reading that doesn’t explain the techniques of travel photography, but, for instance, the importance of research. So, read a travel guidebook for your destination first.

3 Benefits Ebooks Activate For Your Business
Atomic reach

The author arguments that ebooks work particularly well for companies that operate in business-to-business markets.

Six Digital Nomads Share Tips For Tackling Loneliness On The Road
Forbes

I would add the most important tip: Learn as many languages as you can. Usually, however, it is too late because you are already in Bucharest or Lisbon and realize no one speaks English. At least, then you should learn the basic local greetings and shopping terminology.

Read 700 Free eBooks Made Available by the University of California Press
Open Culture

Free ebooks are mostly one way or the other related to North America, but they are adding new titles all the time.

Copyright expansion plans would kill EU startups
Julia Reda

Important copyright laws are being prepared in the EU. Consequences are far reaching and potentially restrictive if you are not a big publisher arguments EU MEP Julia Reda.

Do You Trust the NYT Bestseller List?
Lindberg Books

It is strange that every organization that collects and publishes bestseller lists show different ranking. The writer may want to have a look at Author Earnings reports as well.

Julian Assange: WikiLeaks has the same mission as The Post and the Times
The Washington Post

The best destinations for landscape photography in Lapland, in the northernmost region of Europe

2017-03-07

Lapland is a vast wilderness region in the northern Europe. It is a land of Sami people and reindeer, fells, fjords, rivers, marshlands, and many types of wildlife. In other words, a fabulous destination for outdoor lovers, road travelers who appreciate majestic landscapes and for nature photographers. I recently wrote a guidebook to Lapland, and since I have extensively toured the region I can tell that it provides almost endless opportunities for delightful nature photography.
Rovaniemi, Arctic Circle. From travel guidebook LaplandThe Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi.

Before I share you my recommendations for the best places to visit and to take those perfect pictures of fells, fjords, villages, reindeer and people of Lapland, let me give you my estimation what is the most photographed place in Lapland. It probably is the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, Finland. Rovaniemi is a major traffic hub in Lapland where tourists arrive across the world. The Arctic Circle is only a few miles from the airport and from the city, and it has developed into a major attraction.

Top 5 places in Lapland for exciting landscape photography

Abisko, Sweden

Abisko, Sweden. Lapland, north Europe
The scenery in Abisko is magnificent both in summer and winter. In summer (July and August) it is warm and you can shoot through the night because there is some sunlight even at midnight. In winter, it is cold and dark, but the Northern Lights, snowy landscape and perhaps spending a day on a ski track makes it all worth it.

Kilpisjärvi, Finland

Kilpisjarvi, Finland. Saana fell in Lapland, Scandinavia.
Saana fell is the landmark and the most photographed item in Kilpisjärvi, but there is much more. Kilpisjärvi is located in the fell region, but you don’t have to go far towards west when the landscape changes quite dramatically. After entering Norway, gently sloping fells turn into mountains, gorges and fjords of Norway. Great variety for photographers in a relatively small area.

Lofoten, Norway

Lofoten, Norway. A fishing village port on shore of a fjord
Lofoten is a large archipelago on the northwest coast of Norway. When you arrive on Lofoten, you can forget about rushing from one place to the next. The landscape is all about mountains and fjords across the islands. Small villages and tiny fishing towns here and there on the shores remind travelers that people live here, too. The sea provides additional photography opportunities: whale, seal, and bird watching tours give a new perspective to the scenery and wildlife.

Tromsö, Norway

Tromsö, Norway, view from mountain above town
Tromsö gives photographers opportunities not only to capture images of spectacular sceneries, but also city life. It is a vibrant city, full of young energy that university students bring to the streets, many restaurants, bars and cafés. Since mountains and fjords surround Tromsö, hiking to the heights or taking a sea tour provide many new angles for photographers as well.

Ylläs, Finland

Reindeer at Aakenus fell in Yllas-Pallas national park Finland, Lapland, north Europe.
Ylläs is a year-round destination for vacation-goers who seek outdoor activities, but especially Finns love to hike in this fell region in autumn. Fabulous fell sceneries around the year, reindeer, wild berries, and the colors of autumn. In addition to the environment, Ylläs and the region around it is a home for a few resorts that make traveling and staying in there easy and convenient.

How, where and when to travel in Lapland?

A trip to Lapland requires some planning because the distances can be long and towns are few. The guidebook (Lapland – North of the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia) I wrote helps in all aspects of planning and actually traveling in this exotic region.

Here are a few bookstores where the Lapland guidebook is available:

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Apple iBooks
Barnes & Noble Nook Books
Google Play Books


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Ebooks news digest: writer-editor relationship, travel stories from tourist perspective, changing role of agents

2017-02-04

Ebook news digest February 4, 2017

photographer taking a photo in flower field
A Storyteller’s Guide to Travel and Photography
(Wandering Educators)

Perhaps it is every professional travel photographer’s dream to be able to publish a book full of beautiful photos from exotic places. Travel photographer and writer David Noyes had another idea: he wanted to create a book that features photographs taken only in places where tourist sightseeing buses take travelers. His book is titled The Photographing Tourist – A Storyteller’s Guide to Travel and Photography, but it is only available as a paperback. Klaava Media is happy to produce an ebook from the manuscript so that travelers can save a little weight and space in their bags.

4 Truths That Will Change Your Perspective on the Writer/Editor Relationship
(Women Writers)

Good book editors can turn mediocre manuscripts into great, successful books, but only if the working relationship between the author and the editor is seamless. Jessica Strawser is the Editorial Director for Writer’s Digest, and she highlights four key elements that make or break the relationship. It is worth mentioning that writers who are planning to self-publish should give some serious consideration to finding someone who can help to finalize the manuscript. Applies both to fiction and non-fiction.

6 Insights into the Changing Role of Agents in 2017
(DBW)

Digital Book World 2017 conference was organized in the end of January. One of the expert panels comprised literary agents who discussed the state of the book business and its future. It is quite surprising how little the agents believe their world is changing despite the rise of digital media, independent publishers and self publishing. They acknowledge the presence of social media, at least.

10 Undervalued Up & Coming Digital Nomad Locations for 2017
(Maqtoop)

Of ten locations listed in the article I would pick Malaysia, and a place in mainland Malaysia (not Borneo as the article recommends). Excellent Internet (depends on the location, of course), fabulous food, nice people, English spoken widely, low living costs, and good transport connections to the rest of the world. A place in the Kuala Lumpur region could easily serve as a base for exploring the rest of Asia. The top choice in the article for digital nomads is Algarve, Portugal, but can it really match Spain or France as a safe, affordable and civilized destination for remote work can be subject of a heated debate.

5 Things You Can Do to Bring Your Writing Ideas (and Career) to Life
(Writer’s Digest)

Many books have been published on the techniques and details of writing a book, but not so many about the mental challenges a long project sets on aspiring authors. Nina Amir has written a book Creative Visualization for Writers that gives advice on having a right kind of mindset and doing mental exercises that help along in the long and complex process of writing.

woman thinking what to write

Ebook news digest: co-authoring tips, Estonia citizenship for nomads, websites for writers

2016-12-06

Ebook news digest: December 6th, 2016

Smiling woman holding books
10 Great Tips on How to Write a Book With a Co-author
(Writer’s Digest)

Many travel guidebooks, non-fiction books, textbooks, and scientific publications are written by more than one author. A collection of articles is relatively easy to compile into a book if you compare it to a real book that reads like it was written by one author. The really difficult thing in multi-author projects is to get the writers’ team truly to co-operate and collaborate. Christopher Mari and Jeremy K. Brown know what they are talking about when they list 10 tips for co-authoring a book. My favorite tip: editing other writers output (acknowledging that someone will edit yours).

Why are so many digital nomads becoming “e-Residents” of Estonia?
(LeapIn Blog)

Estonia is a small country on the shores of the Baltic Sea, located between Russia and Latvia. The capital Tallin has one of the most beatiful medieval old towns you can find in Europe. In 1991, when the nation managed to separate itself from Russia, it started building its telecommunications infrastructure from scratch. The leaders of the country were and still are very modern people who realized high tech is the way go for a small nation. Many innovative digital services have been developed (for instance, Skype) in Estonia. One of the latest is e-citizenship. Practically anyone can become a digital citizen of Estonia.

The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2016
(The Write Life)

No one really needs 100 websites to start writing a book, but if you can find even two or three sites that help you, it has been worth the time to check out all the listed web pages. Most of the listed web sites provide tools and advice for writers who are starting out their pursuit of independent work. That’s when you need help the most – published authors have usually learned the tricks of the trade during the years. One more web site for writers: travel writers and photographers who want to publish a book, read this.

Meet the photographer taking stunning drone images from around the world
(Brisbane Times)

Amos Chapple is a travel photographer, but not one who is going from place to place with a large SLR camera hanging from his neck. He is a travel photographer who uses drones to take pictures from an angle that has been unavailable for photographers until recently. He got a dream gig from Unesco that hired him to travel and photograph on a drone World Heritage Sites. He has plenty of insight on what travel photography really is all about.

European Union lifts the VAT burden on ebooks
(roger packer)

EU has been consistent with its VAT policy: printed books have a low VAT, and ebooks have a high VAT because digital media products are services. Luxembourg and France have fought this principle and lowered the VAT for ebooks, but EU told them it is not allowed. Finally, all the necessary steps have been taken in the EU, and the VAT for ebooks can be set as low as it is for paper books. The new regulation will become effective in 2017.

Ebook news digest: tools for writers, amazing travel photography, experiences of a business nomad

2016-11-09

Ebook news digest November 9, 2016

woman drinking coffee, thinking what to write
Top 10 Tools To Develop Your Novel Writing Skills (Lifehacker)

Every author has his or her favorite tools, but a good author never stops looking for better tools that can make the work faster, easier or more efficient. The article features some good tips that we never thought of, but we would like to add a couple of tips of our own: a voice recorder, mobile data access and a camera. They help you get something done when an inspiration strikes.

Top 27 Travel Photos in the 2016 SIPA Contest Out of 50K Entries (Resource Travel)

The Siena International Photo Awards (SIPA) is an international photography contest for professional and amateur photographers. SIPA claims to have the “highest international participation,” with nearly 50,000 images from photographers in 130 countries. There are many big photography contests with great prizes and great winning images, but as far as travel photography is concerned, the selection of travel photos presented in this article is absolutely magnificent.

Understanding How To Thrive As A Digital Nomad (Uproxx)

Real experiences from a digital nomad who is running a business with his partners and traveling the world. Naturally, they are not constantly on the road, but stay in one place for months, at least. As it happens, these nomads are running a travel-related business Triphappy. In any case, the article features tips and information from a digital nomad that has really experienced the nomad life.

Travel Tips: How To Turn Snaps From Your Smartphone Into Terrific Travel Photography (Travelers Today)

What do you see in the vicinity of a globally renowned sight, like Pisa, Eiffel or Big Ben? Lots of smartphones, tablets and cameras raised at eye level, taking pictures. The article highlights a few very simple tips how to improve your travel photos. We would like to add one tip: be quick to take advantage of a moment. The moment can be anything: a boy on a skateboard with Eiffel tower as the background, or an old lady walking along a narrow alley in the old town of Nice.

PayPal study finds two-thirds of eBook buyers prefer format for price and convenience (Talking New Media)

PayPal has conducted a survey where the payment company asked consumers of digital products about their behavior and reasons for their behavior. The survey focused on ebooks and games. We are not convinced that it makes sense to compare ebook buying behavior against digital game purchases, but that’s what the report does. Nonetheless, you may find valuable nuggets of data from the report. The survey was conducted in a number of major markets across the world.

Ebook news digest: the unbreakable rule in writing, YouTube stars as authors, learning about privacy

2016-09-29

Ebook news digest September 29, 2016

woman leaning on pile of books
The One Unbreakable Rule in Business Writing (Harvard Business Review)

You’ll have to read the article to find the answer, because the reason we wanted to feature this story is that it presents three valuable questions that every nonfiction author must be able to answer. If you are planning to write a nonfiction book, can you answer these simple questions: Why are you writing this? What audience do you want to reach? Why will they care? If you can, and you are planning a book on travel, culture, history, technology or business, we publish books in these genres.

Top Tips From 5 Digital Nomads (Fox News)

Realistic tips from nomads who seem to have experience and knowledge of what they are talking about. Nomad life is for people who know what they are doing and have the willpower and skills to do it.

The age of self: the strange story of how YouTubers saved publishing (New Statesman)

The generation that grew up watching YouTube regards it perfectly normal and even exciting to to follow someone else play videogames on YouTube. That’s only one popular video genre, others are, for instance makeup tips, pranks or fashion talk. Some book publishers have leveraged the brand power of the most popular YouTube stars and produced books that, at least, have names of YouTubers under the titles. Some publishing experts believe YouTube will save books, but we must wonder: if the brand value of YouTube stars is so great, why haven’t Hollywood or music industry endorsed them?

We Asked Our Favorite Travel Photographers How To Take Better Pictures On The Road (Uproxx)

This article gives plenty of valuable tips for travel photographers and writers who take photos for their own books. First, you should master the mechanics and basic techniques for framing images, since most of these tips are inspirational and travel- or people-related.

Why I am publishing all my private emails, messages and phone calls to the internet in real time (The Telegraph)

A journalist worried about the disappearance of privay is conducting a fascinating experiment. First, he gave away his password to all online services to anyone who wanted them (there is still someone using his original Twitter account). Then, he tried to stay anonymous by using encryption technologies, pre-paid phones and avoiding revealing his location. Both methods had serious shortcomings to his personal and professional life, so he tried yet another approach: he publishes everything he does to the Internet.

Ebook news digest: two types of digital nomads, low-cost ereader, drone photography for everyone

2016-08-16

Ebook news digest August 16, 2016

digital nomad dorothy by duncan rawlinson

Digital nomad Dorothy by Duncan Rawlinson


Mashable: My life as a remote year guinea pig

Stephanie Walden participated in a year-long packaged tour around world. It wasn’t a vacation, but a package for digital nomads who worked the whole time (well, depending on each nomad’s own motivation). They stayed in one place for one month, experiencing 12 destinations during the year. The organizer, Remote Year, took care of travel and accommodation costs and logistics. The idea was to have a community of 70 nomads who would stay together for the whole year. Many exciting and interesting things happened during the year – an intriguing story which is a must read for everyone even remotely thinking of nomad life.

Amateur Photographer: Drone the World holidays promise travel photography with a twist

Everyone knows that there are lots of ways to take better travel photos than the usual selfies in front of statues. Black Tomato has made it extremely easy for anyone to become a master in rather difficult special field of photography: snapping images from a drone. The company organizes travel packages where professional drone photographers follow the travel group. The professionals take aerial images of travelers and they can also teach individual tourists to control a drone and its camera.

The Ebook Reader: New Onyx Boox C67s ereader now available for $73

Even though the Amazon Kindle totally dominates the ereader market, a few companies are actively developing new products for ebook lovers. Onyx has introduced a new product, the Onyx Boox C67s, which looks like a reasonably good value for the money. Six-inch E ink screen with 1024×758 resolution, but no Wi-Fi, touch screen or frontlight. Price at the moment: $73.

Law Fuel: Leading Blogger Becomes Digital Nomad on World Cruise

Active travel bloggers and photographers may give the impression that every digital nomads is a relatively young, trendy person. Personally, I have always suspected it, because it is the over-50s and over-60s who tend to have resources to live a nomad life if they wish. Jo Castro, a social media consultant, is one of these seasoned digital nomads who has embarked on a trip around the world. She is doing it in style on a cruise ship that visits 39 destinations in 27 countries over 104 nights. The upfront cost is about the same as the digital nomad who traveled for one year on a packaged around the world nomad tour.

Resource Travel: Top 9 landscape photography locations in Northern Spain

Christian Hoiberg lived one year in Santander, a coastal town in northwest Spain. The story features good tips if you are considering traveling in this part of not-so-well-travelled Spain, and even better tips for photo locations and pictures from the northwest region’s rugged coast.

More travel stories here.

Ebook news digest: improve your writing, become a Kindle master, avoid these travel photo mistakes

2016-08-01

Ebook news digest August 1, 2016

tablet, old man reading by Kat Northern Lights Man

Man reading on a tablet at a restaurant by Kat Northern Lights Man


The importance of dissatisfaction to writing (The Irish Times)

Every writer has his or her own motivation for writing. It is lonely work that tends to continue in the author’s head even after the day’s work has been completed. It is also one of the most independent professions on earth: usually the writer can decide what he does and when. Every professional writer constantly tries to improve his output. Author Michael Grothaus argues that “dissatisfaction is a writer’s most vital resource”.

7 Travel Photography Mistakes to Avoid (Digital Photography School)

All travelers, digital nomads and tourists who haven’t given a second thought to image composition but who want to develop their photography skills in order to publish a blog or an Instagram image feed should ensure that they are aware of the seven sins Kav Dafdar so carefully explains in his article.

10 Tricks To Make Yourself A Kindle Master (Gizmodo)

Sure, we have been using a Kindle ereader (actually, a number of different models) for years, but didn’t know many of the tricks David Nield shows in his article. Our favorite tips? 8 (how take a screen shot of Kindle display) and 9 (sending documents to Kindle).

What I Learned By Writing 500 LinkedIn Articles (Forbes)

A writer who discovered a perfect way of making use of his skills. He used his creative writing skills to get more business on professional networking service LinkedIn. Smart, and reminds us how many ways there are for writers to benefit from their skill.

Which Font Should I Use On My Kindle? (Fast Co. Design)

For some people – especially for graphic designers – fonts can be a passion. For an average reader or writer, fonts are a thing that they don’t take notice at all until something goes wrong. It actually is worth spending a little time on exploring the font selection on your ereader or tablet. As experts in this article argue, the best font is the one you like the best, but quite often it happens to be Georgia or Palatino.

Do you want your non-fiction book published?

Ebook news digest: exciting new travel cameras, mobile security, history of writing tools

2016-07-08

Ebook News Digest July 8th, 2016

freewrite typewriter, word processor, woman
This Pocketable Camera Gear Will Change the Way You Take Travel Photos (The Wall Street Journal)

Wall Street Journal’s traveling reporter tests three new small cameras that are designed to change the way you photograph. The reviewed cameras are the LG 360 CAM (a 360 degree camera that can shoot photos and video), Narrative Clip 2 (a tiny camera that can document everything you see), and Moment (a set of lenses for the iPhone).

Executive’s guide to mobile security (free ebook) (Zdnet)

Scary news of a new virus that can invade Android-powered phones and tablets is the latest proof that all Internet-connected computing devices must always be protected from malware. If your phone doesn’t work, you have lost a camera, and if your tablet doesn’t work, you have lost a valuable writing and reading platform. Zdnet wants you email address, but you get a free ebook download.

How to Write a History of Writing Software (The Atlantic)

First, a mechanical typewriter was invented to help writers write, and a century later, computers were equipped with word processing software. Science fiction writers were among the first to adopt modern technology because they realized it made them more productive. Fascinating stories on the history of writing.

Auroras Make Weird Noises, and Now We Know Why (National Geographic)

Many people who have seen a strong display of the Northern Lights claim that the lights made sounds. So far, science hasn’t been sure if that is really the case, but now a group of Finnish researchers believe they have discovered that the sounds are real and what causes them. Once you have read about the sounds, here is a guide to finding, viewing and photographing the Northern Lights.

National Geographic travel photography contest winners unveiled (BBC)

An image of a horseman in Inner Mongolia wins first place in this year’s National Geographic travel photography contest. View the amazing winning photos – our favorite: the Chinese school dormitory. More travel photography from Klaava Media here.