Tag Archives: travel

This is what the Apple iPhone X camera means for travel photography

2017-09-15

Many travelers, writers and even professional photographers trust in their smartphone cameras for capturing important images that document their journeys and remarkable moments in life. The Apple iPhone X has so many features for photographers that it allows travelers to reconsider the contents of their photography kits.

Apple iPhone X camera feature: face recognition
The iPhone X comes with three cameras: two at the back and one at the front panel. Here is what the cameras are for:

– Wide-angle camera at the back: ƒ/1.8 six-element lens, optical image stabilization. 12 megapixel image sensor. Allows you to get really close to subjects, or shoot small spaces that don’t fit into the frame of a normal lens. This and the telephoto camera are, however, used in sync by the system.
– Telephoto camera at the back: ƒ/2.4 telephoto lens. Together the two cameras at the back enable optical zoom. Two lenses also create depth to images. The benefit of this optical zoom is, however, minimal compared to camera lenses where the elements have room to move.
– TrueDepth camera at the front: ƒ/2.2 aperture lens. 7 megapixel image sensor. This is used by the Face ID recognition feature, and naturally, for selfies.

Apple iPhone X two cameras at the back: wide-angle and  telephoto
Apple has also developed new software applications that utilize the possibilities of the cameras. Especially, the Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting software allows iPhone X photographers to capture and adjust portrait images into studio-like pictures.

It is obvious that Apple has put a lot of effort for ensuring that selfies taken on the iPhone look fabulous.

The iPhone X cameras are at their best when shooting subjects that are relatively near the lenses. Anyone who has tried to snap a photo of beautiful scenery in the distance on a smartphone knows how disappointing the result can be.

Of course, the iPhone X is an expensive compact camera. The prices start from $999. Nonetheless, you get a smartphone as well, and you may consider leaving lenses or a camera home that you have used for close-up and portrait photos.

Street photography is also a potential field where the iPhone X can shine. Smartphones are less intrusive in street photography. People simply don’t mind that much when someone takes a photo on a smartphone even though they clearly see that they are in the frame. If you take the same photo on an SLR, they do mind.

No matter how good the iPhone X cameras and photography applications are, it is a camera with fixed lenses. It can’t do everything that SLR cameras with removable lenses can do.

Landscapes, city views, architecture, action, sports, sceneries, natural phenomena are the most likely photographs that require other type of camera equipment for the best results.

I have often used smartphone cameras for video recording lately, and generally have been happy with the results. It is primarily for documenting something or capturing a brief moment of city life or anything potentially interesting happening nearby. Video capture is another field where the iPhone X can be an excellent product. It can:

– Capture 4K video up to 60 fps (frames per second).
– Record slow motion video in 1080p HD format up to 240 fps.
– Produce time‑lapse videos.

The video features are remarkable – many SLR cameras can’t do 4K, slow motion or time lapse. Have you ever tried to shoot and produce a time lapse video? If you have, you know how much work and how troublesome it is. If the iPhone X can make time lapse videos easy, it is a big time saver.

In bright sunlight, most displays in SLR cameras become unreadable. The iPhone X display is based on OLED technology which means much brighter, clearer, and higher contrast image than an ordinary LCD display can produce.

The iPhone X camera specifications and features

Apple iPhone X: Portrait Lighting app

Cameras at the back
12 megapixel wide-angle and telephoto cameras
Wide-angle lens: ƒ/1.8 aperture
Telephoto lens: ƒ/2.4 aperture
Optical zoom; digital zoom up to 10x
Portrait mode
Portrait Lighting (beta)
Dual optical image stabilization
Six‑element lens
Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync
Panorama (up to 63MP)
Hybrid IR filter
Autofocus with Focus Pixels
Body and face detection
Exposure control
Noise reduction
Auto HDR for photos
Auto image stabilization
Burst mode
Timer mode
Photo geotagging: GPS location marked in photos
Image formats captured: HEIF and JPEG

Video Recording
4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
720p HD video recording at 30 fps
Optical image stabilization for video
Optical zoom; 6x digital zoom
Quad-LED True Tone flash
Slo‑mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps
Time‑lapse video with stabilization
Cinematic video stabilization (1080p and 720p)
Continuous autofocus video
Body and face detection
Noise reduction
8 megapixel still photos while recording 4K video
Playback zoom
Video geotagging
Video formats recorded: HEVC and H.264

TrueDepth Camera (at the front)
7 megapixel camera
Portrait mode
Portrait Lighting (beta)
Animoji
1080p HD video recording
Retina Flash
ƒ/2.2 aperture
Auto HDR
Body and face detection
Auto image stabilization
Burst mode
Exposure control
Timer mode

9 Must-See Places in Ireland

2017-08-27

Today’s article is brought to you by Ian Leaf.

Ireland, it’s the land of emerald dreams and mystic tales of Leprechauns, Celtic musicians, and medieval warriors. If you have an Irish heritage, a pilgrimage to the Isles is a lifetime dream. If you are a lover of travel, Ireland is full of interesting historic spots, events, and unique places to satisfy your need to discover the most brilliant scenes on earth. It’s not important how you get to Ireland. What’s important are the places you visit. Here are just a few of the most intriguing, enlightening, and endearing locations within Ireland no traveler should forget to visit.
coastal cliffs in Ireland

The Ring of Kerry

This is one of Ireland’s most scenic peninsular routes. Hikers, bikers, and sightseers can take a circular route beginning and ending in either Killarney, or Kenmare. Along the scenic trail, blue-green Atlantic waters jut next to amazingly high cliffs. Along this route, everything from traditional golf tournaments to deep-sea fishing is available. There are even ancient Celtic monasteries to visit between taking pictures of some of the most unusual landscapes in the Isles.

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

The growth and influence of the Shannon region in Ireland dates to the 15th century. It was the home of upper class Irish families who had a knack for throwing parties and providing entertainment. Later, this region was a fortress for war-torn patriots who still enjoyed the lavishness of upper-class Irish living. Bunratty Castle is an example of a fully restored residence that was host to some of Ireland’s most important nobles.
a house in the countryside in Ireland

Shop Street, Galway

Galway is a modern artist’s hub. It is home to several ancient residences that influenced the creation of one of the country’s most vibrant markets. Shop Street is the place for purchasing artisan Irish trinkets, gifts, and rounds of locally produced ales. The heart of Ireland resides in places like Galway, and Shop Street is where that heart beats the loudest. Several days are needed to fully enjoy this Irish cultural hub.

The Rock of Cashel

This isn’t only a natural wonder. It’s an oceanic rock outcropping the site of Ireland’s most precious heritage site. The medieval castle that sits on the rock still houses a monastic choral group. This location is, in every way, authentically Irish, but exhibits attributes that are reminiscent of Roman influence. Though ancient, it has survived every conflict in Irish history, and remains a testament to the country’s resolve.

The Cliffs of Moher

Though Dover is white, Moher is rugged and raw. This County Clair attraction is rife with unending beauty and mystique. These cliffs are a natural anomaly, with sea cliffs and outcroppings standing solitary at more than 600 feet tall. Many of the cliffs are accessible by hiking trail, but they are all visible in morning light that is extraordinarily brilliant.
a castle in Ireland

Dalkey and Killiney in Dublin

This monument area is only reachable by light rail. It is a short ride from Dublin, and is an historic heritage center for all Irish folk. This peninsular location was important in various political and military campaigns in Irish history. The main naval marker still stands, and is set against amazing oceanic backgrounds and rolling natural features. This is a traveling photographer’s Irish dream location.

The Aran Islands

The three Aran Islands have been the focus of film producers and historians. At one time, the Aran Islands were home to a thriving Celtic culture. The fort of Dun Aonghasa now remains a tribute to these ancient tribes. The modern residents near this area maintain an old-world attitude, and love their islands with an undying passion. These islands are where travelers can experience what true old Irish living was like.
remnants of a castle in Ireland

Mullaghmore Beach

This recreational area emerged from a long Irish fishing, manufacturing, and shipping culture. It is part of the village of Sligo, and is open to all inquisitive travelers. This is the ultimate place in Ireland for deep sea swims, authentic seafood cuisine, fishing charters, and long walks along quiet shores. The entire town is tied in some way with the sea, and is an interesting contrast with interior Irish communities.

Ashford Castle

This medieval relic has been fully restored, and is now an internationally renowned hotel. Though there are many similar locations in Ireland, Ashford has a unique charm and extravagance. This famous 5-star hotel in Mayo County is a testament to Irish high-class couture. It is also the starting point for visitors who prefer to view manicured country settings and historic venues in style.

Final Thoughts

The length and breadth of Ireland is small. There is no reason that travelers cannot partake in the most beautiful sites offered by this country. Everything green needs to be seen. There are however, places that are more beautiful that the rest. Everything about Ireland is extraordinary, and it only takes an adventurous spirit to see them all.
a row of houses by a pond in Ireland

Free book shares tips to travelers planning a trip to Scandinavia

2017-08-15

If you haven’t visited any of the five Scandinavian countries before, but you believe now is the time go, a bit of research will help you decide where and when to travel. It is a large area, and the further north you go in North Europe, less people there are. If you go as far as Lapland, there are more reindeer than people.
Reindeer at Aakenus fell in Yllas-Pallas national park Finland, Lapland, north Europe.
Traveling in Scandinavia is an ebook that we have made available for free. You can download the book right away simply by choosing an EPUB or Kindle version of the ebook.

The book includes information on destinations in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Cultural insight on people, customs and etiquette are featured as well, because, well, you are supposed to behave in the sauna as the Scandinavians behave.

We have chosen chapters from our travel guides and cultural guide for Traveling in Scandinavia, and even selected chapters from a cookbook, and a history book. All and all, the book gives an overview on Scandinavia from many angles.

It is easier understand the silence of Finns, drinking songs of Swedes and electric car enthusiasm of oil-rich Norwegians after reading chapters from the book.

Some travelers like summer and sun, others snow and fun. Summer and winter are the best times to visit Finland, Norway or Sweden. Unless, you are a Scandinavia expert and know that the peak season for hiking in Lapland is autumn. It is because the color of green in the fells and mountains fades, allowing other colors momentarily shine.

Book cover image: Traveling in Scandinavia

Tips for traveling in Scandinavia in a free guidebook

2017-07-22

The land of the Midnight Sun, long and cold winters, welfare states, high living standard, languages that no one outside Scandinavia can understand, plenty of space and few people. Sure, it is a definition of Scandinavia, but for travelers, the Northernmost region of Europe is much more.

If you want to find out how much more, read Traveling in Scandinavia. It is an ebook that you can download for free.
Book cover image: Traveling in Scandinavia
The guidebook is a selection of travel information, tips and cultural insights into the Nordic countries. A little bit of information on food and history is included in the book as well.

From the book description:

Here is a taste of Scandinavia for you to explore at the comfort of your reading nook – perhaps before heading out to the North yourself. As the selection of writings show, there are plenty of destinations to see and things to do: city life, mountain biking, fishing in pristine rivers, camping, island hopping, road touring, Arctic adventures, or hiking in the wilderness. If something is missing, Finns will invent it (e.g. wife carrying competition), Swedes will sell it to the world (e.g. entire country available on Airbnb), and Norwegians will win the cross-country skiing world championship (again).

Free download.

Which book to read before visiting a new country that has different culture than yours?

2017-07-07

Planning a visit to a country where you haven’t been before often starts with research. Many travelers purchase a guidebook, some tourists search the Internet for tips. Usually, people are looking for reliable information to help plan the trip. Fictional books may also help because they can give insight on the culture and customs of a country.

Ambassadors of 22 countries have given their recommendations which books can give cultural tips for visitors. Based on the books ambassadors have chosen and their descriptions, the most peculiar titles are from Bhutan, Finland, Germany and New Zealand.

Here are the ambassadors’ recommended books to read before the first visit to these 22 countries.

    Austria: The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler. Vienna in 1937.

    Azerbaijan: Ali and Nino, by Kurban Said. Love story set in Baku in 1918 to 1920.
    book cover: portrait of bhutan
    Belgium: War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans. A period in Belgium’s history.

    Bhutan: Treasures of the Thunder Dragon: A Portrait of Bhutan by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. A personal memoir combined with folklore, and even a portrait of the Himalayan kingdom.

    Canada: With Faith and Goodwill: 150 years of Canada-U.S. Friendship, edited by Arthur Milnes. Collection of speeches, photographs and essays.

    Chile: La Casa de Los Espíritus by Isabel Allende. Family mingled with political issues of the 1970s.
    book cover: moomin, mymble, my
    Colombia: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. A classic.

    Denmark: Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg. Fictional mystery set in Copenhagen.

    Estonia: The Man Who Spoke Snakish by Andrus Kivirahk. Alternative history.

    Finland: The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My by Tove Jansson. A classic.

    Germany: Tschick by Wolfgang Herrndorf. 14-year-old boys on a road trip.

    Greece: Freedom and Death by Nikos Kazantzakis. Cretans against the Ottoman Empire in 1889.
    book cover: tschick, germany
    Iceland: Independent People by Halldor Laxness. Sheep farmer’s struggle for independence.

    India: Freedom at Midnight (1975) by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins. Indian independence process.

    Ireland: TransAtlantic by Colum McCann. History and recent events intertwined.

    Jamaica: Selected Poems by Louise Bennet. Insights into the Jamaican culture.

    Malta: In the Name of the Father (And of the Son) by Immanuel Mifsud. World War II from personal perspective.
    book cover: whale rider, new zealand
    New Zealand: The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera. A story of communication with whales.

    Norway: The Snowman by Jo Nesbo. Nordic Noir crime story.

    Slovenia: I Saw Her That Night by Drago Jančar. Historical theme set in Ljubljana.

    Sweden: Nordic Ways edited by Debra Cagan. Essays that describe life in the North Europe.

    United Kingdom: Atonement by Ian McEwan. Britain’s history in the 20th century.

The book titles via CN Traveler.

Some notable, popular travel destination countries that have distinct cultures are missing from the book list, for instance, France and the US. I can understand why France’s ambassador probably didn’t suggest a book for the list. Independent of which title it would have been, a national scandal would have emerged from the choice. Perhaps the US ambassador was pondering between Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad and Donald Trump biography A Life Worth Living, but couldn’t decide?

Where is the best place to see the Midnight Sun in Lapland, North Europe?

2017-06-29

The longest day of the year (most daylight hours, or summer solstice) in the northern hemisphere is on June 21st, give or take one day. If you want to see the midnight sun in Lapland, you don’t have to be in the region on that particular day, because the Midnight Sun entertains visitors and locals longer than one night. Here are a few tips for ensuring the perfect Midnight Sun experience.

Inarijärvi, FInland.

Lake Inari, Finnish Lapland: fishing at night.

The Midnight Sun means that the sun is visible above the horizon in the midnight. You get sunset colors, but the sun doesn’t quite drop below the horizon. Photographers are happy to take advantage of the period because they have enough time to try out different camera settings, camera angles, and framing alternatives for that perfect shot. Everyone who enjoys beautiful sceneries will appreciate the light and colors in the middle of the night.

When is the best time to see the Midnight Sun?

June 21st is the summer solstice date when the northern hemisphere gets the longest time of sunlight during a day. The longest day can be one day earlier or later due to leap year and time variation. The further north you are, the longer the time is when the sun doesn’t set.

On the Arctic Circle (roughly along the line Storjord – Jokkmokk – Rovaniemi), for instance, the sun doesn’t set between 12th June and 1st July.

On the Continental Europe’s northernmost point Nordkapp (North Cape), the sun is visible 24 hours a day from 14th May until 29th July.

Even if you can’t make it to the north during those dates, in the north the nights are not dark weeks before and weeks after the Midnight Sun dates. For instance, that last time I visited Nordkapp in late August, the large carpark was full of motorhomes waiting for the white night. The white night means that the sun sets, but sheds so much light that normal outdoors activities are possible, like hiking, golf, fishing, or picking berries.

How to ensure that the Midnight Sun can be seen?

The only criteria are that you far enough in the north, and the weather is clear for the sun to be visible.

Weather forecasts for towns and villages of Lapland can be viewed, for instance, at the YR web page.

Nordkapp maybe a popular destination for experiencing the midnight sun, but its weather is very unpredictable and often foggy. In general, weather tends to change in Lapland quite rapidly, so if today is cloudy and rainy, tomorrow can be sunny.

Where is the best place to view the Midnight Sun?

Anywhere with open views to the west and north. Popular places are fells, shores of lakes, or the seashore.

Photographers may prefer one place over another, for instance, how they expect the light to reflect from water, but for travelers who only want to enjoy the wonders of nature in Europe’s last large wilderness, I wouldn’t be so picky.

What about the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)?

In summer, there is too much light for seeing the Northern Lights. The phenomenon is active and the lights are there, but only in winter the nights are dark enough for us to see them.

The travel guidebook to Lapland (northern Sweden, Norway and Finland) covers the sights of Lapland, road travel, outdoor activities and wildlife above the Arctic Circle.

The following photos are from the Lapland travel guidebook.
Sunset at Ounasvaara fell, Rovaniemi from Lapland travel guidebook

nordkapp, north cape in Norway

Weather can quickly change in Nordkapp, Norway.

Midnight Sun beer at Inari Lake, Lapland, FInland

Lofoten, Norway

Get your free copy of Scandinavia travel guidebook

2017-06-22

What is the one thing you know about Scandinavia? Long winters, midnight sun in summer, design, education system, welfare, Abba, HIM, or A-ha? Well, the best way to find out more is to travel in Nordic countries and see how the region is yourself. A good starting point is the book we have put together from travel guidebooks and cultural guides that talk about Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Traveling in Scandinavia is an ebook that you download for free here.
Book cover image: Traveling in Scandinavia
The book is a selection of travel tips and cultural insights into the Nordic countries. A little bit of information on food and history is included as well.

Here is a taste of Scandinavia for you to explore at the comfort of your reading nook – perhaps before heading out to the North yourself. As the selection of writings show, there are plenty of destinations to see and things to do: city life, mountain biking, fishing in pristine rivers, camping, island hopping, road touring, Arctic adventures, or hiking in the wilderness. If something is missing, Finns will invent it (e.g. wife carrying competition), Swedes will sell it to the world (e.g. entire country available on Airbnb), and Norwegians will win the cross-country skiing world championship (again).

Ebook news digest: literary tourism, collaborating authors, waterproof ereader, ebook statistics

2017-06-02

News on ebooks, writing, and travel

ereader on top of stack of books
Literary Tourism: Travel The World’s Book Towns
Book Riot

Towns with an exceptionally high number of bookstores are sometimes referred to as booktowns. Book Riot has collected the most notable towns from Canada, Norway, South Korea, from around the world into an article – in case you want to visit them all.

5 Critical Mistakes of Author Collaborations And How to Avoid Them
The Creative Penn

Co-authoring a book is not as common as collaborating with other artists for a piece of music or a film. An author who has succeeded in collaborative projects with other authors has identified five key issues. 1: learn to know your co-author before starting a project.

Snapshot: June 1, 2017
I Love My Kindle

The author of the post loves the Kindle, but if you love numbers (and data on ebooks) read the post. One of the many bits of data is that every day about 2000 new titles are added to the Kindle Store. Makes any and every publisher think how to differentiate from the mass.

Traveling in Scandinavia – Free Ebook Download
Klaava

A collection of travel stories, cultural tips and tourist information for North Europe. Free EPUB and Kindle ebook download.

Travel Writing: All You Need To Know
Jerry Nelson

The post describes the genres of travel writing and the authors who are the most famous representatives of the genres.

An Interview with a 21st Century Nomad
Mapping Megan

Steve Moore, a writer, has been working on the road for 20 years, long before the world started talking about the digital nomad lifestyle. He has perspective to nomad life.

Over 2 Million Historic Photographs Now Available Online – Pique Your Interest With A Peek Into History
SLR Lounge

Europeana project is like an online museum, preserving old European objects digitally. Now, two million images has been archived and made available, but check the rights before you download because not every photo is in public domain.

Kobo’s new Aura H20 is a smaller, cheaper version of its best e-reader
The Verge

A waterproof ereader for the vacation season sounds like a good idea. Kobo has released a new version of its waterproof device, and the reviewer likes it.

Ebook news digest: become a better writer, AI-powered camera, best ereaders of 2017

2017-05-11

News on ebooks, writing and photography

woman leaning on pile of books
5 Tips for Becoming a Better (and More Consistent) Writer
Inc.

Tips for people who would like to begin to write fiction or nonfiction, but haven’t had any idea how to start.

Wanderlust: The Case for Writing and Travel
Writers Helping Writers

Angela Ackerman makes the case for all writers to travel in order to develop their craft – not only travel writers who have to do it for work, anyhow.

European Commission’s New E-book Rules Worry Booksellers
Publisher’s Weekly

EU is a trade union, among other things, and is being developed towards a truly single market. Digital goods cross borders easily if geo-blocking (preventing access from people from other countries) is not used by online stores.

This AI-Powered Camera Only Shoots ‘Award-Winning’ Photos
PetaPixel

When something is trending in the world of technology, it triggers all kinds of strange ideas with people. A photographer claims he has built a camera with artificial intelligence (AI) software. It is fully automatic, and supposed to take only perfect pictures. Oh, dear.

The highlights of the French Riviera explained
The Gems of Nice

When you get there, remember it is Cote d’Azur (not Riviera) in French. Visual guide to Monaco, Cannes, Eze, St Paul de Vence, Antibes, Grasse, and many other beautiful places.

Where the news industry went wrong: it got hooked on advertising
Jennifer Baker

Working as a freelancer in the news business has taught this writer a thing or two, and one of them is that advertising is not the future of financing the news. We’ll see.

Best E-Book Readers of 2017
Cnet

The usual suspects continue to dominate the rankings for the best ereaders.

OpenAIRE as the basis for a European Open Access Platform
OpenAire Blog

“A public platform for the dissemination of research will become essential infrastructure to finally fully integrate research publishing and dissemination into the research lifecycle.” We wish success to this ambitious enterprise.


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Ebook news digest: mind shifting and social media for writers, tools and kits for travel writers

2017-04-01

News on books, publishing, and writing April 1st, 2017

Tavira, Portugal: a non-digital nomad in a park

Writing and Publishing Resources for Independent Authors
(Kate M. Colby)

An author herself, Kate M. Colby has collected a valuable list of resources for authors: books, blogs and podcasts to help writers in all aspects of their mission.

Interview – Davide Vadalà (Travel blog: Nomad Travellers)
(A Brit and a Southerner)

Many digital nomads, travel photographers, road travelers, hikers, globe-trotteres, and people who simply love to travel publish a travel blog where their journeys can be followed. Here is travel blogger Davide Vadala’s story.

Every Writer Needs an Editor, Especially if that Writer is Also an Editor
(Publisher’s Weekly)

The editorial director of a writing magazine discusses the difficulty of taking her own advice. Yes, the editing process can be painful for some writers, but the world needs editors who can turn manuscripts into readable, successful books.

10 of the best tools for remote working
(Creative Boom)

This is a good article for identifying online tools for remote workers, but online tools are not enough for traveling professionals. You will fail if you trust on online tools alone. This article outlines the importance of offline tools and recommends key apps and services.

Preparing Your Mind for Writing: How to Make the Shift
(Writer’s Digest)

Author William Kenower has realized that his mind has to shift to a specific mental state before he can write. Some writers talk about flow, words just appearing into the manuscript from subconscious, and descriptions of many other ways as writing really goes well. Well, welcome, mind shifters.

The Ultimate Digital Nomad Packing List 2017
(The Broke Backpacker)

The Broke Backpacker, we salute you! This is probably the first blog post that really says what it means to be more or less constantly on the move. The backpacker has also learned the value of offline tools, like Maps.me, which has perhaps been the most important app for us on the road.

Social Media for Authors: Get Social To Get Published
(Devumi)

Many tools and services introduced in the article are familiar for most writers, but the trick is how the writers are using those tools. Are they advancing his or her writing career? Of course, mastering social media is not the only thing publishers may expect from writers, but one important aspect of marketing.

The most read article in March 2017 at Klaava.com was about photography and travel in northern Europe.

Travel guidebooks for destinations in Europe

2017-03-15

Europe is the most popular travel destination for vacation-goers worldwide. First, royalty and then, tourists have been visiting Europe’s majestic cities, medieval villages, castles, fortresses, mountains and beaches for centuries. The infrastructure and services for travelers are in place.

Castillo de Santa Barbara, Alicante, Spain

Castillo de Santa Barbara, Alicante, Spain


Trends in travel change with time, and some destinations that earlier used to welcome visitors, may today wish tourists would go home. That’s an exception. In general, traveling in Europe is safe and people are friendly.

Even though English is the most widely understood language in Continental Europe, there is plenty of variation in regions. In eastern countries, German, Russian and French maybe more common foreign languages than English. In south Europe, English German and French are spoken in tourist regions, but outside them, travelers have to know enough local language to manage daily life.

Rick Steves has published many guidebooks for European destinations, but there are other, contemporary and visual travel guides published as ebooks worth reading. Travel Guidebooks Europe visual travel guidebooks cover north Europe and south Europe, and parts of Asia as well.

Getting to know the local culture is not as easy as many tourists believe. You get to know some German ways and you believe that it is all the same all over Europe. Not quite. Every nation in Europe has its own culture, etiquette and accepted behavior. If you intend to stay a bit longer in a destination, it is a good idea to prepare beforehand and read a cultural guide to the country.

Cultural guides are also featured in the book series of visual travel guides for Europe.

Klaava Travel Guide ebooks are available for download here.

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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