Tag Archives: video

Dasung has created an ereader with fast E ink display

2019-03-19

Ereader product development is going through a very active period, especially in China. In addition to traditional e-reader devices solely targeted at reading ebooks, and recent products that can be used for note taking as well, Dasung has created a 7.8 inch product with such a fast E ink display that the company believes it can be used for viewing videos.
dasung not ereader and phone connected
Originally designed for displaying text only, E ink is a special screen commonly used in ereader devices. The devices that have an E ink display are pleasant to view even for long periods. The screen doesn’t emit light (unless a front light for reading in a dim corner is turned on), it doesn’t flicker, and the text is sharp.

Normal E ink displays in ereaders can only show black and white, and a number of gray shades. No colors, and viewing videos has been practically impossible so far. This is what Dasung wants to change: provide an eye-friendly, flicker-free viewing experience for more applications than ebooks.
dasung not ereader is an e-reader and pc monitor
The company has even labeled the product as Dasung Not Ereader to emphasize the fact it can do more than ebooks. The Not Ereader is marketed as a second screen for a PC, or for a phone. Since the device can be connected to a PC, tablet, or phone that are used for viewing web pages and videos, it must manage those cases as well.

A video that shows the Dasung Not Ereader refreshing the screen really fast for documents, ebooks and web pages:

Another video that is playing on the Dasung Not Ereader shows an ice skater moving fast across the ice:


In this sports video, it is obvious that the E ink screen technology can’t provide the same sharp viewing experience as LCD or LED, but still, Dasung has taken a significant step in ereader technology for making them more universal devices.
dasung not ereader with bluetooth keyboard
Writers might be interested in the Dasung Not Ereader because it provides two primary functions writers need: reading and writing. The device can be used as an ordinary ereader, and as a writing tablet. It is possible to connect a Bluetooth keyboard to the device and type a new chapter to a manuscript, or a draft of an article. Anyone who wants to take as few electronic devices as possible along for a trip might find this useful.

When the Not Ereader product deliveries start, the price is USD 369 plus delivery costs.
dasung not ereader for audiobooks

Dasung Not Ereader key features and specifications

– Used as a PC monitor: Mac, iPhone, iPad via HDMI cable, and Android mobile device, Windows PC wirelessly (Wi-Fi).
– Powered by Android operating system software.
– 7.8-inch E-ink screen.
– 1872 x 1404 display resolution, 300 ppi, front light.
– Ebook formats PDF, EPUB, TXT, MOBI, JPG, PNG.
– Quad Core Processor.
– Wi-Fi.
– Bluetooth.
– 2GB of RAM.
– Memory card slot.
– Stereo audio.
– 5300mAh battery.

Someone has to write the scripts for all those video games

2018-11-18

Many writers apply their skills and knowledge to various media, writing different types of texts, articles or manuscripts. Even today’s most successful author JK Rowling writes young adult and suspense fiction (and who knows what else, because she has already used a pseudonym). As computer games have become more like movies complete with storylines that could originate from books, how many writers have already tried writing scripts for video games?
Assassin's Creed Odyssey by UbisoftAssassin’s Creed Odyssey by Ubisoft.

If you haven’t thought of writing for the games industry, you are not alone. Writing a script for a video game is a complex task that requires more work than, for instance, a movie script.

There are similarities in movie and game scripts: the world where the story takes place must be described, characters created, dialogue established, action described, and plot line invented. The thing that requires additional work in video scripts is choices. The characters can decide what they do next. Every possible decision path must be determined in the game script.

An experienced script writer describes the process of authoring a game in seven steps. The potential complexity of choices can be presented in flowcharts as these samples show.

Why writers may consider writing for the games industry right now? Until now, large, resource-hungry video games could be played on game consoles alone. This is changing. Google and Microsoft have introduced connectivity technologies that allow streaming advanced games via the Internet to computers that only need a web browser to run the game. This can attract new audiences from a wide variety of age groups to play games, expanding the variety of games from action to other genres.

Google Project Stream

Google Project Stream is in beta test at the moment, but it is possible to ask for an invite if your computer’s IP address is in the U.S. The Project Stream provides Assassin’s Creed Odyssey console game to your browser. The technical requirements are simple: the latest Chrome browser, a computer, and a minimum of 25 Mbps internet connection.

Business Insider tried out the Odyssey game by Project Stream, and the conclusion from the test was positive. They played the game on three computers (two powerful and one ordinary laptop) that had different types of network connections.

The game worked well on all three laptops. On two powerful computers, “Project Stream was essentially flawless”. Only the ordinary laptop that had the slowest connection experienced minor glitches.

This is impressive. Perhaps the Chrome browser and Project Stream do some proprietary tricks together to keep data rapidly flowing from the game server to the browser?

Microsoft Project Xcloud

Google Project Stream is not the only cloud gaming service available. Microsoft is already trialing Project Xcloud service that has multi-device support as its key feature.

The Microsoft video shows how Xcloud games run on tablets and phones:

The Sony PlayStation Now and Nvidia GeForce Now provide games via the internet as well.

Product review: Wunder360 C1 camera for 360-degree travel photography

2018-08-27

Wunder360 C1 is a 360-degree camera that can record video and photographs that show everything around the camera (up and down, right and left, front and back). It is an entry-level, budget-friendly camera aimed at people who just want to snap images, perhaps apply a special effect to the image and share it. How does the Wunder360 deal with travel photography? Here is our review.

Wunder360 C1 360-degree camera
In our case, the primary application for a 360-degree camera was travel photography. Especially, taking images in spaces like a room in a castle, filming road trips, recording city or village life, recording events that are difficult to capture with one camera (e.g. Tour of France bicycle race or a parade). Now that we have tried the Wunder360 C1 camera in all these situations, we can analyse the results.

Capturing a space like a room

The camera is good at recording a space around it, especially if there is enough light in the room or in the space. We tested this in a castle, and it is fascinating how much information it is possible to discover when viewing the 360-degree photos or videos afterwards. Also, a section of, for instance, a park with plenty of objects can be easily captured. A tripod is required for the camera.

Filming road trips

We installed the camera on a tripod that was standing on the dashboard. We wanted to take advantage of the image stabilization and camera direction features. The result: not worth it. The stabilization was not good enough for us and directing the camera doesn’t work well when the camera itself is moving with the car.

Recording city or village life

Excellent results. The idea was to leave the camera in a central place, like on a statue, in a large tree or on a bench, and let it film life on the street or on a square. The camera is so small that only few, if any, passing by pedestrian noticed it (we were hiding behind the statue so that we could see the camera).

We also tried walking with the camera, letting it record crowds on a busy street and people in cafes, but it didn’t produce good video in this situation. The image stabilization can’t correct movement caused by walking.

Capturing the motion of an event

Events, like parades, races (bicycle races, motor races, triathlon), and others have a lot of movement as many things are happening at the same time. A 360-degree camera can capture everything, and the Wunder360 has a feature that lets you direct the camera where you want after recording the video. This was exactly what we wanted, and this was exactly what we got. Good results, although the video quality after exporting the material to MP4 is not very good. Also audio sounds strange. The camera was standing still on a tripod in our tests at the Tour of France.

The street price of the Wunder360 C1 varies between 150-190 euros/dollars. It is available at online stores, and also at the vendor’s homepage.

In addition to the camera, you must have a smartphone or tablet that is new and powerful enough so that it can work with those 360 videos.
Wunder360 camcorder 360-degree video recording, edit on smartphone

These are the steps for working with the Wunder360 videos

The way a 360-degree camera works is different from ordinary cameras, and naturally, the resulting images are different from images or videos taken on an ordinary camera. These are the key steps for recording a video on the Wunder360 and sharing it on social media channels.

1. Specify a Wi-Fi name for the Wunder360.
2. Choose the recording mode in Wunder360. We used high-resolution 30fps mode.
3. Download the Wunder app on your smartphone or tablet.
4. Record videos and photos in Wunder360.
5. Connect your smartphone or tablet to the Wunder360 via Wi-Fi.
6. You should see a list of photos and videos on your mobile app that are stored on the camera.
7. You can view the images and download them to your mobile device. All photos and videos are 360-degree images.
8. Downloaded videos can be edited (e.g. camera direction) in the mobile device app and exported as ordinary MP4 files (that can be further edited in a PC video editing software). Exported files are not 360-degree videos, but only show the areas you selected in the camera direction feature.

Conclusion: take it or leave it?

For our travel photography needs, the Wunder360 C1 has just enough functionality so that we will carry it along on our trips. The small and low-cost camera has a specific role in our camera bag.

This is our first 360-degree camera, and it was a surprise how different its usage and output were compared to an ordinary camera. Fortunately, we had a specific need for it, and knew what we were going to do with it. That’s the key for anyone planning to buy one: it is essential to consider the applications for the 360-degree camera and then verify it has those features.

Tour de France road cycling race passes through the village of Bossost in Pyrenees mountains.

Wunder360 key specifications

Wunder360 360-degree video camera

2 lenses. Stitching In-Camera Real-time (when you view a video or photo, it is already one 360-degree image)
Focal length/aperture f=0.94 F2.4
Sensor Type CMOS
Photo resolution 4096 x 2048
Video resolution 3040×1520 at 30fps, or 2176×1088 at 60fps
Camera settings exposure and white balance
Status display 32 x 64 pixels (for battery, Wi-Fi, recording mode info)
Free application for Apple iOS and Android devices (required for viewing, editing, and sharing images)
Livestream to Facebook and YouTube
Important features in the app: image stabilization and ability to direct the camera movement before exporting the video to MP4.
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz/5GHz
Micro USB 2.0 port
Tripod mount at the bottom
Microphone
MicroSD memory card slot
Battery 1000mAh
Weight 95g
Dimensions 109.3 x 45 x 35 mm

Want to have an 10-inch Kindle e-reader? Here is how to get one

2018-06-18

In the early days of the Kindle ereaders, Amazon had a model with 9.7-inch E ink display. Perhaps it didn’t sell enough, or there were technical problems with the product, but it didn’t survive for long. Since then, Amazon has only been marketing 6 and 7-inch size Kindle ereaders. Many ebook lovers, however, want larger screen. Is it possible to find a 10-inch device for Kindle ebooks? Yes, it is.
Onyx Boox Note ereader 10.3 inches

Onyx Boox Note.

The trick is to find an ereader that is running on a recent version of Android operating system (version 6 or 7 is fine) that comes with the Google Play store. Then, you can open the Google Play store on the device, search for the Kindle app, and download and install the Kindle app on the ereader. That’s it. You have an ereader of any size you want where you can read Kindle ebooks.

The Ebook Reader blog has created a video where the Kindle Oasis 2 (7-inch display) and Onyx Boox Note (10.3-inch display) are compared. Because the Kindle ereader only has the Kindle app for reading, the comparison is conducted using the Kindle app on both devices.
amazon kindle oasis ereader with cover

Kindle Oasis ereader.

The fact that the Onyx Boox Note is running on Android and it lets users install applications from the Google Play store, makes it functionally more like a tablet rather than a simple ereader. You can download, for instance, a proper web browser, an app for writing notes, dictionaries, maps, perhaps even simple games.

The price of the Onyx Boox Note is about double than the price of the Oasis, but if you view the video, it is easy to understand why. The Onyx has more processing power, larger screen, it lets you install apps from the Google store, you can write and draw on the screen, among other things.
Onyx Boox Note 10.3 inch reader  for note taking, drawing

How to read Kindle ebook on a non-Kindle ereader?

View the video below for side-by-side comparison of the Kindle Oasis 2 and the Onyx Boox Note (by The Ebook Reader.com). You can see how the Kindle app and the Google Play Books reading applications run on the Onyx:

Will Amazon interfere?

Now that it has been established that Kindle ebooks can be opened in other ereaders than Kindle devices, what will Amazon do? The entire Kindle business system is built on tight control where Amazon decides where Kindle ebooks can be read. The goal is to ensure the biggest selection of ebooks is only available on Kindle devices and reading apps. The ebooks have to be purchased from Amazon Store. Well, so far, Amazon has succeeded. It is the dominant ebook business system globally.

It is obvious that Amazon doesn’t want to sell Kindle ebooks to any other ereaders than Kindle devices. Amazon may even try and prevent the Kindle app running on other ereaders. Let’s hope it doesn’t, because book lovers have more choice when Kindle ebooks are available on other ereaders as well.

Take the book about movie stunts along on your mobile phone wherever you shoot action scenes

2018-01-22

The book Stunts, Scenes and Safety – Introduction to Movie Stunts was originally published for the Apple iPad only. The reason was that it was the only ebook system that allowed video clips inside a book at the time. Well, times have changed since the original edition was published, and so has the book, which is now available for smartphones, tablets and computers.

Stunts, Scenes and Safety, book content pagesBook pages on a smartphone.
The concept for the book had been brewing in H-P Virkki’s head, who is an experienced professional stuntman, for a long time. When the iPad started the tablet revolution and Apple introduced the iBooks Author multimedia ebook design software, he knew his vision could be turned into reality. And so we did.

The one thing with Apple is that no matter how great its products and tools are, everything tends to work on Apple devices alone. Since many movie fans and aspiring stuntmen kept asking for the book to be made available for smartphones, Android tablets and PCs, we created a mobile edition of the book that works on practically all mobile devices.

In addition to the iBooks edition, Stunts, Scenes and Safety is also available as an EPUB and Kindle book. It means that exactly the same content can be viewed on a smartphone, tablet or computer, only the layout is different.
Stunts, Sccenes and Safety, book layout on a tabletBook layout on a tablet.
The book is available in all major online bookstores that sell ebooks, for instance:

Amazon.com
Apple iBooks (the iBooks edition comes with embedded video clips – be patient with the download)
Barnes & Noble
Google Play Books
Kobo

If you get your book from the Amazon Kindle Store, download the Kindle reading application from the app store. If you download your book from the Apple store, make sure you have iBooks app on your mobile device. Other bookstores let you read ebooks in a variety of apps. For instance, FBReader, Aldiko, Kobo and Google Books are popular reading apps.

The author of the book, stuntman and stunt coordinator H-P Virkki, has performed in many movies and he has trained actors, athletes and stuntmen at dedicated courses, universities and theaters.

More about the book here.

Below a couple of samples from the iPad edition of the book.
stunts, scenes and safety book on ipad
stunts, scenes and safety - ipad screen shot

The Library short film is for book lovers

2018-01-10

Even before the television show The Librarians, many movies and shows have used libraries as an environment for scenes in the story. Few stories, however, tell about a library or take place in a library. Jason LaMotte’s short film The Library is a tasteful story set in a beautiful English library.
The Library, short film
You can watch the 20 minute short film The Library here:

Jason LaMotte tells that all the interior scenes were shot at Bedales School Library in Petersfield, England. The library was built in 1921. Exterior scenes were shot at the Tonbridge School in Kent.

Two poems in the short film are from a play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostrand, and from Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

A Behind the Scenes video is also available for those who want to see hoe the short film was made. Watch The Library – Behind The Scenes video below:

Via Actualitte.

The new Helsinki central library features strong Nordic elements, and follows global trends

2017-12-24

When new libraries are designed, especially in large cities across the world it is remarkable how similar concepts are features in the design: large open spaces, areas where visitors can relax with or without books, cafes, music rooms, in other words a place that invites residents to be together. Finland’s capital Helsinki will get a new central library in December 2018, and the design features these contemporary concepts, but also strong Nordic flavors in its architecture.

Helsinki central library, Image by ALA architects
The new central library is being constructed in the heart of Helsinki, in a prestigious location next to the Parliament House, the central railway station, and other key buildings. A fairly large space in the city center was recently vacated from railway use (old maintenance and repair halls were moved away from the city center), and a number of modern buildings have been, or will be built into this space.

The new library is one of these modern buildings that will be closely inspected by all residents of Finland as well as by all travelers who visit the capital.

Here is a description of the library from the architects:

The key concept of the design is the interplay between the building’s three floors. The public plaza in front of the building continues inside, merging with the public spaces of the ground floor. This busy, constantly updated floor with a multipurpose hall, a restaurant and a movie theater, is suitable for quick visits and walkthroughs. The traditional serene library atmosphere can be found on the top floor—a calm area floating above the busy city center, offering unobstructed views to the surrounding cityscape.

The video below shows you around the virtual building (the real building will be ready in December 2018).

The architects who designed the Helsinki Library represent ALA, an architect firm based in Helsinki. ALA is run by its founders Grönholm, Nousjoki and Woolston, and employs 36 architects, interior designers, students and staff members, representing 12 nationalities.

If you are planning to visit Helsinki, take a look at a travel guide that shows you the best sights, neighborhoods, things to do, and events in the city.

Via The Journal of the American Institute of Architects.

A book about movies isn’t complete before it shows the action in video segments

2017-10-30

When professional stuntman H-P Virkki decided he is going to write a book about the work of stuntmen, he also decided that it would have to include video clips that show the action. He had to wait for the ebook technology to catch up with his vision, but once Apple had introduced the iBooks Author publishing tool, the long process of creating the book could begin. The exciting result is a available as an ebook Stunts, Scenes and Safety – Introduction to Movie Stunts.

Tung Bui, stuntman. From book Stunts, Scenes and Safety
For a publisher, H-P Virkki’s vision for a book that comes with video clips is an ambitious one, since plenty of work is required to get all the pieces fit together. The distribution of the book must be managed as well, because delivering an ebook with a large file size and video content is not a trivial thing. Ebooks created with iBooks Author could be delivered via Apple iBooks Store, so there was at least one global distribution channel for the book.

Later, the book was also converted to EPUB and Kindle formats in order to reach wider audiences.

H-P Virkki rehearsing stunts at a course
The second key theme of the book – in addition to the introduction to the work of stuntmen– is educating young movie lovers about the requirements movie business sets for aspiring stuntmen. The book has plenty of valuable tips for anyone who is thinking of squeezing into movies.

Writing a book is one thing, but filming segments that actually show some of the key concepts of a book is a completely different thing. How can a writer create video segments for a book? Since H-P Virkki is a professional in the movie industry, he knew what he had to do in order to capture the film material he wanted for his book.

Here is an article by H-P Virkki where he tells how he created the movie segments for the book Stunts, Scenes and Safety.

H-P Virkki at Stage 32.

More about the book. download ebook: Stunts, Scenes and Safety

How to restore a book damaged by water to its former glory

2017-10-28

For paper books, water is a dangerous element. If a book gets wet, nothing will restore it to the same condition as it was before the damage was done, but it is possible to get quite close. Conservation experts at the Syracuse Library have produced a video that shows how a book can be saved.

saving a wet book by Syracuse Library
The tools required for saving a book should be easily accessible at every home (apart from the book press), except for the fan that is not a common household item in countries located in cool regions. What to do if there is simply no fan in the house?

Here is the book rescue video by Syracuse University Library’s Department of Preservation and Conservation.

The next thing related to books that I am going to buy is a waterproof ereader with a case that can take a few bumps and knocks.

Oolipo brings interactive ebooks to smartphones

2017-10-04

Oolipo is an ebook reading application for mobile devices that comes with a dedicated content creation tool. Authors can embed interactive elements into their ebooks, as well as audio and video. Once the new Oolipo ebook is ready to be published, it is delivered via Oolipo bookstore to readers who can view the book on their smartphones and tablets. This is not the first time when interactive ebooks get a dedicated system. What does Oolipo mean for ebooks?

oolipo interactive ebook reading app
Oolipo describes its mission as follows:

“We believe that reading today means watching images, gifs, and videos, listening to audio, sharing and chatting with friends, interacting with characters. That’s why we created an interactive multimedia format for mobile and tools that enable you to create new stories with them.”

Let’s study Oolipo’s proposal for rich multimedia ebooks from two perspectives: A) fiction and B) nonfiction.

A) Fiction. At the moment, all sample ebooks at Oolipo web site are fiction. The general description of Oolipo also focuses on storytelling as the primary focus for the application. If you download a sample ebook to your phone, you will find pages with text, pages with sound effects, pages with animation, and perhaps with a question which direction you want the story to take.

Oolipo is in sensitive zone here. When someone is reading a fictional book, he or she sees the book’s world her own way. Another reader may see it differently. Audio and video elements that are intended to complement the reading experience actually change the world the reader sees in her mind.

B) Nonfiction The natural application for multimedia ebooks is nonfiction and textbooks. They benefit greatly from elements like animation, audio and video. Also interactive elements like questions and answers can be very helpful to readers who are trying to learn and understand something that is new to them.

An obvious example of a remarkable tool for creating and reading rich multimedia ebooks are works created in Apple iBooks Author. It shows how interactive and multimedia elements really have a role in the future of books. Travel guidebooks, for instance, can show more about a destination with rich media elements.

oolipo bookshelf, interactive ebook library on a smartphone

Creating interactive fiction books inevitably brings the role of book closer to games and movies. It is not a bad thing – on the contrary, something new may be invented. The author has many tough choices to make if he or she wants to create a fictional book in Oolipo.

If you want to create an Oolipo ebook, you can apply principles of visual storytelling familiar from movies or illustrated narratives, use audio and voice for atmosphere, and interactive elements. The elements can be images, gifs, videos, sounds and audio files, text, animations, links to websites (or other episodes), and chat messages.

Here is a video that shows how to create stories for Oolipo:

Some day, someone will get this right – maybe it is Oolipo, maybe someone else. It is fascinating to see if we still call it a book or something else.

Choosing the right ereader device for reading ebooks is also a matter of size

2017-08-06

The most popular ereader, the Amazon Kindle, is available in one size – the screen is six inches, but many other vendors are marketing larger ereaders as well. Is larger better? What are the benefits of an eight-inch, or even a 13-inch ereader?
Kobo ereader: reading on a hammock
Let’s compare three ereaders – Sony DPT-RP1, Kobo Aura One and Kindle Paperwhite – that come with different screen sizes. The size differences between these three ereaders are considerable.

The dimensions of the Kindle Paperwhite are: 6.7″ x 4.6″ x 0.36″ (169 x 117 x 9.1 mm). It comes with 6-inch display.
The dimensions of the Kobo Aura One are: 195,1 x 138,5 x 6,9 mm. The screen size is 7.8 inches.
The dimensions of the Sony DPT-RP1 are: 8.82″ x 11.9″ x 0.23″ (224 mm x 302.6 mm x 5.9 mm) . Larger than tablets, the screen size is 13 inches.

Somy DPT-RP1 ereader: reading and making notes
So, the first big difference is portability. Are you going to carry the ereader with you? The second difference is the type of ebooks or documents you are going to read on the device. If it is PDF books and PDF documents, or ebooks and magazines with pictures, tables, graphs, the larger the screen is, the better the reading experience will be.

All this and much more is explained and showed in a video by The Ebook Reader. Take a look. Here is the video that shows the 13-inch Sony DPT-RP1, Kobo Aura One and Kindle Paperwhite ereader.

Those ebook lovers who want color displays can get a tablet, but also then, it is a question of size. Personally, I like my 10-inch tablet for ebooks, but most people who read ebooks seem to choose an 8-inch or 7-inch model.

Amazon Kindle ereader fits into a coat pocket

This is a travel writer’s most important tool on the road

2017-06-13

When any professional, for instance, a digital nomad or a remote worker, who is working while traveling, packs for the next assignment or destination, there is always the question if something could be dropped from the travel kit. The number of electronic devices seems to be gradually growing in my travel bag, at least. Which tools are the essential ones to get the job done, if the assignment is to write on the road?
digital nomad working at a terrace near fruit farms of Murcia

Here is the set of key tools for a travel writer according to my experience.

Maps.

Both digital and paper maps are crucial for planning. For navigation on the road I use offline digital maps, but I have good printed map books as a backup.

Laptop.

Most writers type their manuscripts on laptops, and so do I. Nonetheless, it is quite amazing how little laptops have developed if you compare them to tablets and smartphones that have gone so far in such a short time. Where is the touch screen in laptops? Decent battery life? Protective cases for taking them on the road?

Smartphone.

The ultimate communication tool for keeping in touch with collaborators or calling tourist information offices of the world. The camera on the phone is also a very useful and important tool for a writer.

Tablet.

I use tablet a lot for planning (maps, distances between distances, routing) and researching background information on destinations. On the road, it is the in-car navigation device instead of the dashboard GPS. Tablet is probably the first tool that many other travelers drop from their toolset, but in the future, I may even choose tablet and keyboard instead of a laptop.

prepaid SIM cards for internet access
Local prepaid SIM card.

Some travelers rely on Wi-Fi hotspots to get online, but the best way to have Internet access when you need it is to buy a local prepaid SIM card with data plan. Insert the SIM card to your smartphone, 3G/4G Wi-Fi router, tablet or laptop.

Backup disk.

The next backup disk I am going to get is a portable, wireless SSD disk. In the office, I can continue using USB hard drives that can store terabytes worth of data.

Camera.

I write and take photos for books, but even if you wouldn’t take pictures to be published in an upcoming book, camera is a vital tool for a writer. Photographs have many functions: they show how a place looks like, they help a writer to remember details of a place, and they can document objects.

I just realized that paper and pen are not included in the list of key tools. It is very rare that I use the trusted and reliable note taking technology, but occasionally I do. Pen and paper are usually somewhere near to make notes, for instance, during a phone conversation, but they are not vital tools anymore. Another thing I realized is that occasionally I need help. Hubstaff Talent is a service for finding remote talent.

mirrorless SLR digital camera with zoom lens
If I had to choose only one tool from the list above, which one would be the most important for a travel writer? Camera.

Yes, a camera. I am slightly surprised by my choice, but if I had to select only one thing I can take along for the next trip, it would be a camera. By taking a photo, I can document details of things I would have to write down. Overview photos of landscapes and city streets help me remember how a place really was. I can quickly document information boards that highlight the key points of a sight or a protected park. Video clips of local markets, main squares and pedestrian districts remind me of the buzz and feel of the place. A camera is also a handy note taking aid: I can record a video clip with a note to myself. If it is my job to take the photos for a book or an article, those images have to be taken as well.

Naturally, when the time comes to start actually writing, a camera won’t help anymore. But the photos and videos will.