I am getting ready to spend a week with family on the West coast and there will be at least a little time for photography (I make sure there is always time for photography). I thought it might be nice to spend just a few minutes sharing some of my tips for researching locations.

For the actual planning of where to stay- I used a mix of Hotels.com, AirBnB and Kayak.com.  I will also use Google Maps to search out accommodations.   Once the home away from home is booked I start the serious planning of where I am going to shoot (sometimes I reverse this order – planning where I want to shoot and then booking the accommodations, but when traveling with family I don’t always have the full say 😉


Back to Google Maps for Planning – I use the very nice “My Places” feature to mark the hotel, nearby places to eat and of course potential photo spots.

Switching to Satellite view I start to explore – Google has a a photo layer that can be displayed on the map.   Again I mark interesting locations and I often think about the time of day it would be best to visit.   The Photographers Ephemerisis a great tool for planning the direction of the sun and to give you an idea of the golden hour.   If the trip is going to be along the edge of the ocean checking tide tables is often a good idea too.


An alternative to Google’s photo layer (powered by http://www.panoramio.com/) is Flickr.  Flickr has a map tool that lets you see all of the geolocated photos for a location, Flickr also allows you to sort by recent photos, with a click you can be looking at photos yesterday – which may give you a much better sense of the current conditions for the area.

Anything interesting goes back on the My Places Google Map I started with – this is accessible from my phone and with a few taps I can be following turn by turn directions to choice spots.



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 They all had dreams. They all had family. They died for us. Arlington National Cemetery is a heavy place, I can't help but think about all the pain and suffering when presented with row upon row of a headstone representing a fallen soldier and my mind boggles that this still happens today. On this little planet hurtling through an incomprehensible ginormous space - some people think it is ok to kill each other. :( p.s. You should google Cornelius H. Charlton - his story is interesting p.p.s My grandfather is buried in Arlington- my Mom's father was instrumental in designing and implementing early radar systems for the Navy in WW2. Captured with the #Sony #a7RII and #Canon #70200L at 200mm and f/3.2
 #mondaymorningshare - I want to see your failed experiments or favorite photos from the last week. GO TO http://photorec.tv/fb to share your fav image from the past week. Here's my #failedexperiment The US Capitol at Sunset. File this under because I could - a 2 minute exposure with the use of a NISI Filters 10-stop ND. I hoped I would get some interesting wispy movement in the clouds but nothing developed. Next I tried a 6 minute exposure (swipe to see it) and while there may be a little more movement in the clouds it certainly wasn't anything to get excited about. And while I often recommend very carefully shooting building and monuments as symmetrically as possible, I purposefully shot from right of center to avoid losing Ulysses S. Grant statue in the front of the capitol. *  Sony #A7RII and #Canon 2470mm with #NiSiFilters #10StopND
 I love traveling with other photographers on #mckaylive trips. Kari, a trip participant, noticed this line of trees and shared her perspective with me. I had glanced at them but hadn't noticed how nicely they lined up when standing at a certain spot #teacherbecomesthestudent :) We had a great day leaving behind the cherry blossom crowds for a much quieter walk around #HarpersFerryWV. And a visit to #BolivarHeights a much fought over hilltop during the civil war and the site of the largest surrender of Union troops - over 12,000 men surrendered to Stonewall Jackson. *  Captured with the #Panasonic #GH4 and #1235mm lens

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