If you are planning a photo trip, there are numerous online resources you can use to make sure you improve your chances of success.

Right off the bat I want to tell you about Google Maps. Just go to http://maps.google.com/ and you can learn all the fine details. But here’s the big picture. If you want driving directions and you’ve used Mapquest, you probably got where you wanted to go, but not as fast. And Google’s maps let you get closer using dynamic real time technology that lets you click and drag rather than wait for new downloads. Heck you can even get a satellite image of your destination.

I planned a recent trip and was able to see into each nook and cranny of each location with amazing detail. In addition to getting directions, you can map to a specific point and you can find destinations like hotels, free wi-fi, pizza joints or any other business such as a camera store.

Using online maps is fun, free and fast and a better way to plan your photo trip than an old static fold up map.

There are other online resources you might want to consider.

PlanetEye http://www.planeteye.com/ helps travelers organize their trips by letting them “clip” interesting photographs, attractions, hotels and restaurants.

TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.com/ is the place I usually trust the most when it comes to hotel reviews. They rank hotels in most destinations in order of user preference and I’ve found the reviews to be mostly accurate and helpful.

Photo Traveler at http://www.phototravel.com and http://www.phototraveler.com or phone 323-660-8600 or 800- 417-4680 are very specific guides for traveling photographers, focusing more on the shooting than the hotel/transit issues.

Photograph America Newsletter by nature photographer, writer, and traveler Robert Hitchman tells you where, when, and how to discover the best nature photography in America. E-mail him at [email protected] or phone 415-898-3736.

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This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Perfect timing! I was just looking for something like this. In addition… does anyone have any Africa specific advice?

    Reply
  2. Perfect timing! I was just looking for something like this. In addition… does anyone have any Africa specific advice?

    Reply
  3. @ Adam
    Since you didn’t say what kind of advice you’re looking for, I don’t know if this is exactly what you’re looking for.

    I was in Africa on safari at the end of May. Here are a few things I learned on my trip. If you are going to be on safari with a group of people, you are going to want a nice zoom lens. For my trip, I was in a truck with 4-7 other people, and we were not allowed out of the truck for obvious reasons. A versatile zoom lens worked great since your choice of shooting position is limited on where the driver stops and your seat in the truck! I took a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS on one body, and a 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS on the other. I rented both of these lenses for this trip. I also had the 24-70mm f/2.8L with me in case we stopped closer to larger animals. I have a 170-500mm lens, but opted for the shorter zoom with IS because I knew it would help a great deal while shooting from the back of the truck with other people moving around. Also the 100-400mm was faster. I also rented the 1.4xTC. Wait for the driver to stop the truck, and turn off the motor before attempting to shoot. It also helps to wait for the others to get their shots and to settle down before trying to get yours. A tripod in a crowded truck wasn’t practical, but a monopod worked great once everyone else was still.

    As far as traveling goes, I kept all of my gear with me on the plane, except my tripod and monopod. When out on safari, I limited my gear to avoid getting in the way of others in the truck.

    Make sure you get your vaccinations, and take your malaria pills. :)

    Last but not least, HAVE FUN!

    Reply
  4. @ Adam
    Since you didn’t say what kind of advice you’re looking for, I don’t know if this is exactly what you’re looking for.

    I was in Africa on safari at the end of May. Here are a few things I learned on my trip. If you are going to be on safari with a group of people, you are going to want a nice zoom lens. For my trip, I was in a truck with 4-7 other people, and we were not allowed out of the truck for obvious reasons. A versatile zoom lens worked great since your choice of shooting position is limited on where the driver stops and your seat in the truck! I took a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS on one body, and a 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS on the other. I rented both of these lenses for this trip. I also had the 24-70mm f/2.8L with me in case we stopped closer to larger animals. I have a 170-500mm lens, but opted for the shorter zoom with IS because I knew it would help a great deal while shooting from the back of the truck with other people moving around. Also the 100-400mm was faster. I also rented the 1.4xTC. Wait for the driver to stop the truck, and turn off the motor before attempting to shoot. It also helps to wait for the others to get their shots and to settle down before trying to get yours. A tripod in a crowded truck wasn’t practical, but a monopod worked great once everyone else was still.

    As far as traveling goes, I kept all of my gear with me on the plane, except my tripod and monopod. When out on safari, I limited my gear to avoid getting in the way of others in the truck.

    Make sure you get your vaccinations, and take your malaria pills. :)

    Last but not least, HAVE FUN!

    Reply
  5. Scott, I must say that the content/viewtime ration of TWIP far exceeds any other photography site on the web that I have visited. This post is just another great example. It is the one site I miss most when off-line. The effort it takes to produce this great blog is noticed and appreciated.

    Reply
  6. Scott, I must say that the content/viewtime ration of TWIP far exceeds any other photography site on the web that I have visited. This post is just another great example. It is the one site I miss most when off-line. The effort it takes to produce this great blog is noticed and appreciated.

    Reply
  7. Another great resource is the map/geotagged photos feature on Flickr. Log into Flickr, then click the little down arrow next to the “Explore” on the top menu, and choose “World Map”. From there, enter a location to find photos near there that have been geotagged.

    Reply
  8. Another great resource is the map/geotagged photos feature on Flickr. Log into Flickr, then click the little down arrow next to the “Explore” on the top menu, and choose “World Map”. From there, enter a location to find photos near there that have been geotagged.

    Reply

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About scottbourne

Founder of Photofocus.com. Retired traveling and unhooking from the Internet.

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