Kent, or an opportunity missed.

This post is in the photography section but actually it’s more about me and my lack of blogging know-how.

I’m in the planning stages of a campervan road trip all the way around the Baltic sea this summer. I’m travelling alone and, hopefully will travel through Holland, Germany, Poland, Kaliningrad, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

I wanted to document the trip and share the photographs I take on the way and writing a blog seemed like the natural choice. As I’ve never written a blog before I though some practice was probably a good idea. My first ever post “When the Engine Blew Up” took me about three weeks to write but in my defence that included setting up the blog and many false starts while I discovered how it all works.  I’ve gradually become much more efficient and a post now takes me about two or three hours including sorting the pictures. This is in the comfort of my own home using my own broadband and I realise that once I’m on the road it’s all going to be a lot more difficult.

This brings us to the title of this post, I took the campervan to Kent for a week over Easter to practice blogging while I’m away from home. That’s the ‘Kent’ part of the title and the ‘missed opportunity’ refers to my total failure to post even the simplest blog post, let alone one with pictures.

My plan was to use the camping trip to improve my travel photography and learn how to post while I’m away from home. Basically what I discovered is that I really need to improve my game both in photography and blogging as well as working on-line.

I did have one little triumph with travel photography when I took this picture of an old soldier called Ken.

Ken

I first spoke to him outside a cafe near Chatham and his war stories were so interesting I bought us both coffee and a cake and we sat in the spring sunshine talking about all things military for about an hour. Eventually I screwed up the courage to ask him if he minded having his picture taken. I didn’t find it easy or comfortable asking a complete stranger if I could shove a camera in his face but it’s something I believe I’ll need to get used to if I want to effectively document the characters I hope to meet on my journey. As it happens I didn’t need to be worried, he was quite happy for me to photograph him and didn’t even ask why.

In addition to learning how to blog, I’m also learning how to use Windows 10 and Photoshop Elements 13 which will be my default program for photographs. I was sat in the van in the middle of a field and successfully uploaded the pictures from my camera to the laptop and that was where the problems began. First of all the computer deliberately hid the pictures from me, twenty minutes rummaging around in it’s hard drive finally produced the pictures but when I asked it to move them into Photoshop the computer said “NO”. At that point I admitted defeat, closed the laptop and had a beer.

As soon as I got home I got on-line and asked Google who showed me how easy it was. I definitely need to have access to Google while I’m away, which means I now have to learn how to tether my phone to my ipad and how to avoid running up huge data bills.

every day’s a school day, apparently.

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6 thoughts on “Kent, or an opportunity missed.

  1. As another new blogger I can relate to a lot of your comments about the techie bits. Writing the post is the easy part. Good luck and looking forward to reading about the Baltic trip

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  2. Rather than travelling alone, have you thought about getting a dog. Quite easy these days to get them passports etc. I could give you details?

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    1. I actually have a lovely old chocolate labrador called Chloe. She loves coming camping in the van but I’m not convinced she’d enjoy the long periods in the van, especially on the various ferries.
      I also intend to use my pushbike extensively to explore the areas I’m travelling through and at her age she simply couldn’t manage the distances
      So, although I’ll miss her while I’m away it’s much simpler if she stays at home.

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