I’ve recently found an app I didn’t know about before called Garmin Explore. It is different from Garmin Connect in that it lets you view a map (a bit like GaiaGPS), your saved waypoints and your activities.
Garmin Explore Offline Maps
You can download offline maps with it, and it seems quite smooth functioning. As with all apps like this, they drain a fair amount of battery when you’re using the GPS.
I’ve encountered a small problem which is that it won’t show any of my past activities prior to installing the app. However, it does show newly created ones.
Garmin MapShare with a Garmin Fenix 5x or Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Solar Watch
You can also use the mapshare feature (I thought this was only available to inreach customers) to show your activities on a map to friends/family and there’s an option to password it as well. This will only update when you have an internet connection and sync the watch, unlike a Garmin InReach Mini or the like but it’s still pretty awesome.
I am currently trying to figure out how to show previous activities. If I find a way, I will update this post. Certainly check it out if you have a Garmin Fenix 5x, Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Solar or whatnot :).
For my trip next year, I have been looking at getting a Garmin Inreach Mini. I’m not sure if a new model is due to be announced; I’m guessing Garmin will use their solar technology in it if so. I have been reluctant to buy one because it’s a sealed unit, and battery quality degrades over time. After doing a bit of research, I believe replacing the battery isn’t actually that difficult. You just unscrew a few screws on the back. Perhaps someone with it could correct me if I’m wrong.
Completely unrelated, and I won’t be buying one, but I noticed these Mavic 2 Pro drones look pretty cool :).
Recently a photographer in the YouTube community has been accused of various nefarious deeds. It’s made me wonder about certain things and where I should go with photography :).
I want my website to offer the odd bit of information for people, in the future. And eventually I think I’d like to travel blog more with it — that was its original intention.
The theme itself kind of sucks. I’ve been patching it here and there but it’s kind of like putting duck tape on an axe wound — if anyone knows of any good themes, let me know! In some ways, I can see why people go towards sites like squarespace because they make things simple. They’re quite expensive though.
Last year I regretted not buying a keyboard and writing a kind of travel diary. I should have taken more photographs too. That said, it was a bit of a learning experience for me and now I am really excited for next year! I’d go this year, but to be blunt, I cannot afford it.
And on the topic of money… I’m thinking of selling my Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens. It is an incredible lens, so it’s not that I have anything against it. The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens I own covers the focal length and aperture. It’s not as nice feeling, the sunstars aren’t as good and its flaring control isn’t as good but I have to be realistic, I think that money could be better spent on a 70-200mm f/2.8 GM lens or even a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM lens. That way, I’d be able to photograph lots of wildlife when I travel next year.
Lastly, also somewhat related to the Jason Lanier controversy is shooting models. I guess it’s made me think that there are a lot of questionable characters taking photographs of people even if he, himself might be innocent. I think I’d like to try it more, and I have some friends in Canada who said they’d let me photograph them :). So I’m kind of undecided if I’ll get an 85mm, 135mm, 70-200mm or the 100-400mm. I’ll see how funding goes, I guess. I still have a year to decide, so there’s no rush.
Basically this is a post about nothing really, haha. It’s just some thoughts running through my head.
I’ve decided to skip going to Scotland this year as I can’t really afford it, and I’m going to go to Canada again next year. I would like to visit a few new places such as Jasper and perhaps visit some places I’ve already been to. I am interested in taking better photographs of bears and wolves next time. If I can find the funds, I would like to get a telephoto lens. As I know Canada a lot better than before, I feel I can plan my trip way better too. I am, without question, going to concentrate more on photography and blogging while I travel and I probably won’t hike 15-20 miles each day every day, haha. I don’t regret my decision last year, I think it fundamentally changed me as a person for the better but I’ve simply learned a few things along the way and how I want to do things differently in the future :).
One thing I have learned with this website is that it’s actually really hard to keep putting out content. Even if that content is a poorly worded review (I’m guilty of plenty of those), it takes quite a lot of time. That said, I think I am getting better at it and my site looks tidier these days :).
Godox V1-S, Godox AD200 Pro and Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master Lens Reviews
I am still waiting for my Godox V1-S to arrive. My Sony 16-35gm has been here a while and so far I love it. I am also going to sell off some stuff I don’t use, sell my Godox AD200 and then buy the Godox AD200 Pro. I’m hoping with the money I make, it will cover the small difference in price. These three things will be the reviews I’ll focus on next.
At some point I’d like another AK-R1 kit because they are an absolute game changer in terms of speed. Shooting inside houses has to be done as quickly as possible and being able to put a 1/4 CTO gel on quickly makes a huge difference.
I find smartphones in general quite difficult to type with, and I’ve been thinking it’d be cool to write more while travelling. Especially as I’m considering photographing some stuff in Scotland as soon as I can afford it.
I bought the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 smartphone upon release and I’ve been really happy with it. I wanted a water resistant smartphone with USB 3 speeds for backing up photographs with my Sony a7rII mirrorless camera, and it’s served me well. I can never get along well with a touchscreen for typing a lot though.
Things like the Dell 9380 13inch XPS laptops are obviously incredibly nice but they’re also incredibly expensive and quite heavy to hike with for long periods. I can probably get by with a little keyboard for my phone, I think. The screen is fairly small but obviously most of that is taken up with the on screen keyboard anyway. Using a wireless keyboard, you effectively get twice the screen space and I think it moves into the realm of doable. For something like the smallest Apple iPhone, it might be too small but for larger phones like a Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Google Pixel 3 XL, etc. I think it should be okay.
I’ve seen a few models… The Microsoft Universal Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard catches my attention the most. Interestingly, it’s sold slightly cheaper here in the UK than in the states–that’s pretty rare for anything electronic. None of them seem to be waterproof but some have splash resistant keys. At £44.99 here in the UK, it’s cheap enough that you can break it without it ruining your life; nonetheless, it’s expensive enough I don’t really want to break it either. I have a folding case already, which I can use to prop up the phone screen.
There’s quite a few keyboards available and the microsoft is the more expensive model, but I typically really like microsoft hardware. I thought I’d mention these keyboards because it’s hard to keep track of technology and perhaps it’s something you might want to consider. If I get one, I will let you all know what I think of it. I have a few questions: are there delays when typing, does the gap in the middle of the keyboard matter much, and are the keys nice to type on? etc. so on. I currently use a topre, for my PC and I’m a bit spoiled.
I’m not sure how much these keyboards weigh in actuality either. For any travel bloggers hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2019, you might just have time to grab one! Haha. I think it’s definitely something a backpacker should take a look at.
To my knowledge, the microsoft universal foldable bluetooth keyboard works with all phone operating systems that have bluetooth.
Last year I went to Canada and it was my first time travelling alone, I loved it! I now have the travel bug, but I can’t really afford to go anywhere expensive. I’m from the UK and I’ve been to all of England but not Scotland.
When I went to Canada, my photographs were compromised because I hiked many, many miles each day. I don’t regret my trip at all and I can’t express how much I enjoyed parts of Canada. However, I’d like to take more professional photographs and I have a different goal in mind for my next adventure. This time I’d actually like to hike a bit one day, camp, take photographs the next, and hike the day after or something like that. Whatever I do, I want to make the trip more about photography and less about the hiking. Taking photographs at 2pm? Yeah, not cool (especially with a bear nearby).
Do you have any experiences hiking in Scotland? Are there any places you recommend where I can float around the area and no one mind if I camp there?
Portfolio site update
I have another update regarding my new site I’m creating. I’ve made a cool menu system I’m pleased with. I should probably get some screen recording software and show it on YouTube, but hopefully it’ll be done soon. It’s kind of a 3D effect :). You can see it if you follow my instagram and view the story (if you follow me, let me know and I’ll follow you back. I don’t pay an awful lot of attention to instagram).
When my new website is done, I can go back to taking photographs. At the moment I’m coding day and night, haha. I feel a bit ashamed with this site, because it’s a bit sloppy. After a while, I would really like to make a new theme for it but obviously income comes first. When I make the new theme, I’ll completely remove the portfolio page from it and use my other site to display my photographs. This has a lot of bugs in general, although it displays okay on a 1920 x 1200px screen.
My absolute dream would be to get good enough at landscape photographs such that I can sell them in an online store, and then travel for half of the year, haha. I think I’ve been watching too much YouTube.