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Google a Plus For Photo Sharing

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Official Travel Notes Blog

With Google Plus opening its domain to the public, maybe the people who made accounts in July but didn't really do much more than add a profile picture, and perhaps a few words to their about section, might surf back over on the growing wave and find that there's some really good content being shared around.

If you sometimes feel that there's too much broadcasting noise on Twitter and an overflow of updates floating fast and furious through your Facebook feed, it could be worth expanding your social circle - on Google; or at least test the waters.

You might even find it to be the harbour that rocks your boat.

If you like pretty pictures there are some great photographers sharing their work on Google+.

You don't even need to worry about not being in their 'circle', just join in a hash tag theme or two on various days of the week and showcase your work alongside them.

These are some of the photography themes I like the look of:
Street Saturday; Sunset Saturday;
Sacred Sunday; Selfy Sunday;
Mountain Monday;
My Town Tuesday;
Waterfall Wednesday; Wildlife Wednesday;
Travel Thursday; Silhouettes On Thursday; Thirsty Thursday;
Food Friday and as it's the Fally Folly season - Fall Friday.

You can always save the searches that appeal to you to get easy access to the theme's latest additions.

For the full list, along with the relevant curators, see Daily Photography Themes on Google+ by Eric Leslie.

It looks like a lot of fun and I'm sure the list will expand. You might even have an idea for a subject of your own.

Google Plus looks like it could be quite a photographer's paradise, especially with how some of those awesome images display, that many are starting to Forget Flickr for Fotos,

SmugMug might be better in the image quality respect but Google has the mass photo-sharing capabilities within its tentacticles; served up from the free-hosting, Picasa Web Albums, back-end.

Serious photographers would probably not want to lock up their work solely on Google though, but the search giant is providing the ideal forum for showcasing their portfolios and making more contacts.

Excuse the pun, but the one thing you would probably hope for on Google+ is more exposure, especially if +1 starts to have an effect on search results served up to friends of friends; whose circles just keep getting wider.

Dynamic Views on Blogger

Even the new changes to the Blogger platform seems to be aimed more at the photo blogger.

There are a couple of problems with these dynamic views, as I see it, for your average blogger though.

Firstly, it appears all your own navigation and extras around the content is lost, so no more advertising or widgets when people read posts through those entry points.

Also, some of the themes like Flipcard, need your images to be stored on Picasa to work.

For photo sharing, it does look like a big plus for Google. Just make sure you store a hard copy of your portfolio elsewhere.

SmugMug to Google Plus

If anyone is trying to get their SmugMug travel photos into Google Plus you could follow the road I travelled.

First use the Photo Smuggler App to get them into Facebook, works with profiles or pages.

Then move your Facebook albums to Picasa and share it with your Circles with the Chrome Extension that was Move2Picasa.

+Michel Guntern.

9/11 Ten Years Ago

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Official Travel Notes Blog

Where Were You Ten Years Ago Today?

When asked where we were on a given date in the not too distant past, many of us would struggle to remember.

Mention the words 'nine-eleven' and almost everyone can bring back to mind where they were on the eleventh of September, ten years ago - when two hijacked aircraft unbelievably ploughed into the upper floors of New York's Twin Towers; rendering the World Trade Centre into a smoking ruin and sending shock waves around the world.

September 11th, 2011

Just a few minutes earlier, I had been innocently walking along the promenade in Loutraki; on a pleasnt day-trip from Athens.

Loutraki, Greece

The sun was shining and everything seemed fine with the world; although the wind was picking up.

At least that's how it seemed to everyone soaking up the rays of the warm September sun; while hardened news editors around the world were about to fall off their collective chairs in shock.

Greek Newspapers After 9/11

Without understanding a word of Greek it was clear that something terrible had happened.

September 11th Headlines in Greece

The following day, police presence around Athens was stepped up and flags flew at half mast.

Flags at half-mast in Athens

The war on terror was about to begin and it would take almost ten years to find Osama Bin Laden.

Our thoughts are with all those who are no longer with us to remember where they were ten years ago today.

Chianti Classico - In The Tuscan Hills

Friday, September 09, 2011

The Official Travel Notes Blog

It may be a long drive for a bottle of Chianti Classico but you can't buy the views in a supermarket.

Chianti Classico Grapes

The best way to explore the Chianti Classico region, between Florence (Firenze) and Siena, is by car. I was quite surprised at how many people were making the effort to cycle around though, as it really is quite hilly.

If you head east out of Florence and cross the River Arno, towards via San Marco, you'll eventually meet up with via Chiantigiana, the scenic route that is marked on maps and signposts as the SS222.

Chianti Classico - Hills of Tuscany

Ahead of you awaits a twisting route of vineyards and olive groves, followed by narrow streets punctuated with fortresses, castles and village churches.

Chianti Castellina

Strada in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, Panzano and Castellina in Chianti are all names that will soon come to life.

Relais Vignale - Radda in Chianti

There are plenty of accommodation options in Chianti, from farmhouses and B&Bs to hotels and villas.

Radda in Chianti

As we were only on a weekend visit, we searched for Radda in Chianti hotels before we hit the Autostrada.

Pool with a View - Chianti

With a forecast of 35 degrees in Florence, a pool with a view seemed to make a lot of sense, but as we were expecting to arrive towards the evening I felt we would be better off with a hillside restaurant.

Chianti Terrace

As it turned out, the Relais Vignale had both. By booking online we even saved over 100 Euro on the advertised rates.

If you're not a vegetarian, be sure your Chianti Classico accompanies the famous Beefsteak Fiorentina. The meat here was grilled to perfection; a crispy bite into succulent beef.

If you are a vegetarian, just raise your glass and enjoy the view.

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