Making Memories of a Lifetime

By on September 1, 2011
making memories

By Donna L. Hull—

Climbing the steep steps of China’s Great Wall – you think it’s a memory that you’ll never forget. However, the sharpness of the experience fades over time. But you’re one of the lucky ones. The digital photos from that China trip are living on your computer’s hard drive – available at the click of a mouse. So how do you create memory worthy photographs?

Start at Home

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Spending time with your camera equipment before traveling will make recording those special moments a hassle-free experience. Do you remember how to use the camera’s settings? Now’s the time to re-familiarize yourself by practicing a few shots.

And how will you store the photos while traveling? If you need to refresh your memory on downloading to a computer, do that now. Just remember: don’t erase that memory card before storing images in at least two places. I recommend packing a mini hard drive for photo storage; but if you’re bringing a computer on your trip, backing up to a DVD is another option. Or, if you have a fast internet connection, upload photos to an online site like Smugmug, Flckr or Picasa.

A few last minute checks – is the battery charged? Are you brining an extra one? Have you included several memory cards plus a card reader for easier downloading to a computer?

Capturing the Memory

A few simple tips will make a world of difference in the quality of your photos. There’s nothing new here but it helps to be reminded:

  • Don’t shoot into the sun
  • Lighting is best in the early mornings and late afternoons
  • Zooming in to capture the smallest of details makes for an interesting shot
  • Go big to record a grand scene, zooming out as wide as you can

Think out of the box by changing the perspective. One of my favorite tricks is to kneel down, shooting low with the lens.

People add energy and perspective to landscape shots; but ask first, many cultures are sensitive about being photographed.

Keeping the Trip Alive

One of the simplest ways to share your travel memories is using an online photo service. Create slideshows or online books, then email the link to family and friends so that they can travel vicariously with you. Once you’re home, consider making a photo book of your trip from one of the many sites on the internet. A few captions included with an assortment of photos will make a lasting memory. Or create slideshows set to music to play on your internet TV.

But before you upload those photos, take a few minutes to make adjustments to the photos with editing software or a free service such as Picasa. Four simple steps – cropping then adjusting color, light and sharpness – will improve the quality of the photos. And, remember, only upload your best shots if you really want friends and family to view them.


Donna L. Hull specializes in writing travel and human interest content for online and print publications. Donna’s popular blog, My Itchy Travel Feet, explores the world of active travel for baby boomers through articles and inspiring photographs.

About Doris Gallan

Doris Gallan has traveled to all seven continents, visited 50+ countries and lived in five. She coaches others on doing the same and is the author of The Boomers’ Guide to Going Abroad to Travel * Live * Give * Learn. Doris provides daily travel tips and blogs about her travels and expat life at


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Making Memories of a Lifetime