Friday, 17 March 2017

Taking, storing and using photos as a liveaboard

We love taking photos and when you set out on a big adventure you really want to record it somehow. Digital photography is so different to analogue (film) as you can take as many images as you want and be able to see them straight away. Sharing them with others is also easier.

Looking back at the photos posted through our adventures, I can see how much we improved by thinking about and reviewing and practising what we were taking. I started looking into taking decent photos when I was pregnant with the first deckhand. It seemed a good time and I wanted photos of them as babies and growing up that did not have heads missing or were completely blurred. Varying success and lots of practice was joined by research of technical photography books and on line articles. 15 years later we are still learning and still practising.

We took photos to record our children growing and changing, to record places we went to and to capture memories and moments.There are images of all sorts of things to record and document, to capture the moment and the mood, food, places, things. You forget how things in a home change and how you change, it gives you a physical record. We also used photography as a means of storage; important documents, favourite pictures, work done by the children can all be photographed and kept easily and (relatively) safe from damp. Other things like stop animation can be done with cameras too. We recorded Christmas plays each year to send to the families; it was special for us, a great learning experience and was a lovely thing to share with family.

We posted lots of photos on line for friends and family to see what we were up to, others were emailed direct to grandparents. Some were filed away as a record of school work or childhood memories. When we got back to Britain, we created albums of our adventures for the children and presented them with flash drives containing a selection of great photos. We have others up on the walls to look back on our adventures. They jog our memories and remind us of how small the children were, the time that we ate that incredible chocolate cake or the fantastic time we had with new friends. They have also taken photos into school many times as part of projects adding a different dynamic to their work or class discussions.

There is no need to spend a lot of money on equipment unless you plan to become a professional photographer. We have a couple of point and shoot cameras and a couple of tripods. We have had the shorter one (or a similar one) for quite a while, the larger tripod is a new toy that I am enjoying experimenting with. It came from a charity shop for only a few pound and looks like it had been barely out of its packaging. I personally prefer a smaller camera that I can just put in my handbag but big lenses are great too. I find that I take more photos with something that I don't mind carrying around and it takes good quality shots. When picking a camera, you have to think about weight when you are walking, how conspicuous you want to be whilst you re taking photos and whether you will just end up leaving it behind all the time if it is too big or bulky to carry around. We have a waterproof camera but the salt water has affected the locking catches on the side so we tend to avoid underwater photos in the sea with it but at least if it gets splashed, falls off the kayak or we get caught in a Dartmoor storm we don't have to worry.

We store our images by backing them up onto discs with a burner which are then kept in a folder. We keep the small folder (A6 size) in the 3rd (optimistic, things we'd like to save if possible) grab bag when under way. The favourites are often duplicated and sent on to relatives, uploaded to the blog etc. too. We also have a hard drive for storage, meaning we can upload to the computer and access images easily. Everything is filed under the place name after some experimenting, we have found it makes it easier to find the photo we want when searching for a specific image.

We use a couple of programmes to add text and frames to images or create collages. I know that sending cards is a very British thing but we often use our images with appropriate messages to send to friends as birthday/good luck/new home/thinking of you cards. GIMP is very useful and intuitive to use and I also like FOTOR which does need an internet connection to work.

We enjoy capturing images and have a lot of pictures now which hold many memories. In addition to sharing our photos through the blog we have a Shutterstock profile which has many pictures from the South coast and Dartmoor and sailing related images.

All the images in this post have been taken by us

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