Technology and the Open Road.

I’m out on the open road on a day or long road trip and as they say in golf, “What’s in my (golf) bag?” In this case my technology bag.

There is so much technology out there in regards to phones, apps, social media tools, cameras, tablets, I could go on-and-on. Even with all that is available, I like to keep things pretty basic and light-weight when on the road. A recent day trip to Cleveland, Ohio to coffeehouse hop, work and roam the city will showcase what I use.

I only carry a small camera and phone. My camera is a Canon PowerShot A3300 IS usually set up in Auto or Easy mode with most of the default settings. I play around with flash on or off depending on the time of day and lighting. An extra battery and memory card is always on hand in case the camera is getting a lot of action. πŸ™‚

Canon camera, travel

After the work day ended I walked around the city capturing this autumn, dusk shot with my camera alongside Progressive Field. The historic Terminal Tower is all lit up straight ahead.

Cleveland and Terminal Tower at dusk, Autumn

Photos are captured from my phone as well. In general I don’t mess with photo effects like vignette, vintage and grayscale. I like capturing the shot as seen in front of me. My current phone is a HTC Desire HD Android smartphone. My walking led me to this shot of the Cleveland skyline from Edgewater Park using the Android near sunset.

Cleveland skyline from Edgewater Park using HTC Desire HD Android

In regards to effects, after the photo has been taken is a different story. I’ll add a filter or effect before I post on to a social media app like Instagram because I’ll still have the original. Below is a picture of the skyline at night while on the Hope Memorial Bridge using the Kelvin filter.

Cleveland skyline from Hope Memorial Bridge, dusk

Speaking of Instagram, I started using it like gangbusters as soon as it was available for the Android. What took so long haha?! Coffee, martini and skyline shots seem to highlight my feed.

The work day and Instagram featured Koffee Cafe in the Ohio City neighborhood. Get the Turtle Latte.

Working at Koffie Cafe, Ohio City neighborhood, Cleveland

A trend recently has been for people to combine images into one, creating a collage of sorts. I use Diptic for that purpose, combining several photos from a city, coffeehouse, trip, etc. to highlight what a place has to offer. I then post it to Instagram, among other applications. A college of my evening roaming in The Cleve is below. When visiting make sure to get to the Public Square downtown.

Cleveland, Ohio collage using Diptic, Instagram

On Instagram I’ll also checkout hashtags related to the area I’m in to get an idea on somewhere else to go by seeing the pictures.

I’ll also checkout the hashtags, along with the local Tweetstream, on Twitter to get local ideas on the fly. Checkout hashtag #HappyinCLE. Those that know me know I’m very active on Twitter. I’m always looking to strike up conversations with friends and fellow travelers. I’ll checkout if the place I’m currently at or looking to go to has a Twitter presence and I will reach out.

Another one my offices during the day, as you can see on my Twitter feed, is Phoenix Coffee just outside the city line in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Get the Speedball. You’ll really be energized haha.

Phoenix Coffee, Cleveland Heights, Ohio using Foursquare, Twitter

As you can see above I use Foursquare too. I’ll check-in and post a picture highlighting a place I think other people would like to checkout. I’ll use this app mostly on the road. I’ve passed the local, day-to-day checking in everywhere phase. I don’t think there’s much interest in my grocery shopping habits. πŸ™‚

Once in a while when on the road I’ll post to my own Facebook wall as well as on my fan page, but I usually save that for later on to highlight my recent travel experiences. You have to draw the line somewhere!

A shot from inside Gypsy Beans & Baking Co. in the Gordan Square neighborhood, as well as another from Edgewater Park.

Cleveland shots on Facebook fan page

I also make sure to see places with my own two eyes sans technology, just starring and soaking in everything. Pictures and technology are great, but nothing beats being somewhere in that moment without distraction, enjoying the way people did before smartphones came into the picture.

A tidbit from my youth: I’ve been a walking atlas since I was young, so I rarely use Google Maps, Foursquare maps or GPS to help me find my way. I like the unknown and I always seem to get to my destination.

When I do look for a little guidance I like to be old-fashioned and pull out a state map or the Rand McNally Atlas. Where to now Cleveland?

Rand McNally Ohio map, atlas, Cleveland city map

Checkout how some people navigate in Road Trips: Finding Your Way. That’s my technology story when out on the open road. During my time in Cleveland on this day I was able to post and interact via my smartphone, capture photos and at the same time enjoy everything around me without the technological interruptions. I got lots of work done and of course consumed lots of area brew.

With technology continuously evolving who knows how different this post would be if I wrote it at the end of the year. Perhaps I would have additional technology in my arsenal. You’ll have to see as I will write one then. πŸ™‚ I’m actually on the lookout for a new phone and/or camera as we speak. The day began with some java at Gypsy Beans & Baking Co.

Gypsy Beans and Baking Company, Cleveland, Ohio via Twitter, Foursquare

What do you carry phone, camera and technology-wise during your road trips and travels? What are your social media apps of choice?

14 responses to “Technology and the Open Road.

  1. Like you, I am a walking atlas. Well, maybe it’s just I have a good sense of direction! I don’t like messing too much with photos when I take them or afterwards as I like to recall the place as it was usually. All I do is try to get the composition right. But, on occasion I do tweak a photo just because I am bored and want to play πŸ™‚ Nice post!

    • Thanks Raul! Yeah the geek in me plays and experiments with photos using different tools, just to see what I can do, even if they never get posted anywhere. Nothing beats the original photo though.

  2. I also find that a small camera (I’ve got a PowerShot SD 980 IS), with an extra battery and memory card, and a phone (I’ve got an Android) will pretty much cover you for day-to-day stuff. I do like my big ol’ SLR because the photos can be much better, but it can get pretty darn heavy by the end of the day! I find the smaller camera better for food shots anyway.
    I also like using Yelp on the road as a quick way to find local restaurants, coffee shops, attractions, etc.

    • I’ll usually check Yelp or TripAdvisor before I head out somewhere. Need to check em out more when somewhere, to see what’s nearby. Definitely like the light weight aspect. πŸ™‚

  3. eriksmithdotcom

    Cleveland’s sure has come a long way from the “Mistake by the Lake” days. We can only hope Detroit can someday reinvent itself, too.

    • Remember going to the old Cleveland Stadium back in the day and compare it to the lakefront now, wow. Lot’s of breweries, coffee houses, shops and other places to explore in the various neighborhoods and downtown. Always lots of people out-and-about. Great things are happening in the D too!

  4. It is always interesting to see what other bloggers are using and how they travel. I have four cameras now that all serve a specific purpose. Sometimes I feel like Keanu Reeves in the Matrix except digital cameras instead of guns.

    • Love all the photos and scenes you capture. Great Matrix analogy! Even though I probably will get a new camera this year, I’m sure I’ll keep the basic Canon in my arsenal.

  5. This was an interesting insight into a day in the life of ElATLboy πŸ™‚ I agree with you that the mix of modern technology and “old school” ways is the way to go. I still like paper maps and always have one with me in the car.

    • Thanks Pola, roaming and coffee, repeat haha! Gotta have the old-school atlas. Always grabbing maps when I see them at tourist centers. πŸ™‚

  6. Great post! Thanks for sharing this info and thank you for following Travel Oops! Cheers πŸ™‚

  7. Wow, this paragraph is fastidious, my younger sister
    is analyzing these things, thus I am going to tell her.

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