Renowned philosopher Rod Stewart, in a raspy and melodic tone, once said, “every picture tells a story (don’t it).” How right he was. The story of the photo here is the story of this site. Sarah and I traveled to Rocky Mountain National Park late last summer for a weekend on a whim. We had just finished watching the excellent National Parks: America’s Best Idea (available streaming on Netflix) by Ken Burns, when I received an email from Airfarewatchdog that listed incredibly cheap flights from Indianapolis to Denver. Really wanting to start visiting National Parks again (a favorite vacation spot of my parents when I was young), I booked us a weekend trip.
Despite traveling a fair amount to non-Disney locations, prior to this trip I had never really been “into” photography outside of the Disney theme parks. But, I brought my camera on this trip and went wild shooting landscapes. I immediately realized I loved landscape photography, not just Disney landscape photography. Always scheming, after a successful first morning photographing the sunrise, I was already thinking about ways to incorporate photos from that trip onto our Disney (Tourist) Blog. Obviously, there was no logical fit.
By that night, I was already thinking of starting our own “personal” blog where we’d share random thoughts, experiences, and photos from our travels. I even had a name–Pika.com–which I decided upon after seeing this dumb little rodent called a pika that lives under rocks of the tundra, sleeps very little, and makes a lot of noises for some reason. I thought the name would be a tongue in cheek way to poke fun at the ourselves and our content. Fortunately or unfortunately, pika.com was not available when I checked (Sarah hated the name anyway). Instead, we chose this name, and I got in touch with Adam Hansen, who knows how to build internet web logs (he’s the brains behind this whole operation), and we started planning. The initial aim of the site was expanded to put more of a focus on the technical side of photography following photography survey results on our Disney blog, and the results are the site you’re now viewing.
At least initially, I’m assuming most of you reading this are readers of Disney Tourist Blog. Although there will be some Disney photos sprinkled in here and there, I hope you are interested in other travel destinations or the technical side of photography.
What’s in a Name?
Ah, the name of this site…it makes no sense, right? We thought it was pretty clever, but friends we asked about the name found it universally confusing and lacking focus. Despite this, we stuck with it, anyway. The “travel” part of the name is probably self-explanatory. It’s a travelogue. The caffeine part is what seems to trip people up. Caffeine is something we consume an inordinate amount of when traveling–it’s pretty much necessary for the crazy hours we keep–so that was my initial thought.
When I shared the name with Sarah, she suggested that it also sounded like the blog would be a “pick me up” to inspire or motivate others with their travels. So from your perspective, think of this as your “morning cup of coffee” when it comes to traveling. If we’re successful with this blog, it’ll be something that gives you energy and focus for your own travels (like gourmet French press coffee). If we’re unsuccessful, it’ll be like a vile substance that makes you grimace when you consume it (like Nescafe!). Either way, we promise not to stain your shirt.
If you still think the name is stupid, well…I’ll bet Sergey Brin and Larry Page heard similar things from their friends when they started their little site!
What to Expect
Whatever your expectations are for this website after reading the above–lower them. 😉 Our goal with this blog is to share daily photos from the places we visit, along with information on the location, why/what you might (or might not) want to visit, technical insight into the photo, and deep philosophical musings on topics of the day, all in a conversational style. Think of each photo post as a travel/photography variety hour.
The goal with the travel information is to present some anecdotal tips when it comes to the places to featured in the photos. There are a myriad of travel guides and blogs that all basically cover the same things. Of course you should see the Eiffel Tower when you visit Paris. You don’t need some jokers on a blog to give you that advice. However, you probably won’t know which hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Paris serves a delicious tiramisu, and this is the type of thing you generally can’t find on general travel planning sites or in guidebooks. So, while we can’t (and won’t) purport to be planning experts for these non-Disney locations, we can at least share with you some random insight we’ve gleaned as we’ve visited various places. You’ll have a role in this madness, too, as we hope readers of the blog will share their own recommendations concerning the places we’ve visited and the places we plan on visiting.
For those who have clamored for posts by Sarah on our other blog, she will be chiming in regularly with the “point and shoot perspective,” which will include photos taken with her point and shoot and iPhone.
In addition to the photo of the day posts, I’ll review various photography books (my goal is to read 52 this year…1 down, 51 to go!) and equipment as I test it. I will also post occasional photography ‘how-to’ guides based on your inquiries. As the site evolves and it becomes clear what most interests readers, you might see us tackling new subjects or tailoring content to match interests. Oh, and there probably won’t be any of that “philosophy” stuff mentioned a couple sentences back, but you never know. The three posts besides this one that are posted at launch should give you somewhat of an idea of what to expect from this blog.
With that, welcome, and enjoy your daily cup of travel caffeine!
P.S. We’re not totally wild about the logo we currently have, but it was either this or one of those coffee cups that looks like a lens. If you have a logo idea, please contact us!