Article: Scrapbooking on the Road
Meryl Bartho


Vacation photos have to be one of my favourite scrapbooking topics – right now I’m getting to the end of an album of our trip to Namibia in July 2004, & I’m suffering great withdrawal symptoms – more and more “filler” pages are being added, because I just don’t want it to end! Sitting at my computer, scrapping all those photos is wonderful – I have relived that trip over & over, loving every minute of it. I’d like to share a few things I’ve found useful, hopefully they will help you enjoy the task too.

Where are you going to store the images?
One change digital cameras have brought about is the need to have a place to store the downloaded photos – previously we’d take along a supply of film, buy more if needed & have the rolls developed on our return. With a digital camera, first we take far more photos, and having to have a whole battery of memory sticks of cards is far too expensive.
Our solution is to take the laptop along on our trips – it has led to a few surprised glances when it comes out in some of the very wild places which we have visited! If you are going to a “wild” place think too of electricity – you will need to charge batteries for the camera & the laptop – we have bought a converter which plugs into one of the cigarette lighter sockets in the car (jostling for position with the rechargeable lanterns, fridge, deep freeze………!!) There are other benefits to having a laptop with us one is being able to view the pictures at the end of the days outing – many a happy time has been spent at cocktail hour reliving the fun!
Being an early riser, I also enjoy the quiet early morning to do a bit of renaming & sorting of files – from experience I find a little done each day saves the overwhelmed feeling of returning with thousands of unsorted photos………. Whether you do them whilst on holiday or on your return, they DO need to be filed in a way that makes sense to you and makes it easy to create your album. One thing I don’t do – is any cropping – I’ve found by bitter experience it’s much better to do that when you actually scrap the pages.
Before we go away I always purchase a stock of good quality CD’s so that we back up the precious photos in case of any disaster – you don’t want to look on the black side, but laptop theft, hard drive crashes are a reality of life, and it could happen on the last day of your holiday! So back up your files – I’ve seen some even suggest writing 2 CD’s, mailing one back home and traveling with the other – I’m not sure I’d be able to make myself go to these lengths, but then again, if you really want to be sure you are safe – do it!
We always take photos at very high quality (each about 3,000kb) making visiting internet café’s & emailing impractical – but I know some who do this. (If you ever have the privilege of visiting Namibia don’t rely on this – I saw ONE on our whole trip, & it did not look so good……!)

I believe that image tanks are very useful on the road – but not having seen one, let alone used one, I can’t comment on these – would be interested to hear from you if you have?

Write notes!
I used not to be very disciplined about this but the last few holidays I've been good & kept a detailed notebook - just a cheap one, but I try to made good notes of what we've seen, funny things that happen, how long did a stretch of travel take. Since doing that I find the journaling MUCH easier to do & I'm a great believer in journaling!

I usually do the writing whilst my husband, Ray, does the driving - in Namibia there was PLENTY of time we drove 7 ½ thousand kms in 2 weeks!
Some cameras allow you to leave a voice note with each photo – we’ve never found it terribly successful, but maybe you will – try it!
My head buzzes constantly planning the pages & believe me, if Ray only had Photoshop loaded on his laptop I would scrap on the road – dash them, with their one license/one user policy! At the back of the notebook I also start a list of what pages I’m going to want to include – this list is very helpful when filing the photos, as I find the easiest way, is to have a folder of photos for each page I want to scrap.

Take lots of photos!
As already said with a digital we tend to take lots of photos, but if you are thinking pages as you go you will probably take the sort of pictures you will need to make interesting pages. Remember the close up’s photos the little things - flowers, plants, birds, food, shells, stones etc – these look great in maybe little frames, on tags to give interest to your page.
Funny, sad, strange things that happen, try to photograph them all – in the end they will probably evoke many more memories that a “say cheese” photo will!
Memorabilia is also great photographed – maps, menus, brochures, tickets, – photograph them all. These little bit are often useful too for creating a common thread to run through the album when you put it together – providing continuity.

Creating the Album
All of us have our own ideas about albums but I’ll share my thoughts. I like an album to have a unified look – this I achieve by first off planning a colour scheme which is going to be appropriate to the destination – for my Namibia album I used some of the beautiful colours of the sand dunes - the yellows, deep reds and browns, for Ireland I used soft, misty greens & blues, for a seaside holiday you may choose brighter blues, greens and maybe sandy colours.
Once I have my colour scheme I think of elements that I’d like to use – I make mine, one of my favourites is to uses some of the items which I’ve photographed, some with background extracted, some in little hanging frames, some on tags as elements – this way they are totally unique, and so meaningful to OUR holiday.
Most of my albums have been 8” X 10” (20cms x 25cms) & I have done them “portrait” but you may like landscape – whichever, my choice is one or other, I don’t like to keep turning this way & that – but purely personal, everyone had their own way, YOU express your individuality!
Do at this point look at the article here at DSP on “Power Scrapbooking” it is a wonderful method of getting an album together fast!

I have seen several lovely vacation albums in the galleries, do a bit of a search, and look at these to be inspired! My own are in my gallery.

Have a happy vacation & I look forward to seeing all your pages!

© 2005 Meryl Bartho

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