Once you find a place you want to write about or photograph, get cinematic and zoom in. Collect details that capture not just the physical location, but the experience of being here. For writers, this includes:
A physical description
that eschews adjectives and fixates on concrete details, facts, insights, and sensations.
The best thing to do here:
Hike, order a particular drink, ride a pony, visit the rooftop, see the Rothko room, peruse the staff recommendations... Keep it to the one or two discrete experiences that draw you to this place.
Literary, artistic, scientific, historical context
(please do your homework)
A smart slant, astute observations that convey why you love this place without relying on heavy-handed use of the first person (limit the “me” and “I”--avoid the royal “we”).
The human element:
Who goes here and why? Who are the people who ensure its continued existence? Does the place have a special meaning for the community in which it is located?
Your photo should capture what you love most about this place.
Look for the most interesting detail or perspective. When possible, match your photo with the “set the scene” text.
We love spontaneous shots of people doing something (hiking, eating ice cream, thinking about a painting, etc.).
We also love close ups of objects, food, an architectural feature, etc. that capture the spirit of the place.
Unique perspectives and visions of places--especially those on the beaten path--always catch our eye.
An exterior shot is sometimes best, especially when indoor lighting won’t cooperate.
Avoid taking photos of a sign unless it’s iconic.
Avoid photos of people that look stiff or posed.
Sunsets are hard... proceed with caution.
Animals are the opposite of sunsets. Irresistible (provided they aren’t gratuitous--this isn’t Lolcats, after all).
Let your feet do the zooming, whenever possible.
iPhone users: Tap to focus (especially important in low light).
Steady your phone/camera on table, wall, or other stationary object (in low light).
Pay close attention to both the foreground and background.
Writers, please avoid:
Words we never publish:
breathtaking, stunning, amazing, awesome, undiscovered gem, must see, bucket list, place to go before you die...