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Today:

*** How to Win $2,000 for the Year’s Best Photo
*** Practical Writing Prompt of the Week: How to Write about a Popular Destination
*** Reader Feedback: Is There a Minimum Resolution for Digital Photos?

Dear Reader,

It’s a good thing I’m not the judge of this month’s photo contest. These are just a FEW of my favorites…
http://tinyurl.com/348z2d

And, of course, cute kids always win me over…
http://tinyurl.com/348z2d

This month’s first-place judge, Heather Hicks, has her work cut out for her. Heather was the first-place winner of last month’s contest so she gets to pick this month’s. (Professional photographer, Shelly Perry, picks second and third place, and I think she’s going to have a hard time too.)

If you have a photo that fits this month’s theme — Blood, Sweat, and Tears — enter it before January 29th for a chance to win. We’re giving away $2,000 at the end of the year for the year’s best photo. So the more monthly contests you enter, the better your chances of winning. Details and contest rules are posted here.

But before you check out the latest entries, scroll down for today’s practical writing prompt.

Editors love articles about the world’s most popular tourist spots — Orlando, Paris, San Diego, San Francisco, New York among them — because they are a sure bet when it comes to attracting readers. But even though there’s an extremely large market for articles about popular destinations, the secret to selling them lies in coming up with a unique angle.  Read on below for more on just how you do that…

And don’t forget to keep me up-to-speed on your travel-writing or photography success. If you have a story to share, send me a quick note at lori@thetravelwriterslife.com.

— Lori
Lori Appling
Director, Great Escape Publishing

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

PRACTICAL WRITING PROMPT OF THE WEEK

Some people think you have to travel to exotic destinations to write a good travel article. But that’s just not true.

Truth is: Editors love articles about the world’s most popular vacation destinations because popular destinations are a sure bet when it comes to attracting readers.

But even though there’s an eager readership for these articles, the only way to sell one is to come up with a unique slant.  One way to do that is to write counter to the popular perception of a place.

This month’s Delta Sky magazine, for instance, features an article titled: “In Jackson Hole: It’s NOT All Just Downhill from Here.” It’s an article about what to do, aside from skiing, in ski popular Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

To write an article like this yourself, think about your own town or someplace you’ve visited and try to nail down the “typical” perception potential tourists have about it. What’s the most popular thing to do there?

Then, based on what you come up with, think of an article idea that casts a new or unusual light on your destination… one that might surprise, enlighten, (and please) readers.

READER Q&A: Is there a minimum resolution for digital photos?

Q: Is there a minimum resolution for digital photos? I usually take mine at 1200×1600 pixels, although my camera offers more.

A: “Setting your camera to take pictures on anything but the highest resolution your camera offers is like only wearing your seat belt when you know you’re going to get in an accident. You should ALWAYS set your camera to take pictures at the highest resolution possible because you never know when a great photo opportunity will present itself. A great picture at a low resolution will be hard to sell. Your only choice is to be prepared so that when the time comes, you’ll have the most lucrative photo possible.” — Rich Wagner

[EDITOR’S NOTE:  Rich knows his stuff — his images hang in public corporations and private foundations from San Diego to Boston and in homes from the Americas to the Far East.]

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