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Since you couldn’t be with us in Shanghai for our workshop, I’m sending back reports to fill you in on what we’ve learned. You’ll find my second report below. –Lori ********************** Report #2 — What You Need to Sell Your Photos to Magazines and Newspapers Dear Reader, The first day of the Ultimate Travel Photography Expedition in Shanghai doesn’t start until tomorrow.  But I wanted to start this series early by addressing a concern we hear frequently from our readers… It’s the myth that you have to be exceptionally talented, “well-heeled,” or rolling in money in order to fund a lifetime of lucrative travel. Far from it. You just need to know a few basics. You need the right equipment.  And you have to be willing to put what you learn into action. Let’s talk about equipment for a minute… The truth is, whether you want to sell photos alone or with your articles, it doesn’t matter what kind of camera you use.  So long as a few basic requirements are met.  Like megapixels. Do megapixels matter? Yes and no. Certainly your photos need enough resolution to appear normal — without jagged edges — when blown up to at least 8 x 10 inches. That’s as big as most any publication will ever need. To that end, a 5 or 6 megapixel camera should be more than adequate… … so long as you take into consideration the camera’s sensor size. Your camera’s sensor size is actually more important than the number of megapixels it has. You see, the sensor is the part of the camera that actually captures the image. The bigger the sensor size, the more image data it can capture. Six megapixels on a large sensor is better than 6 megapixels on a small sensor. Those megapixels really get crammed in there when you’re working with a small sensor size. So even though you’re theoretically getting an image with high resolution, you’re actually getting an image of lesser quality when it’s stored on a small sensor. So, how do you know whether your camera has a small sensor size or a big one? As a rule of thumb, digital SLR cameras (that is, cameras with removable lenses) have larger sensor sizes than compact point-and-shoot cameras. So… if you’re trying to decide between a digital point-and-shoot camera with 8 megapixels or a digital SLR with 6 megapixels, you’ll get better quality images from the SLR with fewer megapixels. That said, 8 megapixels on a point-and-shoot is fine for most magazines and newspapers.  The rule for most cameras is over 5. So which type of camera do you choose? SLRs do a better job in low light situations.  You can attach different lenses to the camera body so you can play around more with selective focus (where your subject is in focus but your background is blurred) and other techniques editors love.  And they leave the creative control to the photographer. Of course, price is always a factor… and you can expect to pay more for a digital SLR than you would for a point-and-shoot.  And there’s a learning curve you’ll need to allow for with an SLR.  It might take you a few practice sessions to figure out all the buttons and dials on your model. But back to my PRE-SHANGHAI PHOTO TIP #1: When you’re shopping for your next digital camera, a larger sensor size is more important than the number of megapixels. Don’t think that your 8-megapixel point-and-shoot is a better buy than a 6-megapixel SLR.  The SLR will actually take higher quality pictures that can be blown up for the magazine cover, even if you need to crop some of the image. Your 8-megapixel image might not have enough data to allow for cropping and still blow up to an 8 x 10.  (Though, it’ll do just fine for photos on the interior of the magazine that don’t fill the entire page.) But consider this… We can call it PRE-SHANGHAI PHOTO TIP #2: There’s no need to buy a new camera until you’ve outgrown the one you’ve got. It’s not the paintbrush that makes the painter. This Shanghai trip will be my 43rd workshop at AWAI.  We’ve been running these events for over five years now.  And some of the best pictures I’ve seen have come from talented attendees behind a point-and-shoot camera. It’s best to practice your composition and exposure first.  If you don’t get those right, it won’t matter what kind of camera the picture is taken with.  It’ll be useless. Like I said earlier, if the camera you have meets the basic criteria (5-10 megapixels), that’s good enough to make money. Whatever camera you have today really can help you sell more travel articles. And if you haven’t sold a travel article yet, submitting your article with photos could help make it happen for you. Give it a try! More tomorrow… Lori Allen Director, Great Escape Publishing [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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