There are many tools that a blogger can use to make their website more interesting to the reader. Blogs are a visual medium and it is essential to keep your visitors attention by adding video, images and creative editing.
Knowing what application to use can turn an ordinary post into an eye catching display. Before I started travel blogging, I thought that you needed an intense course in coding and website design to create anything unique on a website.
I had all these ideas, but had no idea how to implement them. Luckily for me, I have a husband that has the patience to learn new programs and takes the time to show me how to utilize them. He can figure out anything that I throw at him. I tell Dave what I am looking for and he tells me what application will do the task.
It is amazing how much creativity a person can have with the right program or application on a computer. There are different applications for desk top and online. To create a list for both would be far too long. So for now, we decided to focus on desktop applications. In the very near future we will share our favourite online applications.
Here are a few of our favourite applications that we use regularly since becoming travel bloggers.
iMovie – For video editing we love using iMovie 06. There are newer versions, but I find that 06 allows you to have far more control over your clips and audio than the newer versions. For editing, iMovie is easy to learn and understand. It is simple to put in audio, visual effects, titles, music and transitions. My favourite thing about this version of iMovie is that it allows you to control your audio tracks by fading in and out easily, and extracting audio from a clip to loop for sound.
Adobe Lightroom – Dave’s favourite platform for editing and cataloguing photos. Import your photos into Lightroom and you will never go back to using iPhoto. Photos are not duplicated like they are when using iPhoto and they remain in their raw form allowing you to easily edit your photos. It is a non destructive format. In develop mode, you can crop your photos and play with exposure too.
iSquint – We love this program. After you have edited your video in iMovie and have converted it to a quicktime movie you will find that your video file will be way too large to share on platforms such as youtube or vimeo.. How on earth do you shrink your video? Drag it into isquint. It will compress your movie to a file as large or as small as you want. You can optimize your video for iPod or TV and choose low your high quality. It finishes in a snap and it is quick and easy.
PDF Shrink – Sticking with the shrinking programs, PDF Shrink is another awesome application for email and web sharing. If you have a document like your media package or a magazine style layout of graphics and photos in a document, you will find that your file will be too large to email to potential sponsors or advertisers. You don’t want to loose all your creativity and hard work just because a file is too big to email. Impress your future partners by sending them a great package in a small file. PDF Shrink will do just that.
Adobe in Design – Speaking of putting together a slick package, Adobe in Design is an excellent program that allows you to design documents such as pamphlets, booklets and magazines. You can add graphics, photos and text into the different templates provided. It is easy to use and there is a lot of room for creativity and versatility.
Keynote – We put on many presentations and slide shows. Key note is an excellent program for these situations. It is quick and easy to put together a powerpoint presentation. Choose your theme add slides by simply clicking on the plus sign and drag your photos into each slide. You can add video, titles, graphs and music easily. Write your presenter notes to go with each slide and when you present your show, you can read your notes from your computer creating a slick and professional show.
Do you have other favourite applications that you use regularly? We would love to hear of them.
A lot of these programs are mac oriented, but if you know of the PC version, we would love for you to share it with us.