The Art of the Ride Report - Planning, Tips, Opinions, Discussion

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by dave6253, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Thanks for the great thread idea. I am writing our RR on the road. I get views but very few comments. Like others have said I don't want it to just be comments like some RRs. I really enjoy hearing from other riders when I do get comments. Besides controversy how can I stimulate more interaction?

    We will be on hiatus for 4 months this summer during the rainy season and we will be going home to work. What should we post during that time ? Ie So people don't think we are dead. I was thinking of some gear reviews, tips from the road, or review of what a year on the road is like.


    I write and edit on word and cut and paste to ADV (thanks Guaterider for the tip!).


    I appreciate any thoughts or suggestions




    Sara
  2. Moto Mikey

    Moto Mikey Been here awhile

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    What's everyone recommend for photo size and quality when posting ride reports and blogs?

    I'm using Lightroom 4 (still learning).. I have my export image quality set to 70% and image resize set to 'long edge: 1024px'. This produces pictures that are 1024x768 (or sometimes 1024x683) and are of good, clear quality. . The issue I'm having is that the file sizes are pretty big.. between 200kb-300kb per picture. :eek1 I've tried lowering the image quality but then it starts to look grainy.

    I'd ideally like my image size to be around 100-125kb so that when I'm uploading images for my Ride Report it doesn't take forever due to being on a slow internet connection in South America.. I tried setting it to auto image quality based off a file size limit of 100kb, but the pictures look terrible. Should I go with a smaller resolution of 800x600? What's a good middle ground between photo quaility/size and file size?

    Example of LR4 export with auto image quality set to 100kb (looks pixely/crappy, IMO):
    [​IMG]

    Same photo set to 70% quality and same resolution of 1024x768 (looks much much better, but is a whopping 327kb):
    [​IMG]
  3. AlpineGuerrilla

    AlpineGuerrilla Been here awhile

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    The image quality setting in Lightroom is, as I understand it, not designed to be for compression. I compress my images with the free Irfanview

    After I export my images, I open the first one in Irfanview, press B (or File->Batch conversion). Then I select all images and set the following options:

    Output format: JPG
    JPG save quality (in menu Options): 80 %
    Set long side to (in menu Advanced): 1024
    Output directory: X:\...\*current directory*\1024

    With your image, I end up with a file size of 172 KB. For me, this usually is a good compromise.

    What do you think?

    [​IMG]
  4. Moto Mikey

    Moto Mikey Been here awhile

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    Thanks! :beer

    It's a bit annoying to make an extra step in a seperate program though.. If I can't find some magical settings for LR4, then I'll use this method. The file size is a huge improvement.
  5. Soty

    Soty Adventurer

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    Thanks, the problem was solved. I should play more with it to get an idea about the capabilities.
  6. rodr

    rodr Been here awhile

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    There's a super easy way to take notes with a modern smartphone. Speech to text.

    With my Galaxy Note 2 I can open the Color Note app, start a new note, hit the microphone button and start talking. It writes the text as I speak and does not require any sort of network connection to do so. Accuracy is pretty good and where it's not, I'll know what I meant to say. :D

    This is great because the text can be easily skimmed or searched, and transferred by email or various other means. It's much faster than any sort of writing or typing yet gives the same result.

    Anyway, wanted to get this said after skimming the thread and not seeing it mentioned. Now I'll go back and read it more slowly. :deal
  7. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Sara,

    I just started reading your report. I missed it since I was quite busy riding last summer when you started. So far your report is good. You two are on an awesome trip. I'll try to find time to get caught up and will let you know if I can think of anything to answer your question.
  8. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Dave

    Thanks for the reply. Cheers


    Sara
  9. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    Hi Saralou,

    I have been following your ride report and navigating your website since the beginning. I really like all the detail information re. border crossing, and you guys replied to an email in less than a day.

    It is indeed a tough crowd. There are some really good pointers in this thread as to what some of us think makes a good ride report, and we all know what opinions are like. IMHO it really comes down to how much you are able to draw your audience in with your overall style. I say overall, to include anything that is part of the RR, text, replies, pictures, video clips, sound bites etc, etc...

    If you go back to the RR forum and organize the threads by number of stars, and read/glance at the top 25-30 reports you will see that they all have at least one thing that stands out. And many of those things will be shared among various "top rated" reports.

    What is challenging is that you might not be able to identify what that thing is , but you will know it's there. I am trying to be clear, but it is difficult to illustrate. Academics refer to it as "pathos".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathos

    Some writers regardless of their syntactic, and photographic skills are really good at managing the relationship between Audience - Rhetor - Context, they do it naturally, even unknowingly. That explains to a certain extent why some RR might have lousy to OK writing, and lousy to OK pictures, but still draw a ton of comments, and interaction.

    Of course the context is key, but in your case it does not come under scrutiny, you guys are riding around the world... So context: - check.

    Please do not think that I am criticizing your writing style or photographic skills in any way, I am just trying to provide some perspective. I do write a little, and read a lot. If I do have some formal training, by no means do I consider myself an expert.

    I think that the challenge is moving away from reporting, and into intuition, perception, reflection. As this or that is happening, how are you feeling about it? When you have a conversation with your partner or a custom official, a vendor, what happens? Be more reflective... When you think about all that, does it make you sad, happy, frustrated? When you shaved that last blind curve a little hot and lost your line, your blood went cold for that brief second, etc... What went through your head then? How did you feel about what went through your mind when it did?

    Now tell a story, as oppose to write a ride report. It could come from the heart, the brain, the gut or simply from your fingers dancing on a keyboard. Don't worry about anything else i.e. how well you are telling it. When you are done, take the media artifact that you think captures the moment the best, and caption it with a few words (ten or less) -that do not describe the picture, video, sound bite...

    Do it again, and again, and reapply without moderation.

    Punctuation is (for me) very important, on the web we have emoticons which when used properly almost always draw attention to your prose.

    I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.

    - Edgar Rice Burroughs


    Hemingway could write six words, and have you hooked:

    "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." :huh

    Can't wait for your next post :D
  10. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Sara, I love your report. I'll try my best to answer your questions, though I doubt I have the correct answers.:D

    Your posts are way to long. You guys jumped from Canada to Mexico in only 2 pages. Even though I have high-speed cable internet, page 2 is slow to load because there are so many photos on one page. This limits your viewers to readers with high-speed internet. Also, I think it has the effect of limiting comments as you leave no room for people to interject about a particular place or event until you are much further along in the story. Try limiting each post to 10-15 photos each. This will have the effect of spreading your report across more pages and I think will invite more readers to jump in.

    Remember, your readers are motorcycle enthusiasts. Talk about the riding more and don't forget to get photos during each riding phase. While I'm sure it was the last thing you wanted to do at the time, you will regret not having photos of the mud day on the Dempster as the miserable days will be the ones you remember the most fondly. (And are the ones we most want to see.:wink:)



    I wouldn't worry to much about this. Your subscribed readers will return when you do. Of course, you can take this time to do the gear reviews as you suggested, maybe re-edit a few of your favorite photos, or take the time to edit a nice video.

    I would also suggest you edit your first post every so often to include a few teaser pics and maybe a map of your route and current location. The best examples of this are The Mobius Report and From Estonia with Love.
  11. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Hey Dave and Edgar


    Thanks so much for taking the time to give me some useful advice. I will try to put it into action going forward. . I will have some time this summer at home to go back over the RR and try to improve old posts.


    Sara
  12. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Jax Off again.

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    Ride Reports? Why would anyone read those? :augie




    Lovin this thread Dave! And, as always, your images are screen lickin good!!
    Thanks for all the good leads on ride reports. I have to check out several I never heard of.


    Sara, your thread is excellent!!! I know that responses are important, but the views really tell the story about the readership of the thread.
  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    JaxObsessed

    Thanks so much for the comments and PM. I want the RR to be a record of the trip for us, but I hope it is interesting or at least informative or entertaining for others.

    Sara
  14. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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    Back in 2010 in post #30 of this thread digital recorders were mentioned, but not since. I posted this thread in RR but it got moved to 'The perfect line ...' where most responses are to the title and are not responses to the intent of the post. That's OK, there is an interesting discussion going on there. But I'm still looking for answers to this question: What about using a bluetooth enabled digital recorder (or other device) paired to my Sena SMH-10 (in place of a smart phone which i do not have) in order to to do (voice activated?) recordings as I am riding?. The intent is a better ride report (at least for myself).
    As I have said before, I am a zero when it comes to figuring this kind of stuff out. What I would appreciate is if anyone can say what I need to look for in a device product description and/or technical spec to maximize the possibility of making something like this work? This request also applies to what follows.

    Several responses in the other thread said I should buy a smart phone and use recording or dictation apps on the phone. But again I am way behind the curve here. Can I buy a phone and use it 'stand alone' w/o any connection to any carrier or wireless network? i.e. can it be just a mobile personal computer w/o being a phone? In that case, does it make a difference from whom I buy it? (I hear stories of functionality being turned off or limited depending upon the carrier). Should I be able to connect to internet wireless hotspots? Will I be able to connect the device to my computer via USB to access and move files?
    If the phone is on and paired to the Sena and whatever appropriate app I get to do the voice recording is running, should I be able to record whenever I talk? Do smart phones come with (sufficient) storage? or do you add SD or equivalent cards as I do with my camera and GPS? (I can learn, but am pretty ignorant starting out).
    Comments, suggestions, and particularly directions are gladly welcome.
    Thanks,
    -ceej
  15. FloorPoor

    FloorPoor Been here awhile

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    One of those smaller sized tablets might be the ticket. Basically a small touchscreen computer, that is not a phone.
  16. Andrew UK

    Andrew UK over socialised

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    For resizing images.

    I have found this little app really useful. http://jpegmini.com/

    I use the MAC version but fully expect the Windows version to work just as well.

    Post-processing.

    I am all for a bit of level tweaking, cropping and resizing etc.. But over saturating images and pushing the contrast seems to be the thing these days (I blame Instagroan).

    The odd HDR image can be fun, but personally I prefer a more realistic looking image. Just my preference. That said, I have given up on a few RR's recently where the images are just too garish.

    Cheers,

    Andrew
  17. garry_kramer

    garry_kramer Been here awhile

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    I am doing a ride to South America next year and will be doing a RR. I am looking for an iPhone app that does voice to text for my iPhone 4. It only needs to convert to and send to Notes. I would like punctuation in it also. It also needs to operate without Wifi or cell service. I have been looking for a while for an app. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks
    Garry

    www.AmazingRideforMS.ca
  18. MsLizVt

    MsLizVt pfft ...

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    Garry, hi!

    Have a great trip, and do let us know when you start your ride report!

    To answer your question, there is an app for an iPhone 4. As you know, Siri isn't on the 4. What I've been using is Dragon Dictation.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dragon-dictation/id341446764

    You don't have to do any setup with it, as in reading a dictionary into it. You just hit the button and it starts taking the dictation.

    You can then email it to yourself.

    As I'm looking at it on my 4, I don't see where you can save the dictation as a document. You can send it things like Twitter, Facebook, as text.

    What I do is save it as an email to myself. Then when I have service, as far as I know, it the cell phone sends out the email.

    You might want to google Dragon Dictation, and look at the other versions that they have. The app for the iPhone is free.

    Am I making sense?



    Liz
  19. garry_kramer

    garry_kramer Been here awhile

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    Thanks Liz. I downloaded that app before I posted here. A couple things I found with it is, it doesn't punctuate and I can't figure out how to put it in Notes for later editing. I like it because it does not need the internet to work. Down side is once you stop the app what you record is gone, unless I am missing something.

    I have started my blog at www.AmazingRideforMS.ca as I plan and do this trip.

    Thanks
    Garry
  20. MsLizVt

    MsLizVt pfft ...

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    Garry, hi!

    I understand.

    What I've found is when I'm saying a sentence, if at the end I say "period" or "question mark", it put those in. At the same time, if I say "comma" in the middle of a sentence, that works too. Sometimes, and I don't know if this affects things or not, but I pause just slightly after saying "period".

    At the bottom of the screen is the little arrow thingie, that lets you email, text, or whatever, the text that you just spoke. There's an Icon for "Copy", tap that.

    Then go to your Notes app, and open a New Note. Double tap inside the new note, and up will come "Paste". Tap paste and everything you just spoke in your Dragon will now go into the note. You can easily save the note.

    You're right though, once you leave the app for another app,

    Oh, another thing, as I'm talking into the thing, I say "New Line" and it'll skip down to a new line.

    Have you tried any of those tricks?



    Liz