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Best Travel Gadgets from CES 2010

Trekking through this year's Consumer Electronics Show in the vast Las Vegas Convention Center, every three steps seemed to bring another new e-book reader; tales of 3D's impending invasion; or glimpses into the not-so-distant future of home automation. But we decided to venture away from those cliché categories and take the exhibition aisles less traveled. Good thing we did. Because T+L discovered 10 truly game-changing gadgets to help you better enjoy your journeys.

SLIDESHOW: Best Travel Gadgets from the Consumer Electronics Show 2010

This first handful of products represents some of the very latest, coolest and smartest innovations and trends. This second handful of products represents different twists on how we do video on-the-go...See the slideshow and prepare to be wowed!

Guestblogger Scott Tharler is a gadget, gambling and travel expert currently based in Biddeford, Maine.

Cool T+L Outtakes - Shanghai Edition


Hello, hello!  I'm at a place called Vertigo!  I stumbled on these outtakes the other day from a shoot we did at the Park Hyatt in Shanghai. Gorgeous shots. Our man in China, Andrew Rowat, had this to say about his shots taken from the observation deck at the top:

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"Housewives" Love Kodak's New Online Gallery


A couple weeks ago I attended a reception celebrating the relaunch of the new Kodak Gallery, the film company's online service that allows members to store, organize, and print photos. Now, let me first say that my interest in attending this event was piqued by my fascination with reality television. (I know, I know...) See, the host of the event was none other than Jill Zarin, one of the Real Housewives of New York City stars.

Pitter patter went my heart. And then I watched as others from the New York City cast showed up. Then my heart stopped. I'm not even going to go into details when I saw that Bravo was there filming for an upcoming episode.

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Back to the Future: Olympus E-P1

200910-b-olympus-camerajpg An interesting hybrid between digital point-and-shoots and bigger, bulkier DSLRs, the new Olympus E-P1 ($799) combines a lot of the best of both worlds. (Tech writer Jonathan Blum does a great job summing it up here.)

What excites me the most about this camera is the pinhole-camera mode, which approximates the unpredictable, low-fi charm of a 120 Holga or Diana toy camera. It has a way of making the most prosaic of scenes look strangely appealing, with crazy-vivid color.  The center is in focus, and the edges blurred out and nicely vignetted.

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Make Your Own Travel Photo Book

Ever wish you could turn your own digital travel photos into a gorgeous coffee-table tome? More and more people are doing just that; sales of custom photo books are expected to exceed $340 million in the U.S., according to one leading marketing research firm.


MyPublisher has been in the business longer than most—it began creating affordable, single-copy custom photo books for consumers in 1995. You can download the software for free. Choose your book size and style, including cover options that range from sage- or smoke-colored European linens to hand-stitched Spanish leather.

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Cutting Room Floor: Venice Scene


It is a familiar heartache to a photo editor that we commission beautiful images, but not all of them make it into the magazine. Luckily, I can blog photos that got left on the cutting-room floor.

Here's a wonderful outtake from our October Driving story about the Modernist architect Carlo Scarpa's works around Venice and the Veneto region, so some of the more traditional scenes did not make it into the layout. This view of Venice was shot by the talented Christian Kerber.

Whitney Lawson is a photo editor at Travel + Leisure.

Obsession: Zumi Digital “Retro” Camera


I haven’t been so excited for a digital camera since I got my hands on my Nikon D80 well over two years ago. Unlike my hefty digital SLR (Single-Lens Reflex), my new camera doesn’t require lugging around because it fits in the palm of my hand.

Photo-geek newsletter site Photojojo.com recently started selling the super-tiny Japanese-made Superheadz Digital Harinezumi. Affectionately called the “Zumi,” this camera not only captures the lo-fi dreamy look of vintage film, but also takes silent Super 8 MM-like films, which was perfect for encapsulating Ocean City, New Jersey’s retro vibe over Labor Day weekend.

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The Sartorialist Pops Up in New York and London


I’d love to tell you that I’m off traveling the world (or shopping) most days of the week. Truth is, I spend the majority of my time at the office—and fulfilling those bouts of wanderlust with street-style blogs. Just click and you’re people-watching in Paris, a regular post-modern-day flaneur. Or maybe it’s Copenhagen, or Tel Aviv, or Tokyo ’s Harajuku neighborhood. Oh, there are so many beautiful sites, but the seminal one? The Sartorialist, from New York-based photographer Scott Schuman. It's become a veritable online destination (and a well-dressed one at that), and now, it’s manifesting itself offline, too.

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New Report Reveals World's Most Photographed Cities and Landmarks


Some computer scientists at Cornell, on their way to figuring out how to automate classification of large visual collections, stumbled upon interesting information about "what the world is paying attention to" reports the New Scientist.

Using a sampling of 35 million images uploaded to Flickr.com, they extracted the existing information from them (the geographic coordinates embedded into some digital photos, the text tags that photographers assigned to them, and a kind of formulaic visual scan) and, as a project by-product, used that data to create some fascinating maps of the most photographed cities and landmarks in the world:

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Don't Leave Home Without This (Point-and-Shoot) Camera!

Like most photo editors, I'm fond of huge cameras, but when I travel, there's no greater luxury for me than having only a tiny point-and-shoot digital that fits in my pocket.

When I reviewed cameras for the August '07 issue of T+L, I fell in love with a little Kodak EasyShare v570, because it was tiny, took great photos, and it was simple enough that anyone who picked it up would know how to use it--friends, passersby who I asked to take my photo, etc. (I also think Kodak makes the easiest to read instruction manuals of all the camera companies, with Leica being a close second.)

The little v570 now goes with me everywhere. Even though it's extremely simple to use, it has a nifty feature that I'm over the moon about: in-camera panorama mode, which allows you to "stitch" three photos together in the camera. A lot of Kodak's digital cameras have this feature now. Obviously, it excels when you have a whole vista you want to capture. Here's a panorama photo from the San Blas Islands in Panama:


And here's one I took in fall 2007 in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans showing Musicians Village on the right and still-delapidated homes on the left:


And one from the nose-bleed seats at the U.S. Open:


Nifty, right?There's even a Flickr group devoted to pictures made this way:  http://www.flickr.com/groups/camerastitch/.

Photos by T+L Photo Editor Whitney Lawson


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