When I was traveling out West a couple of weeks ago I remembered to do something that I don’t do nearly often enough, take photos of signs. I’m not talking about every sign I see. More specifically, things like park signs, trail signs, or anything that will be a visual clue for me when I get back home and start uploading my images.
The reason for doing so isn’t because I have short term memory loss and can’t remember where I was just a few days earlier, it’s to address my long term loss, when it has been a few years and one trip has melted into another. It’s also very helpful when you are visiting a lot of places during one trip and you would like to keep them separated. There might be some landmarks that will give you an immediate clue but what if you are in an unfamiliar location?
I first started doing this during my trip to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Many of the temples looked very similar to me but each one had a sign at the entrance that told something about the location. All I had to do was snap a shot and then get on with my normal shooting. When I returned to the hotel each night after visiting 4 or 5 locations, it was easy for me to organize my shots by location.
It’s true that you can now put a GPS on most cameras and geo-tag your images but this low-tech method is free, and doesn’t require special software or an Internet connection to get results.