Announces Digital Downloads


Today I'm happy to announce Digital Downloads on Just about all of the 18,691 photos on EarthPhotos may now be downloaded immediately. Two sizes are on offer.

You can buy a Web Size image, roughly 640×480 pixels in size, or 0.3 megapixels. This is suitable for web sharing on social sites like Facebook. Or you can buy a 1Mpix image, roughly 1 megapixel in size. These photos are for your personal, and not commercial use (Read Personal License). The 1 Mpix download is roughly 816×1224 pixels, about big enough to print an 8×12.

And we want to help with your commercial application. We're proud of our lion photo in Afar Magazine. It remains the Most Popular Photo on, as voted by users. A couple of weeks back, we placed a photo on a kids' show for German TV. All these commercial applications are different, so please talk with us about what you need.


The Things You Miss When You’re Away

Catching up on a few things, since we've been away:

– It seems that the archepelagic nation of Kiribati has bought 25 square kilometres on Viti Levu, the main Fijian island, in case, well, Kiribati disappears. Climate change insurance.

Nice piece from photographer Tim McKulka on the two Sudans. He spent five years traveling and taking pictures there. That's dedication.

– The closest land is Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, 1,090 miles (1,750 km) away. It's the most remote island in the world.

This looks pretty terrible, even outdoing Apsley Cherry-Garrard's The Worst Journey in the World (which, by the way, is free on Kindle).

– Looks like the northern – and southern – lights were active while we were away from the internet in Cuba. It's hard to believe this photo is real.

New Camera Technology News


The Lytro “focus later” camera we first spotted back in June is now in production. I clicked the “buy” button and learned delivery is expected in March or April. Not just in time for Christmas.

I’m a little more skeptical after reading this piece about the science behind the camera, and after seeing the thing. They may be marketing it as revolutionary (“the only camera that captures life in living pictures”), but they’ve designed it to look like a silly little throw-away mass consumer item – albeit one that starts at $400.

Still, I’m in. I wish them well and we’ll see.


Then there’s this, the throwable panoramic ball camera. Ever want to see what’s behind you without having to bother turning around? Okay, that’s flip, if you’ll pardon the pun. Actually, the thing’s kind of neat:

Common Sense and Whiskey in Award-Winning Company

IgluawardbannerExciting, delightful news: Common Sense and Whiskey has been chosen as an Iglu Travel Awards 2011 winner. It's our second year in a row to be so honored. The category is Travel Stories. Here's how they put it:

"Our dedication to sharing experiences makes this award one of the most important. Here at Iglu, we're absolutely committed to using detailed first-hand reports. However, we've also got to ensure that the experiences are relevant, accurate, up-to-date and interesting, not to mention well-written and well-presented.

There is never a story told that was not worth hearing, especially if it is relevant and might impact on your travelling plans. The last thing you want to do is fall victim of scams or miss out on a possible bargain. You might acquire knowledge from the first hand experiences that will give you the confidence you need to barter, negotiate, and properly explore a culture. First hand experiences allow you to escape the tourist rut.

Our travel stories blogs are detailed enough to capture you're interest, but not littered with arcane factoids like some of the many blogs which didn't make the cut. The Iglu team realises that when it comes to travel stories, some of them are warnings more than recommendations. We've made sure you get the truth about hundreds of destinations worldwide."

Many thanks to Elizabeth and her fine crew at

Travel Website Award

Very nice of the folks at U.K.-based IGLU Cruise to choose Common Sense and Whiskey in their IGLU Cruise Website Awards, as one of nine “Best Travel Information Websites,” right up there beside Lonely Planet.

How about that? 

They say their winners are

“truly excellent information sites to help you both in the planning
stages of your travel and whilst on the road. We are sure you’ll agree
that the efforts of the writers and webmasters behind the following
award-winning sites are amongst the best out there, combining highly
useful content with superb presentation.”

Thanks so much, guys.

Here’s a screen grab of their winners, which you can also see here on IGLU Cruise’s site:


Bits and Travel Pieces

Around the web:

From View from the Wing: 100,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles will buy a roundtrip first class
award from San Francisco to Zurich. Or four blenders.

From Loyalty Traveler: Whoops.

From The Cranky Flyer: The government is here to help.

From Charles Bremner's blog for the London Times: A list of excesses of The Police Service for the Protection of High Personalities in France.

From Reuters: Try to get on down to that Antarctic vacation pretty soon.

From Foreign Policy: Meanwhile, might pass on Guinea for now.