Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

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Sexy new look

Until now, the blog has used the standard format of post-after-post on the front page. Not anymore! Armed with my ability to hack (but not write) code, I’ve set up a nice new front page. Check it out!

AND – you may notice the URL is different! I’m splitting the photo & travel blog off from my fantasy novel website http://daviddouglasbooks.com and making it a standalone domain, http://traveldave.com!

  • I’d love your feedback on the new look. Is there anything you’d suggest that I change? Some particular widget or improvement that would help boost my blog into the stratosphere? I would gladly hear your ideas, just leave a comment below.

Lastly, here’s what I was up to lately, besides blog editing. Taken at Hintertux on the infamous carver-piste #11; it was snowing. I’ve got at least one more snowboarding session planned before I depart for tropical climates on my round-the-world trip!

Dave Carving

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Posted 7 years, 8 months ago.

7 comments

Demon’s Bane available on Amazon US

Hi all, I’m a bit slow with new posts this month as my family is visiting from the US. However I’ll have a lot more pictures for new posts afterward: Vienna, Christmas markets all across Germany and Austria, and lots more.

One unexpected (fast) piece of good news is that my book is now available on Amazon US (edit: also now UK and DE)! You can order via the links below to help support a starving writer:

Enjoy reading! If you find it a worthwhile read, I’d appreciate a review on Amazon. But please be honest; I don’t want any “Ohmigosh this is like the bestest thing I’ve ever read in my enTIRE life” reviews… hehe.

Happy Holidays…!
Dave

Posted 8 years ago.

2 comments

Book cover update & interview

Alright, it’s been a busy few weeks, so I haven’t done much new on the blog.  But here’s what’s coming up (eventually):

  • Nighttime pictures of Berlin, while I was there to meet my new literary agent
  • Part 3 of Zugspitze video, once I activate the video editing software I’ve (now) purchased
  • Snowboarding/skiing video with helmet cam
  • Later in the winter… articles on Christmas Markets around Bavaria; Vienna at Christmas; and much more…

A friend I know through Twitter, Frank, has an interview of me on his hiking blog (including some photos):

Our Hiking Blog: Walk a Mile in Dave Douglas’ Shoes

Today’s picture: the final book cover.  I had to re-do the typesetting of the interior because the margins were too small. I took advantage of this opportunity and removed the “surreal” setting from the painting program for the cover.  So that’s what ate up my last couple of weeks.  I think this does a lot more justice to J. W. Parente’s illustration!

Final cover pic for DEMON'S BANE

Posted 8 years ago.

4 comments

Demon’s Bane Book Cover Contest: Take Two

Two important things:

  • Here’s the (revised) prospective book cover for my upcoming novel, Demon’s Bane!
  • You could win a free copy of the book! To enter, just comment on this blog post by Nov. 30th, 2009.

I’m already including those who commented on the earlier post, which led to this total revision of the art. But I’d gladly appreciate further input from those who gave advice on the last cover… as long as you like this one more than the previous one… haha.

To view in higher resolution, just click on the photo (this is Version 1):

Demon's Bane Revised Book Cover

Edit: here’s a second version with the title moved into the infamous “blue space.” Is Version 2 better?

Demon's Bane Alternate Cover

Thanks to J. W. Parente, who provided the art that went into the stylizing cycle! Also to my artistic consultant Dylan, who is a Photoshop wizard.

To enter the drawing, which ends on Nov. 30th 2009, just leave a (non-spam) comment on this post to let me know what you think of the cover.  I’m still open to minor modifications.  Is it awesome?  Does it suck?  Is the text okay?  If you saw this cover in a bookstore, would you pick up the book and take a look inside?  The winner will receive an autographed copy of Demon’s Bane once the book is in print, sent free of charge anywhere in the world that has post.

Posted 8 years ago.

27 comments

Kreativ Blogger Award

I was recently honored that fellow writer and blogger Wendy Morrell chose me in her “top 7” for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thanks, Wendy — I’d put your blog on my list too, if you hadn’t already won! So, here I am to pass on the honor to seven blogs I often read. But first, the RULES for those winners who choose to pass on the award:

1. Copy and paste the picture to your own blog.
2. Thank the person who gave you the award and post a link to their blog.
3. Write 7 things about yourself we do not know.
4. Choose 7 other bloggers to award.
5. Link to those 7 other bloggers.
6. Notify your 7 bloggers.

As this is a travel & photo blog, I’ll show seven things about myself pictorially…

I skydive, though it’s been a while since my last jump. This balloon jump at the World Freefall Convention was a memorable one.

Balloon Jump at WFFC

Snowboarding is high in my winter priorities. Soelden, Austria rocks.

Snowboarding at Soelden, Austria

I’ve eaten ants in Suzhou, China. Yes, on purpose. In fact it was my suggestion…

Dave eating ants in Suzhou, China

I have a brother. Here we are in Joshua Tree, CA.

Brothers in Joshua Tree, California

Sometimes I play bass guitar, and I’ve been known to sing. Skydive Orange, VA. Dedicated to my late friend Chris Santiago, the guitar player with the ‘fro on the right.

Electric Bacon at Skydive Orange

Once I was confused for Jose Cuervo, on Oct. 31st in Richmond, VA.

Jose Cuervo

Weilheim, a town in Bavaria, hosts my favorite disc golf course in the world.

Disc Golf at Weilheim, Bayern

Now, for my recommendations, in roughly alphabetical order.  Just a short sentence about each:

  • Christina at An American Expat in Deutschland has great photos and weekly German recipes… mmm!
  • The infamous Headbang8 at Deutschland Über Elvis makes me laugh with every post, though there is a strict no-meme policy, as I recently read…
  • Ian and Wendy are globe-trotters whose travels I one day hope to equal
  • Jul at This non-American Life peppers in a lot of variety and humor into her expat blog
  • Melissa’s Bookshelf hosts a variety of great book reviews and giveaways, and gives equal treatment to Print-On-Demand authors (which I really appreciate!)
  • Only The Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy is an excellent book review blog that’s rife with German sayings as of late
  • Regensblog with Cliff and Sarah has excellent travel articles, links to cheap travel deals, and tasty recipes

Posted 8 years, 1 month ago.

7 comments

Demon’s Bane Book Cover Contest

Two important things:

  • Here’s the prospective book cover for my upcoming novel, Demon’s Bane!
  • You could win a free copy of the book! To enter, just comment on this blog post by Nov. 30th, 2009.

Thanks to the six friends who are in the cover photo. Bob, Nadia, Jim, Chung, Zippy, and Mr. Excitement: I will keep your names a secret for your own protection.

To view in higher resolution, just click on the photo:
David Douglas - Demon's Bane Cover

This is a battle scene at night, lit up by a globe of magical light above the combatants.

To enter the drawing, which ends on Nov. 30th 2009, just leave a (non-spam) comment on this post to let me know what you think of the cover.  I’m still open to minor modifications.  Is it awesome?  Does it suck?  Is the text okay?  If you saw this cover in a bookstore, would you pick up the book and take a look inside?  The winner will receive an autographed copy of Demon’s Bane once the book is in print, sent free of charge anywhere in the world that has post.

The photo was taken in Munich with a Nikon D90, a Nikon SB-600, and a Vivitar 383.  You can see the Vivitar in the back with a red gel (a.k.a. the fireball). One subject in the photo is from the Taipei Zoo, although the wolf’s charred backside was only digitally damaged. No wolves were harmed in the creation of this cover. In addition, Bob was not shot with an arrow (which he then had to rip out from his own arm), and Chung was not mauled in the leg by a wolf.

I sincerely hope Nadia didn’t actually throw any fireballs at anyone after I taught her that spell.

Update: see the revised cover here! It’s an illustration instead of a photo.

Posted 8 years, 1 month ago.

23 comments

Demon’s Bane – October Giveaway!

Alright, I am making good progress on the book.  Hopefully it’s available on Amazon in December or January (of course, the goal is to publish in time for Christmas sales).

If you’d like to enter the October giveaway for a free copy when it’s published, just subscribe to the newsletter on http://daviddouglasbooks.com/ via the link on the right sidebar of that website.  This freebie will be personally autographed by the author and shipped anywhere in the world!  The October winner will be chosen at random from newsletter subscribers.

To keep on topic, here’s how I made the header picture of the book website:

Photo from the Englischer Garten

Photo from the Englischer Garten

The photo was taken in the English Garden in Munich, and the light was perfect: a mixture of clouds and sun that provided this surreal setting.  Then I found photos of a lynx and a falcon at http://www.openstockphotography.org/ and cut them out using Photoshop’s “Extract” feature.  I added some mild drop shadow for the “new” objects.  Thanks to Dylan Masells for the awesome text effects!

Open stock photography uses photos from Wikimedia Commons.  Their claim is, “can be used by anyone, for any purpose” including commercial uses.  Excellent!

Posted 8 years, 2 months ago.

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David Douglas: Author

Yours truly is writing a book at the moment, full-time. In fact, it’s already completed and I’m looking for an agent or publisher. Let me know if you have any contacts in the publishing world!

The book is a fantasy novel called Demon’s Bane and is around 400 pages (112k words for those in the business). In case I end up doing Print-On-Demand publishing, I might do a cover photo shoot somewhere in Munich–perhaps in the Englischer Garten. The book website is here, http://daviddouglasbooks.com

Last week I did a photo shoot with a friend of mine, Udo Hartmann. He is a hobby photographer in Munich who does occasional paid shoots. If you’re interested to see more of his work, check it out here: http://www.udohartmann-foto.de/.  This post is for my cousin, who asked “where is the pipe smoking photo?”  I don’t smoke, and I don’t have a stodgy office to chew cigars in, so here’s the best I can do.
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Always check your surroundings.  I didn’t notice the sign next to me said something possibly offensive… Udo had to blur it out.

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Nice B&W conversion tool…

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We had to arrange something to block the glare off a parked car’s windshield so I could avoid squinting like a mole on a Brazilian beach.

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Here is my attempt at a “thoughtful” look.  Heh… you be the judge.

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Posted 8 years, 4 months ago.

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