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Monthly Archives: November 2012

The right way to do panoramas is to set up your tripod, level it carefully, mount an L bracket on your camera so you can precisely align the film plane (sensor) of the camera with the center of the tripod.  Click, rotate the camera about 12 degrees, click again, etc. Best to use manual so the exposure doesn’t shift during the sequence.

What if you don’t have a tripod?  Find a stump, picnic table, or really flat rock.  Don’t have those?  Here are two cheats:

  1. Hold the camera to your eye, pivot slowly from the waist, and click as you go.  It’s a rhythmic thing, and you do it s-l-o-w-l-y. You can actually do this holding the camera against your chest. DO NOT SWIVEL YOUR HEAD.
  2. Make sure each frame overlaps the preceding one by 20-25%

The point is DO NOT move your head or move the camera.  The idea is that your body replaces the swivel on the tripod.

Here’s one shot that way (7 shots stitched)

brooklyn bridge pano 9x3 bw

Want more tips?  Buy Explorations in Photography today!  Print version is $35.95, available here and as an e-book for $9.95 here

We’re used to walking around with our cameras, right? Perfectly normal, just the way humans are.  But for a fresh point-of-view that can lead to some pretty terrific shots, think low-down thoughts … like on your belly low-down.  Getting right down at water or ground level can lead to some very successful pictures.  Here are three of my favorites, just to give you the idea. Go spend a day doing nothing but low-down shots.  Your knees may ache but your heart will sing.

Lake in BC

Prairie dog

Girl in waterfall

Want more tips?  Buy Explorations in Photography today!  Print version is $35.95, available here and as an e-book for $9.95 here

Photo Tip of the Day — Check the Corners of Your Frame

Sometimes we get so concentrated on the subject of a picture that other things get into the picture that we REALLY don’t want to see there.

A quick way to avoid the problem is to slow down and look, one at a time, at the corners of your frame.  You’re more likely to see intrusive elements that have sneaked in while you weren’t looking!

Here’s a short list of things you can do once you’ve seen the problem:

  1. Move.  Even a few inches may do it.
  2. Zoom in.  Tighten up on your subject to cut out intrusive junk
  3. Open up your aperture.  If you can’t move, at least throw the unwanted stuff out of focus.
  4. And last, but sometimes inevitable:  crop in photoshop, or, clone out the intrusion

Steam engine – an extra hand doesn’t help. Zoom in on your real subject to avoid cropping later.

Cyclist — the man in the hat isn’t too intrusive because the colors match the background fairly well.  Clone him out; no way to zoom in or move in this case.

Kids in arch way.  Horizontal picture has a white-shirted intruder.  Zoom in, move,or, better, re-shoot, as in the vertical shot.


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