So I’ve been playing with my new little camera some more. Just wandering around my house and the local environs trying to get to know what the camera can and can’t do. This is important to do with a new camera so when something important comes along to photograph I won’t be disappointed if I try to do something photographically that my camera doesn’t do so well.


Photographers often discount play as a valuable diversion. I have found that the more expensive the camera gear the less inclined someone is to play with it…it is too expensive to do silly frivolous things! Expensive cameras should be used only for serious endeavors. “HOG WASH”  I say!


The best way to get to know all that your camera or lens or tripod or filter or flash or computer program or app for that matter is to fiddle with it. Try different things even if those things aren’t what you normally do or will ever do. See what the custom features are. Check out each icon on your camera to see what happens. Take a close-up with that wide angle lens or try that filter in the rain or at night or inside. Only through play will you really get to know your camera. And only through play will you per chance discover something valuable or interesting or worthy of pursuing.


So this is what I have figured out so far with these sweep panoramas that are now so common on point and shoot cameras and phones: Firs, the files aren’t very big. Each of these pics is only 4.4 MP. I couldn’t make a very big print but I think they are fine for presentations. I’m not so sure about how they might do in a book or magazine though. Second, the lighting has to be pretty even throughout the composition or else your highlights will be really bright and your shadows really dark. And third, you have to shoot big (include more that you want in your composition) because when the camera stitches the image together you will lose stuff on the top and bottom of composition.


I haven’t found a good situation where I could do a vertical pan yet but I am looking. I also noticed that if you set your camera up for a panorama but do only one frame you get a very tall, narrow shot that might be good for some situations. Basically, you are doing the pan sweep purposefully wrong to get a unique composition you want.

That is what happens when you play.