RCC Mentor Program
Rick Strobaugh
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Redlands Camera Club
Our next Mentoring session will just prior to our Member's Night meeting on October 16. Meeting time will be 5:30 at the church. Please contact me at rpdrunner@msn.com to give me any subjects that you would like to discuss. That way, I know I will be covering subjects that you are interested in rather than guessing what to cover. This is for any level member that would like to learn more about any particular area of photography. If your schedule requires you to be late, no problem, we will be in the back, northwest corner of the main room, near where the light controls are. Makes it a little quieter.
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Sometimes,   a   scene   is   just   too   big   to   capture   in   one   shot   unless   you   use   a   really   wide,   wide-angle   lens.   The   result   though,   is
verything   except   for   the   foreground,   appearing   much   smaller.   The   option   is   to   shoot   multiple   photos,   zoomed   in   closer,   as   you   shoot
from   one   side   to   the   other   then   later   merging   together   in   what   are   called   panoramics.   This   can   result   in   really   wide   photos   that   have
very sharp details. But, there is a specific process in shooting these and the resulting files can be huge.
First,   a   good   tripod.   You   can   try   shooting   hand   held   but   the   chances   of   getting   a   good,   sharp   panoramic   is   cut   down   tremendously.
Have   a   tripod   with   a   bubble   level.   Your   base,   the   tripod,   needs   to   be   absolutely   level   or   your   image   will   travel   up   or   down   as   you   pan
through   your   image.   Next,   the   camera   has   to   be   level   on   the   tripod.   Test   your   leveling   by   panning   the   camera   through   your
coverage area and making sure the camera level, stays level.
Camera   settings   are   extremely   important.   First,   take   off   any   polarizer   filter,   especially   if   there   is   any   blue   sky.   Polarizer   will   result   in
different   powers   of   the   polarizer   affecting   different   areas   of   your   final   image.   So,   you   would   have   dark   to   light   blue   sky   across   the
final   image   as   you   move   closer   to   the   sun.   Turn   the   auto   focus   off   so   it   is   not   changing   focus   distances   as   you   pan   across   and   set
your   f-stop   and   shutter   settings   manually.   Make   your   initial   manual   settings   based   on   the   brightest   area   of   the   photo   so   you   don't
wind   up   blowing   out   the   bright   areas.   Always   shoot   in   RAW   format   because   it   gives   you   much   more   leeway   to   work   with   the   image
during post processing.
You   can   shoot   in   horizontal   or   vertical   camera   positions   but   zoomed   in   panoramics   in   vertical   position   will   usually   give   much   more
detail   over   a   larger   area.   Wide   angle,   vertical   shots,   has   one   major   problem   to   address.   It   is   what   is   called   the   Nodal   Point.   This   deals
with   the   position   of   your   camera   on   your   tripod.   This   relates   to   how   close   your   camera   is   positioned   in   the   absolute   middle   of   your
tripod.   If   the   camera   is   not   in   the   middle   of   your   rotating   images,   the   photos   will   be   taken   at   slightly   different   view   points   and   may   be
distorted   in   final   processing.   Horizontally,   it   is   usually   always   in   the   middle   but   vertically,   the   camera   is   always   to   one   side   of   the
middle   or   the   other,   unless   on   an   L-bracket   so   it   is   mounted   in   vertical   position   above   the   center   of   the   tripod.   You   can   get   great
vertical   results   with   camera   not   exactly   centered   vertically   if   you   are   zoomed   into   the   scene   a   ways   and   not   getting   a   close
foreground   in   the   photo.   If   you   are   trying   to   get   a   good   foreground,   the   camera's   movement   as   you   pan   through   the   scene,   is   going
to   keep   changing   the   view   of   the   foreground,   which   is   usually   distorted   with   a   wide   angle   to   make   it   bigger   anyway   and   even   more
so   in   this   situation.   Trying   a   panoramic   this   way,   will   usually   result   in   your   close   foreground   being   really   distorted   and   misshapen   in
your final image.
Panoramics   can   be   shot   from   side   to   side   or   up   and   down,   such   as   working   your   way   up   a   waterfall,   or   a   combination   of   both.   Series
should   usually   be   shot   from   left   to   right   in   sequence   and   have   a   20%-30%   overlap.   Not   enough   overlap   and   the   processing   program
may   find   it   hard   to   determine   where   the   photos   should   be   blended   together.   Scene   with   high   contrasting   elements   will   be   easier
than   those   with   very   little   contrast.   The   final   processing   software   will   recognize   contrasting   points   to   lock   onto   easier   than   those   with
very little.
I   always   shoot   a   photo   of   my   hand   in   front   of   the   lens   before   and   after   shooting   a   series   for   a   panoramic.   This   way,   when   I   get   back
from   my   trip   and   going   through   my   photos,   I'm   reminded   that   a   panoramic   series   is   there.   Compose   with   extra   room   at   top,   bottom
and   both   sides   to   allow   for   slight   bowing   in   the   initial   stitched   image.   Most   likely   to   not   be   straight   horizontal   or   vertical   edges   so
you   will   be   cropping   in   a   little.   Try   to   be   quick   but   efficient   in   shooting   your   shots.   Fast   moving   clouds   can   really   look   strange   later   if
shot   too   slowly.   Include   any   moving   object,   such   as   a   boat,   train   or   car,   in   only   one   shot.   It   won't   line   up   later   if   overlapping   or   may
have   multiple   shots   of   the   same   subject   in   different   places.   Can   be   done   purposely   too   for   that   result,   the   same   person   walking   in
different locations of the photo.
There   are   kits   you   can   buy   that   will   automatically   rotate   through   and   shoot   the   photos   for   you,   usually,   with   a   telephoto   lens.   You
establish   the   upper   and   lower   corners   then   the   photos   are   taken   side   to   side   then   down   a   little   and   side   to   side   again   til   the   whole
scene   is   covered.   Can   be   20   photos   to   over   100   photos,   depending   on   what   you   set   it   for.   But,   you   better   have   a   computer   that   can
handle that size of file. Results in phenomenally sharp detail throughout the entire photo and ability to enlarge to a huge print.
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