Rude, Crude, and Successful
But thinking cheap is the best thing of all, particularly if you have to spend a great deal of money here at the shop to arrive at the most economical idea. I did and I have.
To get to the best cheap solution for a problem you have to consult the Oracle of Google. You sit in a darkened room and try to think of enough key words to send you to a website that will have done your thinking for you - in reality it just dumps you onto YouTube and you watch cats fall into bathtubs.
I adopted the policy of buying whatever looked cool as soon as it came in the shop, which accounts for the 54 camera bags that currently live in the shed. This shop is not the only culprit - the Crumpler man down in Wesley Arcade has much to answer for. In the end I have found out the best 4 bags for my several purposes and as long as I do not pass the bag shelves again when I have low blood sugar I should be okay.
This weekend's experiment involved a $ 14.95 Promaster plastic bubble level that slides into a hot shoe and a sticky label from a roll that I bought at Officeworks. This, combined with the Manfrotto carbon-fibre monopod that I got from our shop and my little Fuji camera let me take panoramas in Mandurah.
Why Mandurah? Why indeed...nevertheless, the setup makes use of the fact that Photoshop Elements has a wonderful little panorama maker. You supply it with files that are taken flat and level with a reasonable overlap, and it will stitch up a great scene. I'[ve decided that I only want landscape orientation and two panels so the trick is to get flat and level. The monopod supplies the axle upon which the camera turns and the bubble level keeps it vertical. The only other problem is the overlap.
I used the back screen and the grid overlay to position a central object either 1/4 from the left or 1/4 from the right side. I drew in pencil on the paper label on top of the camera toward that central object in each case. Thus all I need to do is sight along the pencil lines left or right and take two snaps - perfect files for the computer.
Okay. This ain't Lawrence Livermore stuff, but it means I can get pano shots in the field with no tripod and an absolute minimum of preparation. I will have to set the distance and exposure manually for the shots - if you let the camera make its own decision it can make a different one for each view and the computer will be unhappy. But this means I can capture ALL of the Lincoln Continental at the car show instead of just the front half.
*Poking the Frenchman's horse in the nose with a bayonet solves that problem. Trust me on this.