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Monday, December 8, 2008

Panorama: University of Maryland

(click for bigger. MUCH bigger.)

This is a panorama taken from the top of the top of the parking garage behind Cole Student Center at the University of Maryland College Park campus. You can see Byrd Stadium and a good bit of the campus to the South.

I wanted to take a picture of the inside of Cole. I was there to take an exam. It was a great place for a panorama, but one person had "concerns". That's all it takes to shut you down these days.

Lessons learned:

1. If you're around any people, at least one will have "concerns". Be prepared. Whenever you take pictures in public places, it helps to know your rights. Bert Krages, an attorney, has put together a very helpful guide to your rights as a photographer.

2. Whenever they shut you down, you will have gone though all of the steps of setting up your tripod, leveling, getting your exposure just right, etc... It's very frustrating. If you just snap a quick shot, you'll probably get away with it, but when you start setting up your tripod, people are much more likely to pitch a fit. I think I'll try quickie non-tripod panoramas in the future.

3. When the weather limits your outdoor time, get your camera set up as much as possible before you go outside. That seems obvious, but it deserves mentioning. I used an auto setting here because I didn't want to adjust the manual controls with numb fingers. You can see the differences in exposure settings, especially in the sky.

4. The horizontal level of your camera is important; the vertical level, not so much. If the best part of your view is below you, tip your camera down. When you adjust your stitches, you'll want to pull together the parts that draw attention. The sky isn't as important as the ground.

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Reading List

  • Man Is Wolf to Man, by Janusz Bardach
  • Don't Swallow Your Gum! by Aaron Carroll & Rachel Vreeman
  • Instant Replay, by Jerry Kramer and Dick Schaap
  • New York, by Edward Rutherford
  • The Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson

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