Online Magazine

Recent Posts


More Places to Go


The “Panorama Machine”

29th December 2010

Panoramas Made Easy

Last week Fedex dropped off a small package with another high tech gadget. The shiny box contained a panorama base – a device for easily capturing photographic panoramas.

Let’s back up to last October when I met Howard Chen at the PhotoPlus Expo in New York. An attractive photo in front of his booth caught my attention. He proceeded to show me how the e-Filming PS-30B Digital Drive Panorama Base automates the making of panorama photographs with popular DSLR cameras: mount the camera on the base, press a few buttons on the control panel and press the start button. A few seconds later and you’ve captured a set of high resolution images ready to be combined (stitched together).

In addition to the drive unit, the package contains a vertical bar mount, a remote controller and control cables. A cable connects the device to the remote control socket on your DSLR camera. The six included control cables are usable with most of the popular DSLR cameras.

I spent a few minutes installing the Cool Stitch software from the included CD-ROM and printing the 16-page user’s manual.

The manual describes the five options available from the LCD control panel: shoot, time, speed, function and language. However in practice, I found that I needed to change only the shoot option.

There’s also a short article “How to Shoot Photos for Great Looking Panoramas” that appears when you run the Cool Stitch software. I recommend that you print this document and carefully follow the several helpful tips.


Making a Mini-Gallery

19th December 2010

Since September I’ve been taking and printing several large portrait photos. The photos are of our grandkids, so I’m particularly proud of them. Being 12″ x 18″ prints, they are relatively expensive to individually frame and require lots of wall space to display separately. Consequently, they’ve been sitting on my desk in a pile and every once in a while I pull them out to show relatives and friends. Of course this isn’t exactly the best way to show off these faces.

Well this weekend I finally decided to do something about this unwieldy stack of photos. My goal is to have a way to display a dozen or so large photos in a small space. I also want an easy way to change the photos often. I am not looking for an elegant display, just a simple way to show the faces attractively.

The Holiday season has always been a wonderful time for me. While it’s envigorating to all of my senses, I’ll concentrate only on my visual sense here.

As I look around at the Christmas and Chanukah decorations, I’m overwhelmed by the variety of colors, textures and shapes. I’m often amazed at the intricate detail that I find. Let me show you what I mean.


Here is an ornament which at first glance looks simple. But look a little closer and you’ll see that it is very elegant.

The colors are simply amazing. I love the way in which it was made from many strands of yarn woven into an intricate pattern and carefully wrapped into a solid ball.

By taking a close up photo, I am able to see this detail. If you click on the photo, you’ll see this detail in the enlargement.


To photograph these ornaments, I used the available light. I set the camera ISO to 800. The lights were incandescent so I set the White Balance accordingly. I used a large aperture to blur the background which in turn helped to produce a shimmering look. To avoid camera shake, I braced my elbows against my sides to keep it steady.

With close-ups, you may want to turn off Auto Focus (AF) and manually focus the lens. At short distances like these, manual focus comes in handy.

Note that if I had used a flash, I would have spoiled the visual look and feel that I wanted to retain.


If your visual sense appreciates all of the stimulation that the Holiday season brings, go fetch your camera and take a few up-close photos. They’ll help you recall the Holidays long after they’re over. Happy Holidays!


Written by Arnie Lee


Newer Posts »