I used to have a regular old film camera that could take real panoramic shots. It was shamelessly cheap, but it was perfection itself when (long ago) I took the tram up the Swiss Alps and needed some wide shots. And surely everyone remembers the ridiculous old way of taking panoramic shots by turning slightly and taking several pictures. But technology can only improve, right?
Instead of driving straight through El Paso on our way back to Marfa from Las Cruces, we took the Trans-Mountain Road through the Franklin Mountains and wound up at the Wyler Aerial Tramway. Yes! I'm up another tram! And El Paso sits serenely at the foot of the Franklin mountains, so it's quite the view. Fortunately, my trusty camera has a panoramic setting; unfortunately, it requires that you turn slightly and take three pictures. After you've taken the three shots, it magically puts them together to form a seamless panoramic picture ... right?
Yikes. And that's as good as it got.
Mesas! Cliffs! Highly unusual and unlikely rock formations! Huge swaths of town that look exactly the same as the swath next to it! My pea-brained camera certainly made the El Paso landscape a billion times more "interesting" than it really was!
I know just about every schmuck who thinks he has some kind of skill has a camera worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, and that's why I've been reluctant to upgrade from the point-and-shoot kind (even though I could whip their asses in the photography department--equipment is no substitute for talent). However, I think it's time to move on up into the world of high quality cameras ... or at least cameras with a real panorama setting.
Better pictures to follow at a later date.