Photo Methods

Photography has expanded the depth and breadth of my vision. The challenge of looking high and low, near and far to find the best camera shots enables me to experience the places that I visit more fully and vividly than I ever did before.


I guess I've gone completely digital now. This is the first big trip I've taken without even a momentary consideration of whether or not to bring my old, trusty film camera. The twilight and nighttime photography that I did on this trip was not museum quality work, but it expanded the range of what I can do with my great little digital camera. My tiny little 7 oz. camera looks very strange on top of my heavy 5 pound tripod, but I'm really happy with the pictures it produces. After a year of working with it I'm still learning more and more about what this digital camera can do.

Cameras used:

  • Bruce & Jim - Olympus Stylus 300 (digital camera, 3 Megapixel).
  • Irene - FujiFilm DL-270 Zoom (film camera, 35-70 mm zoom, autofocus).
  • Betty - Pentax Zoom 90 WR (film camera).

Jim & I each brought a spare battery for our cameras, but in the course of taking hundreds of pictures we each needed 3 or 4 batteries. Thank goodness we had an AC battery charger and a Tripp-Lite 140 watt PowerVerter that allowed the batteries to be recharged from the DC electrical power in the truck. The PowerVerter has a safety cutoff, so it shuts down before too much power is drained from the truck battery. This allowed battery charging to continue safely even when the engine was off.

A Lexar Multi-Card Reader was used to download pictures from the digital camera memory cards into a laptop computer.

Photo Editing

IrfanView software was used for batch conversion of images from JPEG to TIFF format and for thumbnail viewing.

Adobe Photoshop Elements software was used for editing of TIFF images (stitching of panoramas, conversion of TIFFs into JPEGs for display on the website, and conversion of TIFFs into GIFs for animation).

Panoramic images were stitched together using Adobe Photoshop Elements software. The methods I used are described in my Panorama Tutorial.

TIFF images were cropped and then resized down to the following widths:

  • maps & large panoramas = 800 to 900 pixels.
  • landscapes = 600 pixels.
  • flowers, campsite and museum = 300 to 400 pixels.
  • portraits = 200 to 300 pixels.
  • slideshows = 150 pixels.
  • textured backgrounds = 100 to 400 pixels.

JPEGs for use on the web were saved with resolution = 100 dpi, image quality = 40 and compression quality = medium in order to compromise between image quality and downloading time.

Animated GIFs (Index, Going There, Desert Camper Award) were made with UnFREEz software.

More photo methods from a previous trip.


  • The photographers are identified by the filenames:
    • (BH*.jpg = Betty, BT*.jpg = Bruce)
    • (IT*.jpg = Irene, JH*.jpg = Jim).
  • Flower and bird identification by Jim & Betty.
  • Campfires and Award by Jim.
  • Haiku poetry by Irene.
  • XHTML, CSS & JavaScript website design by Bruce.