It's been almost a year since I bought a good DSLR camera; the little point and shoots, even with zoom features and the like just weren't enough anymore. Combine that with learning how to use some photo softwares better, and it's been loads of fun.
My most recent adventure in software involved learning how to stitch photos with the panoramic function. Love it!
My major reason is that I do a lot of photography in the Kettle Moraine, an area carved by glaciers during the Ice Age and which is full of curving hills and low spots. Sometimes a regular lens really just can't give the effect. It also can't catch some serious weather. But with the panorama function: Wowie Zowie!
This is a three shot panorama. Try picturing just the middle. While that is the most interesting part with the contrast of blue, sunny sky against the rainclouds, certainly adding the rain on each side adds to the drama.
This one doesn't feature weather or rolling land; however, it did allow me to photograph an entire controlled burn site conducted by our DNR. They do this periodically on state lands; it assists in allowing more variety to the plants; on this site and others, there will be an abundance of wildflowers later in the year. If the burn had not happened, the area would have been all grasses.
Here, the panoramic function allowed me to show these birds in one picture. They were fairly close, but not close enough to catch together.
Before digital photos and software, panoramic cameras were pretty rare and expensive. They were designed so that the lens rotated on an axis, requiring longer time for the shot. This could mean needing to use a tripod to ensure sharpness. Due to that, many photographers did not take them. I love seeing the plethora of panoramics my friends post!