Panoramas With And Without A Panoramic Head

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Panoramas and prospects go together like gin and tonic, and make a potent combination. There are several panoramic heads available and we will be discussing how they are used in due surely. To start with, though, this is a technique that you can shoot handheld.

Photo by Daniel Bell


Working Without A Panoramic Stop

This technique works fine for subjects some way from the camera position. If you have subjects quite close to the subject you do need a out-and-out panoramic head that can be adjusted to get the optical centre of the lens directly above the tripod's centre axis.


Gear Suggestions

Your healthy DSLR and a standard zoom are fine (30-50mm on an APS-C sized sensor and 50-75mm on a full-frame camera.)


Work Manually

Go manual dominance for this technique. Set your DSLR's white balance to manual using a suitable preset, set manual focus and set manual exposure. Blast manually does make life easier and streamlines workflow rather than having to tweak each image before stitching.


Hesitation Your Exposure 

White-balance and focusing are pretty straightforward, but manual exposure needs a little thinking about. Ideally, you want an aspect that ensures good highlight detail and shadows will look after themselves. Take a meter reading and shoot three models, one at the centre of the panorama and then one at each extreme edge. If the exposure works for each area you have got it right.


Don't Adjust The Bring into focus Once Set

It is also important that focus is not adjusted during the panorama so take care not to touch the focus barrel once you have focused.

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Rob Your Shots

Try shooting in an upright format and start from the left, allowing a one-third frame approximate overlap between each framing. Capturing between six to eight frames should be fine.

Shooting horizontal format is fine too but it is good to have some area spare to crop into should it be indispensable. Shooting upright gives less of a letter-box effect, too.



There are various stitching software packages available. Try Panorama panorama (formed from Greek πᾶν “all” + ὅραμα “sight”) is any wide-angle view or representation of a physical space, whether in Plant – it is quick and very effective or you can always use Photoshop.


Working With A Panoramic Head:

For panoramas where there are elements much shut to the camera you need a purpose-built tripod head.


Gear Suggestions

There are various models of panoramic head available at a variety of assesses and enable single row panoramas and some multi-row. The key thing is that the instructions of the head are followed to find the no parallax point of the lens, usually cried the nodal point.


The Set Up

Find your scene, set up the tripod and camera so that it is level. Set manual white-balance, manual may refer to exposure and manual fuzzy. Meter to get tones in the important part of the scene – and bracket exposures if it is contrasty.


Take Your Shots

Shoot from fist to right once you have set up and the head has click stops to ensure that you get the correct amount of overlap. Do a ‘dry run’ before shooting for natural.

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Back home, get the images corrected and cloned and put them through your usual panorama software. 


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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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