Handheld Panorama

Ocean City Sunrise – f/5.6, 36mm, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, no filter, handheld – 6 X 18 – 31 Mega Pixels – click for large

I was working 15 hours straight last night in a roof cell site in New Jersey. It was one of my worst days at work. Anyway, at around 6AM this morning I witnessed a beautiful sunrise in Ocean City. I needed to grab my camera to capture the soothing sunrise. Sunrises are beautiful, they are a start of a new day. But with so many tools and equipment I had to bring to the roof I did not bother getting the tripod in my truck.

Handheld panorama is tricky you have to consider camera shake. My perfect situation would be with a tripod and a shutter release cord. Long exposure is a big no no when hand holding your camera. I had to play with exposure and metering. I set the aperture to f/5.6 that is a stop higher than the usual that I use. Next I set the ISO to 200 and metered. At 1/80th of a second the highlights were blown, at 1/325th the shadows were too dark, I finally settled in the middle at 1/125th of a second. 1/125 sec is not too bad when hand holding. I took 8 vertical shots with a steady hand panning from left to right. When I got home I had to sleep for 4 hours and make my reports. I then finally got all my shots stitched in Photoshop.

These were the test shots:
@ 1/80 sec
@ 1/325 sec
@ 1/125 sec

Here is the 6 X 24 cropped version with the ferries wheel to the right.
Ocean City Sunrise – f/5.6, 36mm, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, no filter, handheld – 6 X 24 – 32 Mega Pixels – click for large

My point really is for you to play with your camera settings and to understand the exposure triangle. It is all about the light.

I hope you like it.


PS. The buildings from afar is Atlantic City to those who are not familiar.


21 thoughts on “Handheld Panorama

  1. You’re probably sick of hearing this from me, but I really enjoy your panoramic work… I’m sure I’ll do one soon and I’ll credit you for bringing that joy of panoramas back to me 🙂

  2. The majority of my panoramas are hand-held . . . The only ones I use a tripod on are the ones that go beyond the rotation I can muster from a given stance (something around 240degrees or so).

    Then again, I don’t shoot much at night, and not as difficult lighting situations as you do.

    Anyway, nice shot.

  3. Hello sir, i only would like to ask how did you do a panoramic with a little bit photo plannet (the little curve in the horizon), its been a year i do a research but i didnt get my aswer, Hope you answer me on my email.
    Thank You!

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