Handheld Technique for beginners
Let's say that you don't have all of this fancy gear. You know we've already received questions today from people saying I don't have a $2000 tripod setup. What can I do? So I'm gonna take you through three sequences here, take you through one that's kinda a beginner photo technique and that's even a misnomer. It's like a no-gear technique. Like I'm a professional and a lot of times I do my panoramas with no gear, just handholding. So I'm gonna show that. Then I'm gonna show an intermediate setup, and then I'm gonna show the full on professional gear setup. So let's watch that video. So what if you don't have all the tripod gear and you still wanna create great panoramas with your DSLR equipment. Well handholding is actually a fairly reliable way to get great panoramas. But there's a couple of techniques I want you to use when you handhold. The first thing is, is when your handholding obviously your hands aren't perfect. In other words there's a little bit of up, and there's a little b...
it of down. So you need to compose each individual frame a little bit looser than you would on a tripod. 'Cause you don't have as much control over it when you're handholding. The next thing is when you rotate, I want you to rotate around the lens rather than rotate like in front of your body like this. And the reason why is you don't wanna create this thing called parallax. In a scene like this where the city is so far away, parallax isn't that big of an issue. But as we'll talk later, I'm gonna do some stuff in a tight spot, and that's where rotating around the lens, the no parallax point is really important. So when I shoot this picture now, I'll probably get about the same results if I go like this versus if I go like this. But you see the difference? The difference is one I'm rotating around the lens. So what I like to think of in my mind is I like to think of a pole kinda running down from my lens to my front toe. And I kinda pivot around my front toe as I take those images. So I'm gonna take this photo here of the Seattle city skyline with no other equipment other than my camera and my lens. I'm using my long lens here. I've got my Nikon 70 to 200 F28, and I'm gonna shoot this around F8 aperture. I'm at ISO 100 and I'm at sunny white balance. And then I'm just gonna check my exposure so I don't blow out those clouds. All right, here we go. So I'll take one shot here of the city and I'm gonna look at the back on my highlight screen and I've got no blinkies or no highlights. That's awesome, and so that was basically F at a 500th of a second. And so I'll lock that in with my AE lock. I mentioned earlier I like to shoot vertically oriented panoramas, so I'm gonna do that. And I focus, start on the left side, and here we go. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and on the right side I've got the Space Needle, and that's kinda the end of my composition. But as always, I'm gonna shoot a little bit farther just in case. Well here's the result. This is what that handheld panorama looks like when I'm merging it in software. So this is the lightroom interface. We'll see that in about an hour from now but you can see that as I handheld, I didn't keep the camera perfectly steady or perfectly oriented from shot to shot. So we see a little bit of white area in between. And that's okay. Lightroom allows us some tools, gives us some tools to fix that, like this boundary warp tool. Or even we could just crop it. We can crop that bad stuff out. So that actually turned out fairly well for a handheld panorama. And this is the final result here. This is an image. And we made a print of this image. I'll show it later today. It's great, I mean really conceptually since the shutter speeds were high, there wasn't a lot of camera shake or anything like that, so I didn't have to even worry that much about handholding in terms of my technique. I do wanna make one more point here and that is I try to rotate around my front foot, and I think of that as my rotation point rather than doing this. If your scene is a long ways away, like here, you know the scene is literally a mile away so there's no parallax issues. In other words, buildings aren't gonna really move with respect to each other from picture to picture. So if the scene is a long ways away don't worry so much about this parallax thing. But maybe you're in a museum or maybe you're in some tight situation. In those situations, anytime you have something close to the camera and something far away, then you have to really think about rotating around the lens. So to do that, I just hold the camera like this and I just rotate around my foot to try and keep the no parallax point over the rotation.