How to Shoot Landscape Panoramas Handheld

When out in the wilds, often you come across views that are just too big and beautiful to be captured in one single shot. But when trekking all day, you may have left your tripod at home to lighten the load in an already heavy pack.

Thankfully, Adam Karnacz of First Man Photography has created this short video to show that panoramas can be shot both handheld or with a tripod – ensuring great results with both. Heading to the rolling hills of a windswept Lake District in the UK, Karnacz sets up for a sunset after a night of wild camping.

Situated above the Borrowdale Valley, he excitedly shoots a few landscapes before beginning on the panoramas.

With a Tripod

If you’re going to shoot a panorama with a tripod, then Karancz offers some invaluable advice. First of all, make sure the tripod is level, to ensure all images lineup in post-processing. Next, use a higher aperture and lower shutter speed. ISO can also be kept low due to the stability, meaning the shutter speed can be altered to allow for enough light to create a proper exposure. Karnacz also uses a Manfrotto ball head for smooth movement, shooting in portrait orientation.

Shooting Handheld

Whilst shooting a panorama without a tripod may seem a bit more difficult, Karancz shows that it can be done with ease. First off, you’ll need to lower the aperture and increase shutter speed, to reduce any possibility of camera shake. ISO needs to be a low value, but boost it if necessary to ensure the exposure stays adequate during the panorama.

You then position your feet in the end position of the panorama, twisting to the left with your hips. Then twist your hips whilst shooting (again in portrait) until you return to the end position.

For processing the two panoramas, a slightly different approach must be taken for each. So be sure to watch the video to find out – you won’t be disappointed!

For more of Karnacz’s work, visit his YouTube, website, and Instagram.

Want more tips on how to shoot panoramas? Here’s our advice.


Ed Carr is a Yorkshire-born landscape photographer and nature writer. Having spent his youth in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, he takes any opportunity to don his hiking boots and head out, camera in hand. When not out taking pictures or hastily scribbling down his thoughts, Ed’s halfway up a hill out chasing after his dog, Hendrix.