137Mpix Everest Himalayan range panorama

Everest Himalayan range panorama as seen from the summit of Mera Peak. Five eight thousand peaks are visible from this vantage point. From left it is Cho Oyu, Mt Everest, Lhotce, Makalu and Kanchenjunga.

This is the biggest panorama I made to date. It was all hand held, without tripod and special nodal head all after strenuous climb to the summit. It was bit challenging to stay still when continuously coughing and gasping for air (only 44% oxygen lever on the summit compared to sea level). Series of photographs were take with Nikon D800 and 24-70mm 2.8 zoom lens. After basic corrections in Lightroom I merged the photos to panorama in Photoshop and made final adjustments with Nik Viveza and Color Efex Pro. All this resulted in over 137Mpix giant image.

Tips for shooting panoramas without tripod

Taking similar pictures is not that difficult. There are few things to keep in mind

  • For more succesful results it is better to use normal or close to normal focal length (50mm). Wider lens causes too much distortion. 
  • Shoot in portrait mode to get more resolution. All images should have enough overlap so Photoshop can easier merge them together.
  • All settings in camera need to be in manual mode. It is paramount that photographer makes all decisions and keeps them same across all shots.
  • Scenes with dominant foreground can have parallax problem without using specialised nodal head.
  • To avoid or minimise parallax problem you can try to imitate nodal head. Place your thumb at the bottom side of the lens, roughly where focal point is located. Try to pivot the camera on your thumb, This requires a little practice but it can be done. Of course this will not be 100%  accurate but it is better than rotating in hip.
  • Give your subjects little bit of head room. Final merged image in Photoshop will need some cropping so it is better to count on it ahead.

Good luck and good light.