To set the panning axis to plumb, most people just adjust the tripod legs so the platform is level, but for more precision there are leveling heads that go between the tripod and the head for making fine adjustments. Dan Fromm mentions the Bogen/Manfrotto leveling head, and I have a smaller Acratech leveling head. There's also one called the Levelhead, and some recent ballhead designs from Arca-Swiss and RRS put the panning platform between the ball and the camera instead of putting it under the ball, so if you level the camera, you can pan level.
The recent popularity of pano stitching has created demand for new solutions to the problem of level panning.
Sounds great. Look forward to viewing the image some time. I imagine there is a great deal of light wrapping on the pipes in the refinery. Even if you missed it this time, it might be worth a reshoot.
Were you elevated or on ground level? I've seen a few large format users on top of vans and such to clear fences. Beds of pickup trucks help too.
Thanks for sharing about the image.
Please forgive the crappy stitching - my $150 scanner can only do medium format (and not well) which means multiple scans to try to show the image and the exposures never line up between the two scans. I did a little dust removal and removed the more obvious parts of the joint but nothing else (if I was going to spend some effort on the image, I would lighten the trucks considerable and darken the sky but this is just a quick preview because you asked). I have several others but this is fairly typical of this outing's shots - I think the right side tilt might be from the scan but I was trying to have the center tower vertical when I shot the image.
My memory works very well. Your comment on my "intellectual integrity" is a personal attack and shows your scarce level of politeness in a public discussion.
Re-read the thread and understand by yourself how off-mark were your considerations about highly professional Hollywood gear in response to a simple remark saying that 2-way head are typically used for video.
I hope not to have to rebuke further personal provocations.