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Panning in the park

November 16, 2005
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Camera panning is a technique where you select a slow shutter speed, track a point on your moving subject and press the shutter release geeently.

If all goes well you will have photo with a blurred background and a subject that is relatively sharp which makes it stand out.

Panning is the ideal way of capturing a sense of motion in a photograph.

Getting the correct shutter speed is tricky because it depends on the speed of subject, distance to subject and the focal length (zoom) used.

If you do select a slow shutter speed but keep the camera still then the subject will be blurred just as the background and not be very distinguishable.

If you select a fast shutter speed then all of the image will be frozen in time and look as if motionless.

Having a digital camera helps immensely because you can check the results after each shot and adjust accordingly. You can also snap away and select that one gem in the comfort of your home and your favourite RAW image editing software.

Below are some photos from one fine sunny Autumn day in the park with a few dogs. The first photos are quite abstract because the shutter speed was too slow.

The last photo is kind of OK.

camera panning

1/8s @ 105mm (35mm eq.)

camera panning

1/15s @ 105mm (35mm eq.)

camera panning

1/4s @ 105mm (35mm eq.)

camera panning

1/30s @ 105mm (35mm eq.)

Now get out there and snap!



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Comments

  1. Kristofer Says:

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    Two other pretty simple techniques I can recommend involve
    1) zooming while taking a photo. This produces pretty vivid pictures.
    2) Rotating the camera along the focal axis such that the object is somewhat sharp but the surroundings gets pretty blurred.
    Maybe not very useful but very simple and can produce quite interesting output.

    David says:

    Nice tips as well. I have seen photographs done with those techniques but never actually tried it myself. Will next time!

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