All you need to know about Panning -Guest posting: Kristen Duke

8:21 AM
I have a special guest posting today! Her name is Kristen Duke of Kristen Duke Photography. She is the one who did that awesome series in September called "Decorating with Portraits". If you haven't checked it out, visit her blog and you are bound to be inspired to fill your house with your family photos. But today she is going to teach us how to get some great action shots, so here you go...

Today I'm going to talk about Panning. It is a photography technique often associated with sports photography, because you are looking for the background motion and a still subject.  For this to work, you need a slow shutter speed, and best used with a tripod.

I took 100 shots of my sis in law and only got a handful of decent images.  Isn't she a great poser?
1/40 ss  f/13 ISO 100 (full sun) 85mm lens
Do you see how the background is almost moving? Her face isn't as sharp as I'd like it to be, but sports photography gives a bit of leeway in that area.

Here is one of my many not-so-great shots:
(similar specs)
But the background looks cool, right?

Panning tips
  • Set your cameras shutter speed to either 1/15th/sec or 1/30th/sec, basically slow enough to cause movement as you swing or pan the camera. The aperture and depth of field are somewhat irrelevant as the background will be blurred anyway.
  • Set the autofocus to AI servo in order to "track" the moving object
  • Set on continuous mode so you can snap, snap, snap a bunch in a row
  • Plan to "pan" from left to right (or vice versa) and follow the object while standing in one spot
  • Slow shutter speed, about 1/30 second
  • Use a tripod to keep your camera level while panning. Simply rotate the camera left or right to pan with a tripod. If you don't use a tripod, and your hand is not steady, you will produce a vertical blur and ruin the shot
If you can tell from the 2 shots above, my most accurate sharp image was when she was right in front of me.  Grabbing the focus when she was off to the side was more difficult.  Also, notice she is pretty close to me (maybe 10 feet).  When she was further away, the background didn't produce as dramatic of an effect.

Even this one, she is a bit closer, but not far enough.  This is my crispest image, but not quite the same blur as my first shot above.

A few years ago, my hubby did a bike race, and I got to take some cool shots of him.  I was in the passenger seat and my mom was driving alongside him.  I keep saying I want to do this again, but to set something up like this is a daunting task.  It takes 3 people:  subject, driver, shooter.  This was a bit of a different panning technique because I moved along with the object instead of standing still.  Less of a need for a tripod because I wasn't moving from left to right, but stabilizied by the car under my elbow.

Didn't quite get the same effect, but cool nonetheless. It was easier to focus on him as I rode alongside him.
So try something different, set up a panning photoshoot and take a bunch!

Thanks, Kristen! Such great info! Go check out Kristen's blog to see her gorgeous work.

For information on how to enter the contest click here.

You can submit photos and vote from now until Friday night at 12 pm CST. 

To view the photo submissions and to vote click here.

Wanna tell people what your'e doing?
add a button...


No comments:

Powered by Blogger.