Author Topic: How To: Panning  (Read 9557 times)

Offline Horney

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How To: Panning
« on: 22 April 2009, 11:31 »
The purpose of panning is to get the subject of your shot sharp and in focus with all other aspects of the shot blurred. This produces a great sense of movement. The key to this is practice as it's harder than it looks and takes a while to get great reuslts.

A couple of examples:

What you need:

* A camera which allows you to adjust the shutter speed.
* A camera with "Servo focus" is handy but not essential.
* A steady hand.
* A Neutral density filter is handy if the conditions are really bright.

The theory:

The idea with this is to follow your subject with the camera. For example with a car travelling past you you would choose a point on the car like the door mirror or door handle and aim to keep that in exactly the same place in the frame as you follow the car. Start off selecting a shutter speed of about 1/2 a second and then work your way through faster settings until you get the shots you want. In bright conditions this will be especially hard as with the shutter open for long periods will produce very bright and possibly over exposed shots, so it's finding a balance that is key. A Neutral density filter (like sunglasses for your camera) can help here as it lets less light in so you can leave the sghutter open longer. If you have a DSLR you can also try increasing the F number to let in less light.

When it comes to focusing you can do it in one of two ways. Either use a servo assisted mode if your camera has it, the camera will try and alter focus as you pan and should stay locked on. The other method is to focus on the area you know the shot is going to be taken, focus the camera and keeping the shutter release half pressed go back to where the car is then follow it along and press the shutter fully when it arrives at your pre focused destination.

Practice, practice, practice is the key. Try getting a mate on push bike or in a car to ride/drive up and down a road for you and just keep trying. You'll get there in the end.


* Swivel from the hips as this will be more fluid and produce better shots
* Keep your legs spread wide to keep yourself stable.
* Get as close as you can to your subject, the further the zoom the harder to keep the camera still enough not to blur the subject due to camera shake.
* Set the camera to a rapid fire setting if it has one and hold the shutter down to real off 5 or 6 shots as you follow the car. This way you may get 4 junk shots but 1 or 2 great ones.

« Last Edit: 23 April 2009, 11:00 by Horney »

Offline Mortimer Hill

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Re: How To: Panning
« Reply #1 on: 31 May 2009, 20:24 »
If you have an image stabilised lens, you will have to either  switch the IS off completely, or if it's a more sophisitacted IS system, set it to position 2

(These are for Canon IS lenses, but other makes will have similar settings)

Offline T_J_G

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Re: How To: Panning
« Reply #2 on: 04 September 2011, 13:53 »
My first attempts:

dragqueen by T_J_G, on Flickr

Mk2 by T_J_G, on Flickr

Wheelie! by T_J_G, on Flickr

Couple more on my Flickr.

Offline Organisys

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Re: How To: Panning
« Reply #3 on: 06 March 2013, 13:02 »

... it's turned into a fashion show for poofters.