Panning is a great way to incorporate motion into your photography. This technique can be used to create a feeling of movement in your photography thanks to the combination of a sharp subject and a motion blurred background.
Knowing how to pan to capture motion isn’t as difficult as you might think. In this post we show you how to pan photography
What is panning?
Panning is a technique where you pan your camera while tracking a moving subject. This gives you the focused subject, but a blurred background. This gives the picture a sense of movement and speed. In some cases, the picture even looks almost ethereal.
Panning Vs. Motion blur
When you take a picture, you and the subject are often stationary. You point and you shoot. However, if the subject moves and you use a relatively slow shutter speed, the subject will be shot with motion blur.
Panning differs significantly from motion blur photography because the main subject you’re tracking has minimal motion blur. Instead, the subject is relatively frozen in motion as the background moves. To achieve this effect, you need to pan your camera with the moving subject while recording.
The blurred background, which appears almost striped, gives the image its sense of movement. Let’s look at how this effect can be achieved.
1. Good posture is the key
The way you stand is one of the most important factors in the success of panning. Follow these simple tips to master the swivel technique:
- Stand straight and plant your feet shoulder width apart;
- Don’t move your feet while you pan;
- Pan towards your subject in the direction they come from (remember to keep your fleet planted). Put your index finger lightly on the trigger.
- Follow your subject in the viewfinder when they get closer to you;
- Rotate your torso to track the subject;; This means that you turn your body in the same direction at the same speed of the subject, keeping your feet planted firmly. and
- Press the trigger as they cross in front of you while you continue to follow them with your camera.
2. Use a slow shutter speed
Set your camera to shutter priority mode for the best results. Choose a slow shutter speed in relation to the speed of the subject.
You have to experiment to get the right speed setting and get the desired effect. Some tips are:
|object||example||Shutter speed (s)|
|Slowly||Slow cyclists or runners||1/4 to 1/15|
|Moderate||Cars or bicycles on a city street||1/15 to 1/30|
|Fast||Fast moving car||1/60 to 1/125|
You’ll need to practice using different shutter speeds to learn more about the speeds at which you can achieve the desired effect.
If your images are overexposed or underexposed, use the exposure compensation dial to correct the exposure.
3. Pan and blur motion
Different shutter speeds not only affect the background, they also affect the motion blur of your subject.
A slower shutter speed creates motion blur on every moving part of the subject. For example, if you use a slower shutter speed when photographing a jogger, the moving legs are blurred, but the body remains sharp.
You may or may not want this effect, so you have to experiment. Take multiple pictures at different shutter speeds and note which speed achieved which effect.
4. Manually focus on the topic
Now that you know some of the basics about panning, let’s discuss the focus.
You probably want your subject to be focused and the background to be out of focus. But how do you keep your topic in focus?
Of course, you can use autofocus, but that may not be enough. So you have to focus manually – it gets a little difficult here.
You have to manually focus on a given position in front of you to guess or guess where you are actually taking the picture. To do this correctly, you have to do the following two steps:
- Determine the point at which the movement might look best when your subject passes in front of you. and
- Focus the camera on this point manually before your subject reaches this point.
If you fully trust the autofocus of your camera, set the continuous autofocus. This allows the camera’s viewfinder to use multiple focus reference points to predict and track your subject (also known as a guess).
If all of this works, you should end up taking at least a few good pictures with the subject in focus!
5. Use continuous shooting mode
Today’s digital cameras can shoot quickly at six frames per second, if not more, in continuous shooting mode.
It’s a good idea to put the camera in continuous shooting mode when panning. This way you increase the chances of getting both an excellent image and a sharp subject.
6. Panning and image stabilization
If your lens has Image Stabilization (IS), you may want to disable it when panning.
This is because the image stabilization was specially developed to counteract camera movements and vibrations. This is the intended behavior when panning.
Image stabilization should only remain on if your lens has an advanced image stabilization mode. For example, some Canon cameras have IS mode 2, which is specifically designed for panning. It ignores movements in the pan direction and at the same time counteracts other movements of the camera.
With Nikon cameras, VR mode (Normal Vibration Reduction) can detect the panning. Then an attempt is made not to counteract the intended camera movements caused by the panning.
7. Use the sync flash for the rear curtain
Use a sync flash for the rear curtain to increase motion blur and set the subject in motion at the same time.
This flash technique triggers the flash towards the end of your exposure – just before the shutter closes.
The slow shutter speeds recommended for panning blur the motion as the flash of the back curtain freezes the subject toward the end of your exposure. You also get a really cool flow of light in the opposite direction of the subject’s movement.
8. Practice your panning
The secret to successful panning is simple: practice.
Create a plan for your practice. Think about how much time you can invest and when and where you can take pictures. Panning is not a particularly easy skill, but practicing helps you improve and perfect it.
Shoot a lot of pictures. It may take a lot of shots to get a great one. Experiment with your settings and re-record them if necessary. It is helpful to practice in a place where there are many moving subjects, e.g. B. on a busy street.
It is also a good idea to review your pictures while you are practicing. This way you can check what works and what doesn’t.
This article was written by Arthur Berlin BeArt presets, Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions Shop for professional and novice photographers.
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