Fast object looking crisp before a blurred background?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Iron Flatline, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. Hi all.

    I was at the fair, trying to take some pics of the family "rushing" by on the kiddy carousel. I wanted to get a race car effect, where I pan the lens along with them and get a crisp image of them with a blurred background.

    It did not work. Maybe they weren't fast enough, but I don't think that is the real problem.

    What are the recommended settings for capturing such a shot? Is my aperature set too small for this? Should I shoot faster? I don't want to freeze the action. What other advice can you give me?

    All images taken with a Canon 5D and a 24-70mm 1:2.8 L lens, so the equipment ain't the problem!

    1/60 at f22
    [​IMG]


    This one is close to the effect I wanted, but my wife and younger boy are still out of focus.

    1/50 at f22
    [​IMG]


    This one below is a little different as I was on the carousel behind my older one. Here it was just a question of camera shake, so I should have had a faster shutter speed than 1/25.

    1/25 at f22
    [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It's just a tough technique. You need a slow shutter to blur the background, but that makes camera shake likely. If you speed up the shutter speed to eliminate the camera shake, you lose the motion blurred background effect. In order to get a crisp, sharp subject you need to move the camera at exactly the same speed, with out wiggling, as your subject. Also there's not much you can do about your subjects if they wiggle. Rear curtain synched flash might help.

    I'd say your efforts aren't too bad, and that practice is the key.
     
  3. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    Like Matt said, it's all technique and it's not easy (I've only done it "successfully" twice). Your last shot is actually pretty good in my opinion. I'd say just keep doing what you're doing and in time, practice makes perfect.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Practice, Practice, Practice.

    One tip I read was this...when you are panning with your subject, continue your turn all the way across, even though you snap the shot in the middle. In other words, have a smooth follow through.
     
  5. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Mike has good advice about the follow through. It can be hard to suggest shutter speeds since they depend on how fast the subject is moving and the lens you are using. A kid being pulled in a wagon will need a lot slower shutter than a race car in order to get an effective background blur, and the same with wider lenses vs. telephoto. Also, the more perpendicular the subject is moving to you when you pan, the less issue you have with them getting blurred and the more effective the background blur is.

    An yeah, practice, practice, practice.
     
  6. Gosh sarn it! I was hoping for a simple answer....

    Thanks everyone, I appreciate the help. I will keep practicing.
     

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