Panning shot: tips & tricks?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Val, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Val

    Val TPF Noob!

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    Could you guys share some advice on how to make great sharp panning shots?

    I try to move the camera with the target as precisely as i can and hold it as steady as i can. But even if i get one part of a car in focus, the other will still be blurred. So im not quite sure where im going wrong.

    What i get is this:
    [​IMG]

    And what i want is this:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. TimboAA

    TimboAA TPF Noob!

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    Practice, practice, practice. Panning is tough technique. It looks like in that picture you were slightly slow or fast. Plus, if you're shooting rally cars that are also moving up and down it makes it more difficult. Go stand on a busy street and practice. Make sure to follow through with each shot. (Keep the camera moving even after the shutter has closed) Try different combinations of settings that work well for you. Perhaps a larger depth of field to start with as well. Good luck!
     
  3. Bevel Heaven

    Bevel Heaven TPF Noob!

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    stand with your feet shoulder width apart, square your body off to the object you are shooting [where you are actually gonna pull the trigger]. Elbows away from body. Preset everything for your shot in manual mode including focus. practice without clicking on the objects as they go by - just pretend. DO it several times until you get a feel for where precisely you what to pull the trigger. OK now practice and don;t push too hard, gentle does it, and as the previous poster said, keep the camera moving after you have snapped the photo.,

    It is all about matching the speed exactly of the object.

    At first, use as fast a shutter speed as you can. Once youi nail it, then start reducing the shutter speed until you get the car sharp, the wheels a blur etc.........

    I shoot bikes - here is an example of how it is done correctly. Notice the rider and bike is sharp, wheels are blurred, but the suspension is sharp - which is very difficult.

    [​IMG]

    Below is another examply, but although this photos is extremely well done contrast and sharpness, I used a faster shutter speed so the wheels look like they are still - not really good for motorsports.........

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    Bevel..your second one isn't really considered a panning action shot, cause you could have just waited and snapped and it'd be the same.
    Your first one is great though.
    Basically my advice is try on 1/60 first...then work down to 1/30...and go from there. I find 1/30 is a pretty nice compromise of easy to shoot, and good blur.
     
  5. Bevel Heaven

    Bevel Heaven TPF Noob!

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    yup - that is exactly what I meant in the description..... Even though I did pan the bike to get it - hey it IS full frame afterall [not cropped]- I'd challenge anyone to get that shot from a camera fixed to a tripod :confused: I am trying to illustrate a decent panned shot [the first one] compared to what I called out as 'not a good pan shot' [the 2nd one]. Thanks!
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As you noticed part of the car is sharp. This is not a flaw in technique but in position. It depends on how the car is moving and how much perspective distortion you have.

    I notice the second picture you posted of the maclaren was taken from much further away with a longer lens. This flattens the field of view and I would be inclined to say this may be one of the reasons why the entire car is sharp and not just one portion of it. Mind you your answer to my next question could prove me wrong, but What focal length did you use to photograph the top car?
     
  7. _SnapShot_

    _SnapShot_ TPF Noob!

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    That's a McLaren? Looks like a modified Honda NSX.

    Second car isn't going as fast and is in good Sunlight. First car is going across the frame fast and it doesn't look like there's good light. Look at the shadows behind the car, reflections of artificial light on the side of the car. Photo 1 has focus problems along with the blur.

    You can get a nice wheel and background blur at 125. Once you slow down to 60 or 30 you are going to get camera shake, vertical motion and would have to be perfect in matching the speed. You can hardly get a good picture at a 60 with a car standing still.

    Unless the second bike is going slow, that has to be a 1000 to stop the wheel. At 125 you could have gotten the first one with that much wheel blur. Nice and sharp Steve.

    Garbz, do you want to reconsider the longer lens having more depth of field before someone starts serving crow. :D The sharper picture has more light, and a smaller aperture, that's why it's sharper.
     
  8. Val

    Val TPF Noob!

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    Guys thanks a lot for help! :thumbup: Although some of you said different things, it all gave me something to think about. I will try everything you recommended and see what works and what doesnt :hail:

    Bevel, first one is an awesome pic :thumbup:
     
  9. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Val, one thing I noticed with your examples. Your shutter speed is slower than it needed to be. This adds to the difficulty in getting good pan results. Everything else stated above is correct. Practice, practice, practice, you just can't get enough. But as far as shutter is concerned, just slow enough to get the background and wheel blur, but fast enough to aid in keeping your subject sharp. And different subjects will need variations in your technique. The closer the vehicle the better you will need to be. Also, if shooting prop aircraft, it doesn't take too slow a shutter to blur props, or backgrounds in a low level flyby with any aircraft.
     
  10. (Ghastly) Krueger

    (Ghastly) Krueger TPF Noob!

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    I only have one thing to add: it's easier to pan from the inside of a long curve, a bit harder ina straight line and the hardest is in theoutside of a curve. All that because of the natural mmovemnt of your body when following the objetcts.
     

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