Questions in regards to panning a subject.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Bitter Jeweler, May 31, 2009.

  1. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have been trying to shoot Swallows either at the park, or at my Dad's house and have had a hard time. Most of this has been poor choices in settings, like not realizing I was shooting with an ISO of 100. :roll:. I know my lense isn't the best for this, but I have made some progress.

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    Yes, these are cropped pretty fiercly. I also missed some shots when they flew really close to me because the camera was processing and saving images. :meh: I shot these with the inexpensive Canon 55-250mm 4-5.6 IS lens. I started out with an aperture of 5.6 and ISO 800. The camera flashed 1/4000 which I believe meant I was beyond the shutter ability for a good exposure. So I stopped down to F/11 which brought the shutter speed to 1/2000. From those settings I got a few decent pics. The ISO 800 makes some pretty noisy pics. :meh: Would I have been better off keeping my Aperture at F/5.6 and dropping the ISO to 400? Would that have dropped my shutter speed to an acceptable level? But then I think my depth of field would become more narrow, and if my focus wasn't spot on, I could still miss the shot. But this is wrong thinking because the distance at which I was focusing (20-50ish feet) would have given me decent DoF. Is think correct thinking? Does anybody think using ISO 400 and F/5.6 I would come out with better shots?

    I have had fun trying to pan these buggers, they're quick and change direction on a dime.
     
  2. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    Which settings to adjust is all about knowing what you want your end product to be. In some situations noise is more acceptable than others and if a wider depth of field is what you need, then boosting ISO is your best option. But, if you're far enough away and can get away with a more narrow depth of field, then drop the f/stop. But regardless of all of that, although I'm not a nature photographer, I'm betting you could probably cut your shutter speed in half and still get a successful pan.
     
  3. MikeBcos

    MikeBcos TPF Noob!

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    I would try and get your shutter speed down to about 1/250 for panning Swallows, that way you should get a decent blurred background.

    And good luck - you have picked a hellishly difficult subject to pan! :D

    Mine was 1/160, F22, ISO 200.

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  4. RONDAL

    RONDAL TPF Noob!

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    you want to learn to pan? (and im serious this is how i taught myself)

    Take a wander down to a nearby busy street or highway. Set up shop, start trying to pan cars as they go by.

    The nice thing while you are learning is they are generally all travelling at the same speed, are in endless supply, and you dont have to worry about missing a shot...because you are just practicing.

    Took me maybe 30 minutes to get proficient at it. You can play around with different settings, like shutter and aperture and see how they affect your panning shots.
     
  5. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    This is really good advice. It will be less frustrating than trying to learn on swallows.
     
  6. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks for the tips.
    Rondal, I will plan on practicing on cars, but I have loved the challenge of the birds. I also think they are rather different. I don't think panning something that maintains speed and direction is the same as something that speeds up, slows down, comes toward, away from you, up, down, and turns on a dime. What I am getting out of continuing shooting the birds, is getting more familiar with their behaviour.

    Don't get me wrong though. I do see that panning cars will at least give me something consistant to work with to play with settings and see the outcome.
    After typing all that, I think that was your point anyway. :er:

    MikeBcos, do you think shooting at 1/250sec will also account for my movement in relation to the birds? A blurred background would be great, but blurred birds I am trying to avoid. :D
     
  7. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You gotta learn how to walk before you can run... ;)
     
  8. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Question: were you using AF or MF? Having the same lens, I'm curious to know if the AF has worked fast enough to be usable (to bad the darn thing isn't a USM too).

    As for your movement, you get what, 2-3 stops of IS? The subject should be alright. You might actually lose some of the motion blur because from the panning though. o_O
     
  9. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I am using AF One Shot mode. Not AF Servo.
    What I have been doing, is with the lense at a shorter focal length say 55-75mm, finding the birds flying around the grass. Swallows fly low, catching bugs. So I just follow them, and wait till they start coming into my area, then I zoom to 250mm. I have gotten so much better at doing that too, cuz I usually lost them when I zoomed. I keep hitting the shutter release half way to refocus, and when they are acceptably close, I start taking pictures. I try not to do too many in a row to let the camera catch up (shooting RAW+JPG, with a cheap slow memory card). As far as learning on cars first...if you want to learn to pan swallows, you have to learn on swallows. Apples/Oranges. I think the AF has been "fast enough". I wouldn't know any different though, I don't have a faster focusing lens.

    Sorry I was unclear above, I meant motion blur on the grass, not the bird.
     
  10. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I caught that. I mean that with IS, it will actually affect the motion blur of the background, since that blur is coming from the movement of the camera.

    I'd say good call on the one-shot. AI Servo and AF Servo have never seemed to act intelligently. o_O (that probably has a lot to do with only having nine focus points on the 450Ds though; with 51 or so AF points I'll bet AI Servo and AF Servo are a lot more functional)
     

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