Panning

Juga

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I know there are a ton of threads on this however this is a topic that I feel can be specific to each person because does things differently. So I am confident in the technique that I am trying to use but feel that I am still missing something. I had the shutter around 1/40 or so but it seems I am not able to get the focus where I want it. Here is an example and please feel free to be harsh if needed.
 
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JacaRanda

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I see no reason for anyone to be harsh in a response.

Guessing it's a combination of technique and too slow of a shutter speed. Camera shake and subject movement. Increasing the shutter speed will help both.
 
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She wasn't going all that fast in real life but I will try a faster shutter speed.

As far as the responses. I have seen some pretty rough lines on here, haha.
 

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We're not always harsh, but when we are, we are very harsh.

Now for this shot:

I don't know Canon, so I will assume your camera has several focus modes, so you should use the one for moving subjects. In Nikon it is AF-C, (continuous), which means the camera is constantly trying to keep the subject in focus.

Furthermore, 1/40 is not fast enough. For someone moving, you should be up around 1/160 second or even faster if you have the light.
 

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It looks fine to me...I would maybe have gone to a slightly slower shutter speed. The shutter speed here gave a good blur to the background. I would have allowed her more space "to ride into"; as shown, she's too centrally located in the frame, which makes this look static. The natural tendency of many people is to center the subject, but that's not the best way to make a good shot of a moving bicycle or motorcycle or car.

I like slow-speed panning; 1/40 on a younger kid on a nike is not slow-speed panning...it's regular, normal panning. if you had gone to a faster shutter speed, the background would have looked more crisply defined, and it would have lessened the feeling of her moving on the bike. I think this is a good starting point, 1/40 second, at that distance, and at that angle, both things affecting how a panning shot turns out. The speed used really is determined by the desired effect, and there is a range of effects, and so the range of speeds is also somewhat wide.
 

tirediron

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This is one of those techniques that takes practice; quite a lot of practice. I remember some years ago, attending a lecture by Dr. Ted Grant, where he described how, prior to shooting (IIRC) olympic 100m dash, he spent several days and hundreds of rolls of film alongside a local highway practicing his focus and tracking of fast-moving objects. It apparently paid off.

That said, my method may or may not work for you... here's how I do it: I try and position myself so that I can track the object from left to right, simply by pivoting in place. I set up at an appropriate shutter-speed and track the object as it comes in, using, as mentioned, AF-C (or the Canon equivalent) and when the object is at 90 degrees or as close as it can be, that's when I press the button.
 

wfooshee

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Faster shutter speed would have frozen the wheels, or at least removed much of the motion blur that implies speed and movement. Her feet will blur but there's no way around that unless she stops pedaling for the shot, which isn't worth trying, in my opinion. Too slow a shutter and you'll pick up her body's vertical motion as she cranks the pedals if she's standing, like this shot. I think this worked well, and you might even go for 1/25 if you want, and see if that brings in too much blur.... You might even try from further back with a longer lens.

When panning, don't lean into the shot or lean left to right with the motion. You plant your feet and pivot at the hips, and your whole body from hips up is as rigid as possible, as if your hips and shoulders were bolted to some kind of external brace. Don't shift your weight, keep it balanced on both feet, and don't stop pivoting at the shutter press, follow through. Just press the button, don't whack the camera. (Brings to mind the stupid movie bad guys that fire their guns with a throwing motion at the wrist, like throwing the bullets at the targets. Doesn't work with guns, doesn't work with cameras. :) ) Shoot "looser" so you have room to make an effective crop, which lets you address the position in the frame that Derrel mentioned.
 

nycphotography

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You need a slower shutter speed (and steady hand/eye for tracking the subject).

1/40 is seldom, unless you're tracking ballistic missiles, slow enough to get the true panning/blurring effect.

I have a couple examples... but in every case shutter speed was more like 1/16 or 1/4 even.

I often ended up stacking on ND filters as even fully stopped down at the slowest ISO, I still couldn't get a slow enough shutter speed.
 
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nycphotography

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itemimage.php


This one was 1/8s @ f/22.

For this one, she made 4 or 5 passes (again and again) and I mashed the button on continuous frames each time until the buffer was full.

I got ONE frame that where it all worked out. the other 50 or 60 -> la poubelle.
 

nycphotography

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in your original image... I imagine the challenge with focus is that she's moving closer as she tracks across... so the focal depth changes.

best fix for that 1) being fully stopped down and reasonably far away
and 2) expecting that panning will almost always yield blurry images.

The only real fix for the blurry is a trailing curtain flash to pop the subject in place at the end of the motion.
 

JacaRanda

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I know there are a ton of threads on this however this is a topic that I feel can be specific to each person because does things differently. So I am confident in the technique that I am trying to use but feel that I am still missing something. I had the shutter around 1/40 or so but it seems I am not able to get the focus where I want it. Here is an example and please feel free to be harsh if needed.

Now that I've seen other responses, what part of your photo were you not happy with or feel like you were missing something on? You mentioned focus, but are you also thinking of background motion blur, wheels, face of your subject? What exactly was the shutter speed?
 
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Juga

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Thanks for all the great responses. The issue I felt with my image is that my subject isn't as sharp as I'd like or am I being too picky. I will keep at it trying some of the methods mentioned and post examples. Sorry for my short response but kids are keeping my house hectic.
 

JacaRanda

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Thanks for all the great responses. The issue I felt with my image is that my subject isn't as sharp as I'd like or am I being too picky. I will keep at it trying some of the methods mentioned and post examples. Sorry for my short response but kids are keeping my house hectic.
Be as picky as you want and keep working to get your desired result.
Do you want her face to be sharp as if she is stopped in motion/not moving?
 

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