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 Post subject: How to Pan!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:05 pm 
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Much like the Post Your Processing Techniques Thread here is an opportunity for you to share the magic behind the camera.

To start things off, here is how I approach panning:

First, I assume the postion: I keep the camera firmly pressed to my forehead (this is why the eyecup is padded a tiny bit) using the traditional camera holding position (left hand underneath the lens supporting the weight of the camera, right hand holding the grip to squeeze the shutter but not so much that we cause undue camera shake). A difference from the traditional camera holding technique is my elbows are tucked in under the camera and pressed against my chest instead of being out a bit. My feet are firmly planted about shoulder width apart and everything else is as stable as possible with my hip being the ONLY pivot point. I turn my body at the hip matching the speed of the subject as closely as I can so that my upper body is facing the subject as it passes while pressing the shutter button. Doing this well takes practice practice practice! I'm getting ok at it but still have a lot of missed shots.

Panning settings are going to vary considerably depending on the amount of light and speed of the subject. Simply, faster subjects get faster shutter speeds, slower subjects get slower shutter speeds.

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The Bike Race by Christopher Brian's Photography, on Flickr

This shot was taken at 1/13s f/5.6 ISO 100 24mm because the cyclists were fairly slow through the dark woods. I probably could have shot it at a slightly faster shutter and it'd be a sharper shot.

Image
Rubens Barrichello at the Honda Indy, Toronto by Christopher Brian's Photography, on Flickr

This shot was taken at 1/80s f/11.0 ISO 100 70mm because Rubens Barrichello drives much faster than cyclists move through woods. Plus there was a lot more light to deal with.

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Queen Street Ninja by Christopher Brian's Photography, on Flickr

This shot was taken at 1/13s f/4.0 ISO 640 30mm because it was taken in the city at night. I needed the ISO boost to get to 1/13th of a second while still shooting at f4 to make sure I got my subject within the depth of field. The motorcyclist was not moving too fast and I lucked out with a fairly steady pan. Again 1/13s is pretty slow. Slightly faster and I would maybe get more keepers but also not as much of a pan. Because I am getting a bit better at it I'm trying for slightly longer pans because the effect can be nice.

A note on depth of field in panning. The movement will isolate your subject so there is no need to shoot with a shallow depth of field. Since the camera is moving everything that is not moving with it will become blurred and thus your subject becomes isolated. The smaller aperture gives a greater depth of field helping you capture the subject that moves along with the camera. For example, this shot was taken at 1/100s f/13.0 ISO 100 70 mm. Even though I'm at f13 the Porsche 911 is isolated because it was the only thing moving at the same speed as the panning the camera relative to distance.

Image
Brumos Racing Porsche GT3 at Road America Rolex Sports Car Series Practice by Christopher Brian's Photography, on Flickr

Other camera settings include AI Servo and high speed continuous drive. Sure at slower pans on a faster camera you may not reach the fastest fps available but the speed will be available if you change your shutter speed.

If anyone has suggestions or does this differently please share. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:43 pm 
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Your panning ability is obviously superior to mine. Oddly when I got a more capable camera, I started to lose my ability to pan well. The primary difference in my technique from yours is that I keep my arms to my sides and locked against my body because if I breathe at the wrong moment, I screw up the pan if my arm is against my chest. I also continue my panning movement after the shot is taken, to help insure that the movement is smooth.

Image

These days I'm more likely to freeze the motion dead, and then imply speed through camera attitude, rider body position, and tight cropping. With the volume of shots I get in a race weekend I can't afford to spend hours on cropping and tweaking, so I try to get my composition right straight out of the camera. When the shot is sold, it gets the good stuff.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:26 pm 
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Too bad my camera has a bad attitude and doesn't want to pan


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:30 pm 
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It pans panning?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:50 pm 
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Here's my technique:



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With this technique I get great pictures of cats.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:37 pm 
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I use the panoramic mode on my camera! ;-)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:20 pm 
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Keep a slow shutter speed and pan propeller driven planes -- they won't look right if the props are frozen in the air:
Image
B-17 Flying Fortress by ofermod, on Flickr
f/8, 1/250s, ISO 100 (with circ polarizer).

Jets, on the other hand go fast and have fewer moving parts. You can increase your shutter speed to minimize blur... or go for the surreal pan effect:
Image
RCAF Snowbirds by ofermod, on Flickr
f/8, 1/60s, ISO 100 (with circ. polarizer)

It's not always possible, but having the ground in your planes in flight shots helps demonstrate the sense of speed.

I also use panchromatic film.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:57 pm 
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Panning is fun, but I don't do it much.

In fact, I do it so seldom that the most recent example I could find was from 2004. :-P

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:06 am 
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eww, looking back at it, it's got too much blur... oh, well, there's always learning and practice to be done. I really liked the motorbike on the city street.


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 Post subject: Re: How to Pan!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:57 pm 
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I recently did a panning shot at Dundas Square

Image

I set up the camera in Manual and shot 1/10s f/3.5 and ISO 125, shot at 16mm on a tripod because I found it was much harder panning with my wiggly arms the day before. The only thing was to make sure that whatever my focal point is (this case the front of the TTC street car) is being tracked, and let everything distort however they want.


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 Post subject: Re: How to Pan!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:50 pm 
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I really like that shot fang. I've yet to try panning subjects I am not mostly perpendicular to. Any advice on panning at angles like this which is let's say 45 degrees versus close to 90 degrees?


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 Post subject: Re: How to Pan!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:33 pm 
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I remember giving Panning a try last year. Failed miserably... will give it a shot now with your advice!


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 Post subject: Re: How to Pan!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:13 am 
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cankon wrote:
I remember giving Panning a try last year. Failed miserably... will give it a shot now with your advice!


Good luck! Please post your results.


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 Post subject: Re: How to Pan!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:40 pm 
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One thing that helped me with panning was to go to a reasonably busy intersection and literally practice panning with passing cars. Unlimited subjects to shoot and plenty of practice with consistent 'subjects'


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 Post subject: Re: How to Pan!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:55 pm 
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The higher grandstands this year made me try some shots through some trees:
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Sato by ofermod, on Flickr
f/8, 1/200s

Even the smartest autofocus will have trouble between track > trees > track again, all the while figuring out there's supposed to be a car there -- especially someone as error-prone as Takuma Sato. So, you need to pick a spot, pre-focus, and time your shot for where you focused.


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 Post subject: Re: How to Pan!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:29 pm 
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Using the technique above....

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Karting by Christopher Brian's Photography, on Flickr

Shooting a kart event just may be the perfect panning practice!


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 Post subject: Re: How to Pan!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:42 am 
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always wanted to do it but failed so hard..
thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: How to Pan!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:47 pm 
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Reverse Pan!
She's sleeping...I'm the one moving ;-p

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