Capture Pure Energy in your Photos
Running, Playing, Swimming, Jumping. You can capture pure energy in pictures!
We've all been there, you're shooting photos, and your subject won't slow down. Now is the time to learn panning techniques to capture those images forever.
What is panning photography?
Panning in still photography refers to opening the camera shutter and then horizontally moving the camera before the shutter closes.
Panning uses slower shutter speeds combined with a sweeping camera motion that follows at the same speed as your subject. A successfully panned shot will show a sharply focused subject on a blurry background.
1. Set the Mode dial on your camera to Shutter priority mode. Both Canon and Nikon cameras have a top dial to select your shooting mode. To choose the Shutter Priority Mode, turn the mode dial to Tv (Time Value) in Canon or S (Shutter-priority) in Nikon.
2. Select a slow shutter speed – start with 1/60s. Then experiment by moving to a slower shutter speed like 1/30s for more blur or 1/125s for less blur. Shutter speed may depend on the speed of your subject. A galloping horse, a racing car will likely need a faster shutter speed than a bicyclist or running person.
3. Set the Shooting mode to Continuous (Burst Mode). This setting will give you a better opportunity to capture the critical moment. In the continuous/burst mode, you'll minimize the camera shake caused by pressing the Shutter button.
4. Track your subject – but don't just do this when you are shooting. Follow your subject before, during, and after in a smooth motion.
5. Keep your camera and yourself as steady as possible – minimizing vertical and tilt motions. I've found this to be simpler using the viewfinder rather than an LCD screen.
6. Think about the composition. More opportunity to experiment with framing your subject! Avoid the temptation to plop your subject in the middle of the frame. When you track your subject, keep them in the same place as you shoot in your viewfinder/screen. To help imply speed, experiment with leaving room on the front side of your subject to give the space to move.
7. Your background should be a blur. The actual background is less important in a panned image. The overall colors in your background will create an essential part of your photo because they frame your subject
8. Slow the shutter even more if you are shooting at night. Yay, even more experimenting! Blurred background lights can add tremendous amounts of drama to your images.
9. Panning takes practice. Don't worry if your first images aren't perfect. This is your opportunity to learn more by taking plenty of photos and figuring out why some are better than others. When you look at them, ask yourself if the shutter speed could have been slower or faster. Is your subject blurred vertically - that likely means you are not steady enough in your panning. Once you've evaluated the shots, apply what you have learned to your next set of photos.
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