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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Motorsports
Thread started 20 Jun 2015 (Saturday) 23:42
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Made a quick stab at vehicle panning this afternoon...

 
Intheswamp
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by Intheswamp.
Jun 20, 2015 23:42 |  #1

I checked a message earlier today showing some race pictures and it got me curious about panning vehicle shots. Having the granddaughters over this after took up my time...I enjoyed making bracelets, necklaces, and ballon dogs with them. :love: We had a good time. They left a little before sundown so I thought to myself...why not get some panning shots of cars passing by the house.... ;)

The sun was going down. The vehicles are all driving into the sun (weird how that worked out). I think i probably took 30 some odd shots in about fifteen minutes. Only about 1/2 dozen turned out fairly decent...definitely nothing special. I'd read shutter recommendations from 1/125sec to 1/200sec. Light was fading so mostly shot between f3.2-f4. Lots of room for improvement for me, but I enjoyed seeing what I could come up with. At least I have an idea of what I'm doing if I give it a shot again!!! These vehicles were probably traveling 50-55mph, none came by in a hurry...maybe it was the driving into the sun that slowed them down. 55mph and shooting at 1/160sec doesn't seem to give a lot of blur.

The first image is to show you the cropping that was done on the close-up images. I was shooting with a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 zoomed all the way out while sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch recuperating from the granddaughters' visit. :)

Any comments or recommendations are appreciated. I know these images are NOT that great, common vehicles, and not the greatest captures...I'm just trying to get an idea about how to take these shots. (I left the word "not" out when I first wrote this...wishful thinking, I guess :oops: ).

Thanks for looking, Ed

1.

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/260/18820621159_28d65eca6d_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/uF7A​Yg] (external link)IMG_9467a (Custom) (external link) by Intheswamp (external link), on Flickr

2.

IMAGE: https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3872/19006827265_47d53673f3_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/uXyX​yn] (external link)IMG_9467a_crop (Custom) (external link) by Intheswamp (external link), on Flickr

3.

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/404/19001361062_a511e00d58_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/uX5W​Du] (external link)IMG_9472a_crop3 (Custom) (external link) by Intheswamp (external link), on Flickr

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IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/479/18819146908_f08f97e8bb_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/uEZ3​J9] (external link)IMG_9486a_crop (Custom) (external link) by Intheswamp (external link), on Flickr

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IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/342/19001374932_6d6dfb1d36_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/uX61​LC] (external link)IMG_9465a_crop (Custom) (external link) by Intheswamp (external link), on Flickr

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CrossShots
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Jun 21, 2015 10:24 |  #2

My philosophy with panning is that I like to get the whole wheel in motion so that you cannot see the breaks of the alloy wheels. About 1/60 or 1/80 is really good at doing this and gives a much more exagerated sense of speed/motion. Can be hard getting sharp pans at that speed however.

The images above are very good for your first try, perhaps lower the shutter speed down? I sometimes like to see the limit of how slow I can go in terms of shutter speed, which helps you learn how to track a car, keep steady hands and focus on your breathing. Give that a go too?

Hope to see more images soon. :-)


60D / 70-200 F2.8 IS L / SIGMA 18-36 F1.8
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Intheswamp
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Jun 21, 2015 12:55 |  #3

Hey CrossShots, thanks for the feedback!!!

I tried several shots at 1/80 and 1/60 but the results were not good so I upped the shutter speed. Are you shooting mostly everyday vehicles at regular highway speeds or competition vehicles at higher speeds? The speeds yesterday actually seemed slower than they normally are coming by the house. As you mentioned, I'd prefer the wheels to be dynamic. The more static look of the spokes does bother me. I will try again at lower speeds and see if I can get a steadier pan. I might mount the camera on my tripod and see how well panning works with a stable support.

Ed


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PhotosGuy
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Jun 21, 2015 14:44 |  #4

Intheswamp wrote in post #17605395 (external link)
I tried several shots at 1/80 and 1/60 but the results were not good so I upped the shutter speed.
I think i probably took 30 some odd shots in about fifteen minutes. Only about 1/2 dozen turned out fairly decent...definitely nothing special.

6 out of 30 is WAY better than I usually get, but I sometimes shoot down to 1/10 sec.

1/10 - 1/20 sec: http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?t=1​392502

Are you shooting mostly everyday vehicles at regular highway speeds or competition vehicles at higher speeds? The speeds yesterday actually seemed slower than they normally are coming by the house.

It's easier to shoot a race because they are mostly all going at the same speed.

There are some good links in this: "Nightmare Cruise" with a happy ending.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
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CrossShots
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Jun 21, 2015 18:27 as a reply to Intheswamp's post |  #5

Hi Ed,

I do mostly shoot cars at racing speed on a track, although the same techniques can be used for tracking anything such as people, bicycles and animals. One tip that really helped me learn how to pan, was to keep tracking the subject throughout. Dont just stop right away after snapping a frame off, follow them for a while. This will keep your hands moving nice and freely and prevent any undue shakeyness and should hopefully get a sharper image. This is a very cool video I found from years back of a guy (not my video) photographing at Daytona.



You see how he pulls the camera up, locks the focus and tracks them throughout the corner rather than just stopping straight away. It's a very useful trick. Controlling your breathing is also a very good one, just like using a rifle I guess.

Hope this has been helpful...

Matt. :-)


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Intheswamp
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Jun 22, 2015 16:47 |  #6

Frank, those were six mediocre shots out of thirty, though, not six "good ones". :) I guess I'll just have to practice some more at slower shutter speeds to get more blur, your shutters speeds are LOW!!!! :) A fine line between too much camera shake and motion blur, it seems. I'm thinking that proximity to the subject would make a difference in blur...does being closer the subject create more blur? Thanks for the links...gives me some good ideas of what I'm shooting for.

Matt, thanks for sharing. Being in a rural area I understand the idea of following through with your shot ;-)a , thanks for the reinforcement on the idea. The link to the youtube is good, too! And yes, it was helpful! Thanks again!

Ed


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PhotosGuy
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Jun 22, 2015 17:26 |  #7

I'm thinking that proximity to the subject would make a difference in blur...does being closer the subject create more blur?

Yes. As I said, unless you have most of the constants in your favor, like all going at the same speed at the same distance, etc., results can be all over the place.
Look at these two shots: http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?p=3​690214
There are more links there, too.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1280 pixels on any side.

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Intheswamp
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Jun 23, 2015 11:56 |  #8

Frank, in this shot the front end is sharp whereas the rear end is blurred. Why is this? Seems that if you're panning the entire vehicle should be sharp since it is all traveling at the same speed. I've seen this on other images, too. Puzzling. -?
http://photography-on-the.net ...234f3c50abb02_66181​3.duck

Ed


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JarkkoR
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Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by JarkkoR. 2 edits done in total.
Jun 23, 2015 12:25 |  #9

What I have figured out: Its because when panning you are rotating camera around your spine, not moving it on linear path. So focus plane actually isn't flat plane, its curved (unlike when keeping camera still). Car usually moves on linear path so only some part of car is sharp and other parts are moving away/towards focus point. This phenomenon is amplified if target is close, on distant targets situation is better.


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Intheswamp
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Jun 23, 2015 12:32 |  #10

But Jarkko, if that is what is happening would not that create an out-of-focus area of the vehicle rather than a motion-blurred area??

Ed


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PhotosGuy
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Jun 23, 2015 12:45 |  #11

Intheswamp wrote in post #17607775 (external link)
Seems that if you're panning the entire vehicle should be sharp since it is all traveling at the same speed. I've seen this on other images, too. Puzzling. -?
http://photography-on-the.net ...234f3c50abb02_66181​3.duck
Ed

But parts of the car aren't going the same speed with respect to the camera's sensor as the focal-plane shutter moves across it.
I haven't tried shooting blurs with a diaphragm shutter, but I'd bet that results would be different.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1280 pixels on any side.

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smythie
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Jun 25, 2015 06:05 |  #12

The objective of panning is to ensure that the subject (or part of the subject) remains in the same position on the sensor/film throughout the exposure while allowing other parts of the composition (usually stationary objects in the fore/background) to move about on the sensor.

If a subject is moving direclty towards you it is getting larger and so with a slow shutter speed you'll only have a small amount of the subject stationary on the sensor at best. If it is moving towards you at an angle (e.g. you're standing on the kerb and a car is on the street a lane or two out), not only is it getting larger on the sensor but as you pan to keep one part of the subject "stationary" on the sensor other parts of the subject are rotating towards or away from you, moving around on the sensor. I don't think the rolling shutter is having much effect here.

The best time to get the whole subject in focus is when it is moving perpendicular to you (e.g. you are looking directly across the road). Now, you may not want to achieve this - you may be happy with only a portion of the subject in reasonable focus in which case and that is a compromise you will have to make


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Intheswamp
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Jun 25, 2015 08:38 |  #13

Thanks for the replies regarding the partial blur of the vehicles. I'm still wrapping my head around the speed of the fps and the subject *and* the angles. Aren't the shutter curtains traveling vertically, though? -?

I think my brain is melting....

Ed


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Grand ­ Dad
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by Grand Dad.
Jun 25, 2015 10:52 |  #14

Ed, I have found that, for me, panning is similar to other sports with a swing. I’m thinking of golf, tennis, baseball, etc. I bring this up for a couple of reasons. First, you mentioned you were sitting in a rocking chair while shooting. I fully understand the need to sit after chasing my granddaughter all day, but I cannot get consistent panning results while sitting. I find that I can’t rotate smoothly that way. While standing, my body is much more likely to be smooth and “flow” better with the cars. Second, panning takes a lot of practice to get good results at lower shutter speed like 1/80 and below. As I have explained to a student or two, people spend years, and a lot of money, perfecting their golf or tennis swings. You can’t expect to nail panning right off the bat. And the slower the shutter speed, the lower your “keeper” rate will be.

To your question, “I'm thinking that proximity to the subject would make a difference in blur...does being closer the subject create more blur?”, I would agree. The closer you are to your subject, the faster you have to swing to keep up. That means the speed at which the camera is passing the stationary background is higher, thereby creating a more blurred appearance. In reference to blurring of the subject itself when close, since you are moving faster with your pan, there is probably a higher likelihood of you being less smooth and blurring the car. When the car is far away and you end up using a long telephoto, the relative speed of moment against the background is less and thus less blur. But the chances for the car itself to be blurred are amplified by the magnification of the longer lens and any subtle unintended movements on your panning swing.

One last comment, I shoot a lot of autocross events where the cars are rarely exceeding 60 to 70 mph. What I have found is that those can be much more difficult to pan than racecars at speed. For one thing, they are typically street cars that roll around a lot on the softer suspensions. That means that even if you exactly match their speed as they go by, the body may be moving vertically as it rolls or pitches. Racecars have stiffer suspensions and usually take a set in a corner and the rolling isn’t an issue. Also, city streets are not very smooth compared to most race tracks and the cars are bouncing around all the time, hence the soft suspensions. I just wanted to warn you before you beat yourself up for poor panning on street cars when it may not be the fault of your skills. Keep practicing and enjoy the journey.


Larry

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SgWRX
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Jun 28, 2015 21:12 as a reply to Grand Dad's post |  #15

wow what a great thread, answered a lot of my questions especially the part about why the front of the car might be in focus while the back is not. i had some old photos standing on the checkered flag bridge. they were all horrible, but a few had sharp front ends. now i know why.

i recently got some more practice, but like the OP i had very few keepers at 1/180th with a 200mm lens. so i switched to 1/250 or 1/350 and got a lot better keepers rate. but yeah, the motion blur is not all that great.

i also am not really understanding if IS helps or not? my lens has mode 1 and 2, but in both modes i've seen "jumps" through the view finder. i think that means i'm panning at too much of an angle so it shifts the lens in a different direction?

i guess bottom line is practice, practice!




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Made a quick stab at vehicle panning this afternoon...
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