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Thread started 15 Apr 2008 (Tuesday) 00:47

# How to get a shot like this one.....an explanation.

Apr 15, 2008 00:47 |  #1

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Many have asked me if I photoshopped the shot at all. The answer is no. What you see is what came off the camera. Some of the comments I have had back have been along the lines of;

"I'd love to be able to get a shot like that. I see them all time time in racing magazines and I have always wondered how to do it"

Well, it's dead easy. In fact the Laws of Physics do most of the work for you with a shot like this.

Given that I have been asked so often, I thought I'd go through the actual set up of this shot, and also why it works the way it does.

The shot is in fact a standard panning shot, taken at close range to maximise a phenomenon known as "Parallax Effect". "Para-what?" I hear you say......

In layman's terms, essentially the shot looks the way it does because some parts of the car are travelling faster (in relation to my camera lense) than others are. Rather than trying to explain it in words, I've drawn a diagram below to explain how it works. For the purposes of this explanation, I want you to imagine the camera is not panning, but fixed on a tripod. This will help you understand how the parallax effect works, without throwing in the complication of considering the panning action too (trust me, it will make sense!).

OK, here's the situation with the car in its start position.

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OK, we open the shutter with the car in the above position. Note the three coloured lines (Ra, Ma, Fa). Each of those lines represents the distance each part of the car is from our lense.

Now, after the car moves 1 metre, we close the shutter - as shown below.

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We have three new lines illustrating where the parts of the car are in relation to our lense.

OK, now if we look at a comparision of the "shutter open" lines, and "shutter close" lines, we can see pretty clearly what's happening with the shot.

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To get the image at the top of this post, I also added a flash into the mix and set it to second curtain sync, it adds to the effect.

Also, you'll get better results with a shot like this if you can get close. I was less than one metre away from the car above when I took the shot.

I hope that you find this post useful. And if you already knew all this, feel free to ignore me.

Cliff
P.S. Shots like this work way better with a wide angle lense, the distortion in a wide lense adds to the effect.

The impossible has begun - another step closer - and I am very hungry for it.
http://www.motorsportm​edia.co.uk

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Apr 15, 2008 01:00 |  #2

Hi Cliff

Thanks heaps for that explanation, makes sense to me now

My site - http://www.tkrfan.com

Canon 20D, 18-55mm, 28-80 mm, 70-200 F4 L, Tamron 1.4x teleconverter

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Apr 15, 2008 01:36 |  #3

Nice explanatione Cliffe, verye easye toe understande.

Have you Calibrated your Monkey lately?

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Apr 15, 2008 01:53 |  #4

Brilliant explanation.

Great Shot as a result!

"If you aren't getting extraordinary images from today's dSLRs, regardless of brand, it's not the camera!" - Bill Fortney, Nikon Corp.

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Apr 15, 2008 02:02 |  #5

great explanation, what was your shutter speed?

ichael ...
vettas media (me) | myGear (all my equipment) | sportshooter (my sportsshooter member page)

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Apr 15, 2008 02:22 |  #6

Thanks very much for the info.

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Apr 15, 2008 02:51 |  #7

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

To answer your question CIDER, the shot was taken at 1/30th of a second.

Cliff

The impossible has begun - another step closer - and I am very hungry for it.
http://www.motorsportm​edia.co.uk

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Apr 15, 2008 03:13 |  #8

hmm, i learned something tonight.. now I can sleep!

John

Believe... Work hard... and it will happen!

My Gear

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Apr 15, 2008 06:31 |  #9

Moppie wrote in post #5331471
Nice explanatione Cliffe, verye easye toe understande.

Cheeky

Cliff: great photo, explanation and diagrams!

Camden Photographic | Smugmug[COLOR=black] | CompuTrekker AW Review | Gear

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Apr 15, 2008 09:21 as a reply to  @ qtaran111's post |  #10

Thanks for the explanation. And the diagrams make it easy and simple to understand.

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Apr 15, 2008 09:26 |  #11

Thanks for the explanation! Approximately how fast was the car traveling?

Alex

www.alextimages.com
Flickr
1Dx, 7D, 5Dc and Stuff

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Apr 15, 2008 09:35 |  #12

Great Cliff,well explained and excellent diagrams,this is one of the reasons that make these forums well worth visiting
Thank you

Canon 40D,Wigma 10-20mm,Canon 50mm F1.8 MkII, Canon EF-S 18-55MM IS,Canon 24-105mmL IS USM,Canon 70-200mm L IS F/4, Hoya CPL,Lowepro sling shot 200 back pack,Naneu Pro UrbanGear U60 Backpack
Spud
Flickr Photos

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Apr 15, 2008 11:17 |  #13

quite possibly one of the best explanations of parallax shift ever

well written

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Apr 15, 2008 11:31 |  #14

Thank you for the very clean explanation. And the diagrams always improve understanding.

I second the question of " how fast was the car going?"

I have found panning smoothly and actually capturing what I want, to be a skill I have yet to master, (or for that matter even be a promising novice at)

Your explanation definately filled in some blanks for me.

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Apr 15, 2008 11:46 |  #15

Thanks for the explanation, I'll have to try that sometime

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How to get a shot like this one.....an explanation.
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