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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Motorsports Talk 
Thread started 22 Oct 2008 (Wednesday) 20:50
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Panning Question

 
mep42
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Oct 22, 2008 20:50 |  #1

I always read about panning on the forum and I am wondering what is the key to getting good panning shots. I get the feeling that it really is a tough skill, am I wrong? Any thoughts?


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DC ­ Fan
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Oct 23, 2008 08:41 |  #2

Not desperately difficult. It takes practice, the right situation, a smooth hand and some luck -- just like the rest of photography. :)

Basic idea: find something moving at a smooth and steady pace, like a runner, a bicyclist or a race car through a corner. Choose a moderately slow shutter speed like 1/100-1/200. Pan with the target with the center focusing point on the center of the target. If you get it right, you'll have a clean image of the target and the rest of the image will be blurred, giving the impression of motion in the frame.

A very few fortunate and skilled people can do this with one shot. The rest of us cheat, put the camera in its continuous shooting mode, fire several frames as we pan with the target, and find the image that works the best. Fortunately, using several frames from a DSLR is a lot less expensive then getting film developed, so we can "waste" frames. :)

The slower the target's relative motion to your camera, the easier it can be to get a convincing panning shot. Using this technique. a 5 mph tractor can be made to look faster than a 200 mph race car. Another trick is that the motion blur works best with a busy background.

Just try it a few times, see which shutter speed works best for you, and keep practicing to refine the technique.

Adding an example of how it can work with an unlimited hydroplane at 1/60:

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IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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Anto ­ Modded
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Oct 24, 2008 12:21 |  #3

i was told to work from 250 down as i progress, and was shown how to stand. Works quite well. Have gotten some nice shots but ive a long way to go before my results are constant.


  
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Bosscat
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Oct 24, 2008 12:56 |  #4

http://www.johnthawley​.com …-shot-taking-control.html (external link)


Your camera is alot smarter than the "M" Zealots would have you believe

  
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andrewmr
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Oct 29, 2008 16:31 |  #5

mep42 wrote in post #6544514 (external link)
I always read about panning on the forum and I am wondering what is the key to getting good panning shots. I get the feeling that it really is a tough skill, am I wrong? Any thoughts?

The key is being able to follow the subject without changing the postion in the viewfinder.

You have received a few good replies and let me try to add a few comments. But first I must admit that I too am learning this.

The trick, in my opinion, is to start with a faster shutter speed and work lower as you get more and more experience and are happy with your keeper rate.

You'll need to factor into the equation how fast the subject is moving as a car in a turn at 60 miles per hour will require a slower shuuter speed than a car at the end of the straght.

Another consideration is the focal length of the lens you are using. Don't forget the crop factor.

I'm using a shutter speeds somewhere in the 1/200 range. Once I get comfortable with that I'll try my hand at something slower and one day I'll be able to get shots like DCfan did of the unlimited hydroplane.

And I'm told IS (Setting two) helps.

Here's a shot from the other day:

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There's enough blur of the background to show motion as well as the blur of the wheels. I would like the writting on the car to be a little sharper....

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Moppie
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Oct 29, 2008 17:04 |  #6

andrewmr wrote in post #6586181 (external link)
The key is being able to follow the subject without changing the postion in the viewfinder.
....


Remember that this often involves more than just good panning technique.
Cars are able to move up and down as well as they move over bumps in the track, and are effected by weight transfer wheen acclerating and braking.

So you could have perfected your panning technique, but find the car is not sharp because it moved upwards over a bump, or the front moved downwards as the drvier began braking for a corner.

Having an understanding of vechile dynamics, and the track you are shooting on can be just as important as good technique.


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adrian5127
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Oct 29, 2008 17:28 |  #7

It is also worth have a ND filter or two. On a really bright day as you cannot get slow enough shutter speed to get enough blur. A polariser will also help to reduce the shutter speed a notch.


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thumper ­ 8
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Oct 29, 2008 23:29 as a reply to  @ adrian5127's post |  #8

I find that focusing on one part of the bike or rider helps when panning motorcycles... for example in this shot (at 1/100) I probably focused on the rider's left shoulder (the Teknic logo), and stayed with it while panning. I will often use a patch or logo on the leathers or bike to help keep the camera in time with the bike.

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Oct 29, 2008 23:43 |  #9

adrian5127 wrote in post #6586473 (external link)
A polariser will also help to reduce the shutter speed a notch.

Be aware that this can cause problems with the plastic windows used in a lot of race cars. It often produces a rainbow effect, or other optical aberrations.

Usually the best way to get a slow shutter speed is to just stop down.
Don't be afraid to go down to F16 if you have to. The increased DOF will be helpful, and since your motion blurring the background you don't have to worry about it being in focus.


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Oct 30, 2008 09:28 |  #10

The trick, in my opinion, is to start with a faster shutter speed and work lower as you get more and more experience and are happy with your keeper rate.

Don't feel bad when you have to throw some away. I do too. ;)

There are some good links in this:
First shoot with moving cars need advice.

Panning Success Rate


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 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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Revhard191
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Nov 02, 2008 11:47 as a reply to  @ PhotosGuy's post |  #11

When Panning, what settings are you using? I have started out in TV mode and then dropping down from 1/250 down to 1/60 if I am getting good shots and smooth panning. I have switched from Evaluative Metering, Partial Metering or Center-weighted average metering? I am not sure which to use and I have lost my manual so I am not able to read which is better. I am using a Canon XTi (Hope to sell and get the 40D or new 50D, just saw them last night now I want either one of them. :))

Any information would be greatly appreciated, as I will also be searching, and many say, "Search is your friend" hahaha

Cheers,

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birdie3
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Nov 03, 2008 15:20 |  #12

loved first pic of powerboat, great stuff


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Nov 03, 2008 15:25 |  #13

Revhard191 wrote in post #6608913 (external link)
When Panning, what settings are you using?

Shutter priority and evaluative metering.




  
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jacuff
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Nov 04, 2008 12:15 |  #14

Revhard191 wrote in post #6608913 (external link)
When Panning, what settings are you using?

Manual and Sunny 16 Rule. :rolleyes: (Assuming its a sunny day and the subject isn't backlit.)

At ISO 100, your shutter speed is 1/100 at f/16. Sometimes I'll stop down to f/22 and 1/50. If I'm feeling like I'm dead on with my panning, I'll shot f/32 and 1/25. If your lens doesn't have f/32, you'll need a ND filter to slow down the shutter speed.


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Tbirder
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Nov 09, 2008 23:13 |  #15

Hi
My panning's a bit old school, dating back to a manual film SLR.
I pre-focus on a spot on the road that I know the vehicle will pass over, leave the camera on maunual focus, and make a mental note of some object in the foreground/background.​I follow the car through the viewfinder and when it's lined up with the object in the background/foreground I used as a reference (road marker, line on the road or whatever) I take the pic.
Most of my stuff's at low road speed so I shoot shutter priority, evaluative, at 1/60, 1/30 at dusk if I'm brave and 1/20 under street lights if I deliberately want the subject and background blurred for a particular effect.
I find it harder to get a result with a vehicle moving at low speed because the shutter speed needs to be that much slower to get good motion blur, and there's a risk of panning too quick, and accidental vertical movement. At high speed a faster shutter speed can still produce good blur, with less risk of 'operator error'.
The T-bucket was taken with my good old D60, 1/60, can't recall the exposure. The night shot was, I think, around 1/20. the door's sharp but that's about it.
Swivel at the hips, follow through, and experiment - go and stand alongside a busy country road and bang off bulk shots at various shutter speeds, you'll soon get the hang of it.


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Panning Question
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