Panning (108/365)

by Lee Santiva April. 18, 2019 193 views
Panning 1: colorful cyclists

Panning 1: colorful cyclists

Panning is a new technique for me and I admit that my panning shots didn't pan out. I confess: I seriously underestimated how difficult this technique would be, much harder than bokeh.

However, true to the 365 challenge, it is better to participate and lose than not show up at all.

Photo #1: This photo had the best composition and colors but unfortunately I couldn't get a sharp enough focus on the objects and the downward "motion" of the background contradicts the uphill direction of the cyclists.

Panning 2: red car

Panning 2: red car

I don't think Photo #2 is interesting, but I'm posting it because it is the best result I got for the panning technique. The car is the most sharply focussed object I could achieve in all my attempts, the background is sufficiently blurred and the red color gives good enough contrast to the background and foreground.

I started "practicing" on Sunday, and it rained on some days this week, so altogether I think I spent 3 hours on 3 different days trying to capture. I tried different locations: next to a highway, next to a winding mountain road and finally settled in on a location closest to home where I could sit on a low wall and wait for cyclists to ride by every day after work.

After realizing just how many grey and white cars there are on the roads today, I decided to go for cyclists since their colorful tricots give a nice color contrast.

I discarded 50 or more attempts and that doesn't count the dozens of "empty" shots where the object "got away" before my shutter closed...

But I'm not giving up, I just don't know when I'll take the time to practice again. With summer coming, there will be lots of opportunities to capture motorcyclists on the curvy mountain roads.

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There are 7 comments , add yours!
Camellia Staab 2 years ago

I like what you have done and of course your detailed account of your actions helped me understand why #1 was somewhat off, because of the motion of the background and the direction of the hill. Interesting observation.

2 years ago Edited
Björn Roose 2 years ago

#1 looks almost posterized (the effect, I mean). Not a fan of the panning thing myself, actually. I like 'freezing' better.

2 years ago Edited
Russell Smith 2 years ago

It is quite simple to do but in reality while simple it is difficult to do and requires a good amount of practice to develope the muscle memory .

2 years ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Russell Smith 2 years ago

Thanks for your kind words of encouragement!

2 years ago Edited
Bob Rosenberg 2 years ago

I haven't gone out to try my hand at this yet, but I did read something that said, "for panning, start with a shutter speed of 1/30, then go up or down from there depending on your results."

2 years ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Bob Rosenberg 2 years ago

Thanks for the advice, my shutter was too fast then at 1/60. I saw Camellia shot at 1/25 so the next time I’ll go slower

2 years ago Edited
Bob Rosenberg Replied to Lee Santiva 2 years ago

I just posted a few I took this morning.  I shot about 30 photos with different shutter speeds, but the 4 that I posted were all at 1/30.  That seems to work best.

2 years ago Edited