This week’s theme is panning. Dustin and Jim each had only 1 hour to head out and come back with a panning shot.
The reason that this duel is focusing on panning is because it is one of the projects that the students in Jim and Dustin’s Online Beginning Photography Class do.
Panning means using a slow shutter speed and swinging the camera to follow the motion of a moving object. Because the camera swings at the same speed as the moving object, the moving object appears sharp in the photo. The background, however, is still so the swinging motion of the lens makes it appear blurry. If you are new to panning, read my 6 tips for better panning photography.
New to the weekly Improve Photography Duel? Check out this page, where we explain how it works. A new camera duel will be released each Monday, and we’re asking YOU to vote on the photos below.
Settling the Score
The current score from past duels leaves Jim with 3 wins, Dustin with 2 wins, and 1 tie.
Jim Here: I wanted to try something totally different for this week’s duel so I used a photography trick that I tried for the first time. Since I spend most of my weekend playing with my kids, I decided to take a picture of them. My son, Ruger, loves to get spun around so I took that motion and made a panning shot out of it.
Jim’s Process: To take this picture, I strapped my DSLR to my chest by cinching up the neck strap so the camera was high on my chest and tight against my body. Then, I focused the camera on my son and locked the focus by flipping the switch on the lens to manual focus. Then, I set my camera on the timelapse feature so that it would continuously take pictures as we spun around. You could use the self-timer, but then you only get one shot.
5 minutes later… I had my shot.
Jim’s Metadata: Shutter speed: 1/40, Aperture: f/14, ISO 100, Camera: Nikon D800, Lens: Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 at 24mm.
Dustin Here: Panning photography is a very challenging concept, especially when you do it in low light… like at sunset on a back road. It’s no secret that I love cars and photographing them is a lot of fun for me. However, the driver of this car wasn’t seeing the “fun” as I had him drive back and forth several times to get as many shots as I could. In the end – I was able to come up with something that was in focus, had good composition, and a sky full of clouds with sunset color.
Dustin’s Process: A lot of our online students will take on our Panning challenge as an exercise and it can be a very frustrating process when you’re trying to capture motion, blur, sharpness, composition, and creativity all in one shot. Here are a few tips I have for you and what I did while panning.
1. You need a slower shutter speed. Anywhere between 1/40 – and 1/6 is slow enough to capture action and blur at the same time.
2. Your subject needs to be moving at a fairly consistent speed. If they slow down or speed up in the process, then your panning will not be “in sync.”
3. You might want to try moving your camera and have a stationery background. An example of this would be placing your camera on a Merry-Go-Round and spinning it with your subject on there.
4. With your shutter speeding being the important factor here – you will expose with your f/stop and then lastly your ISO. Below you can see what my settings were to achieve the shot that I did.
These tips and ideas should be enough to at least get you started and seeing some decent results. It will take you a few attempts before you see something that is amazing! But be patient – you’ll learn a lot in the process.
Dustin’s Metadata: Shutter speed: 1/30, Aperture: f/4, ISO 800, Camera: Canon 6D, Lens: Canon 24-105mm lens at 24mm.
Let the Voting Begin!
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