It's a cloudy day, you're
out on the river and want to get some great photographs, but you're a
casual photographer who is just using a kit lens on an affordable dSLR
camera. You can either try to freeze action with wide open apertures or
high ISO, and deal with either soft images or noise, or you can pan. A
panning shot is an action shot where the the subject if followed
through the action, freezing them while blurring the background.
Rudytold me to start take
panning shots to expand the variety of my portfolio, and suggested
1/60th of a second shutter speeds for panning shots. I've found this to
be dead on.
Set your shutter at 1/60th, choose your lowest ISO and
adjust your aperture so your histogramcomes out correct.Set the camera to Auto
focus-Continuous (AF-C) mode and choose a side sensor. Once again here
we want to remember to keep the subject to the side of the frame (not
the center) and to give them somewhere to go in the image. In this
circumstance Daniel was moving from left to right, so I chose a sensor
on the left. Once he started dropping in I followed him with my focus
on the whole time, and once he was at the lip I started shooting,
following him through the rapid. End result: His face is in focus
because I was panning at the same speed, while everything else is
Daniel Brasuel Nikon D700, Nikkor
50mm 1.8 @ 1/60 F11 ISO 100
A few things worth noting. The longer the lens, the more
pronounced the blur will be, as it dramatically emphasizes movement.
The longer the lens, the harder it is to get any shot without blur at
all, due to the same problem. If your shooting a 200mm increasing the
shutter speed a slight amount will help, or turn on VR/IS if you have
it, because it's worth noting that this is an area where a VR/IS lens
will help out. On a Nikon VR lenses be sure the lens is in the "normal" VR mode not "active" to if it has
that option. This will turn off the VR from reducing panning blur.