Monday, January 18, 2010

Panning--Not for gold, but for the perfect action shot

After an eternity of rain, the sun came out today. My girls dusted off their bikes and zipped through puddles up and down the driveway. I ruined their fun by asking them to zip at various speeds and from different angles so I could practice with my camera.

Motion is tricky. At least it's tricky for me. The quickest shutter speed on my lens is not lightning fast, but fast enough to freeze the action of my bike-riding girls.

What I really wanted though was to suggest motion in the background but keep the subject relatively clear. Tricky. I slowed the shutter speed, but that blurred the whole thing. It definitely showed motion, and was kind of cool, but wasn't exactly what I was going for.

Then I tried "panning". The photography book I'm reading says:

Simply follow your subject with the camera, moving in that same direction while depressing the shutter release button. The idea is to ensure that your moving subject remains relatively 'stationary' and in fairly sharp focus, while all of the stationary objects surrounding it record as either horizontal or vertical streaks.

I love how it says, "simply".

But surprisingly, some of my attempts worked.

But a whole lot more didn't.

I'll spare you the countless number of exposures that met with the delete button.
Thank goodness for digital cameras!


Jen Bay said...

I've been trying that one too. You have had more luck than me.

Julie said...

Look at you!! You go girl! You are going to be a professional in no time!!

Lisa said...

Eileen! Good for you!!!! I am still trying to figure out how to get a picture in focus when my subject is just sitting STILL! You did a great job. Missing you, my friend! We are off to our special doctor tomorrow and I will be thinking of you and Miss Cholita. I'll let you know the results...much love to you and all the crew!

Katie said...

you did good! I'm no good at panning :)

Tammy said...

Those are some cool shots!

Lisa said...

E-can you email me? I have a question for you. New computer. No email address. Big pain. Much love to you all!

Me said...

what photography book are you using?

Eileen said...

The book I'm reading is called, "Understanding Photography Field Guide" by Bryan Peterson. I highly recommend it!