Make an abstract landscape with a simple panning technique

    | Photography Tutorials | Tutorials | 10/08/2012 12:26pm

    Photo Ideas: learn how to make an abstract landscape using a simple panning technique

    Landscape photography doesn’t need to be all about magnificent vistas, foreground interest, leading lines and the rule of thirds. In fact, reduce a scene to the basics of colour and tone and you can create a stunning abstract landscape photo using a very simple technique.

    We’re going to show you how to create a contemporary landscape with a simple but effective panning technique.

    The basic idea is to move your DSLR in a horizontal pan during a long-ish exposure, somewhere between 1/4 sec and 4 secs. As the camera moves, the landscape is captured as stripy bands of cool colours that, once printed, wouldn’t look out of place in a contemporary gallery.

    It’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds, so let’s see how it’s done…

    How to make an abstract landscape photo: step 1

    01 Enable rotations
    While this technique is all about camera movement, a tripod is essential as it ensures your horizontal stripes are level and helps create an even pan. Any location can work well, but look for a scene that has interesting colours and tones. This field works a treat.


    How to make an abstract landscape photo: step 2

    02 Shoot and select
    A shutter speed anywhere between 1/2 sec to 4 secs works best. If you can’t get this even with a low ISO and small aperture (such as f/16), a neutral density (ND) filter is the best solution. These filters block light passing through the lens, helping you to get slower shutter speeds.


    How to make an abstract landscape photo: step 3

    03 Perfect the look
    Be prepared to experiment and make sure you’ve got plenty of space on your memory card. To pan properly, you need a tripod with a three-way head or a video-panning head – it’s almost impossible to control a pan properly and keep the camera level when you’re using a ball-and-socket head.


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    Posted on Friday, August 10th, 2012 at 12:26 pm under Photography Tutorials, Tutorials.

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