Camera panning techniques look and sound complicated. In reality, though, anyone with a manual mode and the patience to practice can learn how to pan a camera. In this tutorial we’ll show you how you can use slower shutter speeds to add a greater sense of drama to your movement photography.
Panning is a great way to capture a sense of movement in your action photography, by blurring the background, but keeping the subject sharp. Panning is often thought to be quite difficult, but in reality, with sound technique and some practice you can capture motion blur quite easily. Below we’ll show you how it is done and reveal the best shutter speeds to use for different common subjects.
Are you struggling with shutter speeds? Are your backgrounds sharp and cars look like they’re still, or everything is all blurred?
To create a sense of speed and movement, you’ll need to use relatively slow shutter speeds of about 1/60 to 1/90 seconds. Meanwhile, keeping the cars sharp while blurring the background requires good panning technique. To do this, spread your feet fairly wide apart, standing at right angles to the point you want to shoot. Then swivel your hips, rather than your shoulders, following the car as it moves and carry on panning for as long as possible, even after releasing the shutter.
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