Exercise 5: Panning

For this exercise I used an empty industrial estate car park and set to work to create a number of panning shots at different shutter speeds to show what difference they make on the outcome.

Panning is a technique that I have not seriously tried before so it was an interesting exercise and certainly something that I will be wanting to try more of, essentially panning is keeping the subject in focus by following there movement with the camera keeping them in the center of the frame and as you ‘pan’ following the subject you press the shutter, ideally with a speed of 1/30 to 1/60 depending on the speed your following. This will give a really interesting image by blurring the background and foreground if theres any available while keeping the subject in focus. The success of this in the beginning I found was hit and miss but I enjoyed the challenge and in the end came away with some interesting photographs.

1This first pan shot was taken at 1/2000th of a second and the same as the previous exercise the car and its wheels are perfectly frozen due to the shutter speed.

2Again at 1/1000th of a second the image is sharp and frozen.

3At 1/500th in this image the car is focused nicely along with the background.

IMG_0197This image was taken at 1/180th of a second and is the first image to faintly give the panning look, the car and wheels being sharp and focused however the bushes and building behind giving the illusion of movement.

IMG_0198At 1/90th of a second we continue the panning effect this time giving a bit more blur to the background, it is still eligible but obviously blurred.

IMG_0200Taken at 1/60th this image is not successful as a panning image, however it does continue to give the effect of blur at that speed.

IMG_0206This was taken at 1/30th of a second is a good pan shot, the car is kept in focus apart from the wheels which give it even more feel of movement coupled with the background which is blurred nicely and evenly making the car stand out.

IMG_0207This was taken at 1/10th of a second as I continue to experiment. The car is not solidly focused however it is enough so to give it a real feel of speed.


This last image was taken at 1/6th of a second and clearly shows to much blur throughout the image, however it is still clear what the subject is there is not enough definition to make it stand out.

In conclusion from this exercise and the previous I feel that that the overall impression the image gives is an extremely important aspect, it is all well and good but if the viewer cannot sense what it is you are trying to show the image is not fulfilling its purpose. I believe the best two images from the exercises are these:

IMG_0206 7

Firstly the panning image taken at 1/30th of a second gives a real sense of speed and the overall impression is obvious as to the speed and agility of that car, it is also kept well in focus and coupled with the blur of the wheels it really stands out as a strong photograph. Secondly the image of various shutter speeds is this one at 1/180th of a second, I think the image is sharp around the body of the car and beyond however the speed of the wheels really gives the car a sense of movement and acceleration giving the strong overall impression as with the panning shot of movement and interesting use of controlled blur.


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