Panning is a photography technique you can use to capture a moving subject. The subject of the photo is crisp and sharp while the rest remains a blur in the background. Panning is a creative technique used to suggest speed and velocity in a photo. For example, you could focus the camera on a moving car and then follow the vehicle with the camera as it moves from left to right while taking the photo. The car would be in perfect focus while the road is a blur of motion.
Photos by Natesh Ramasamy and neys
To be successful at panning, you just have to follow the movement of the subject with the lens and try to keep up with its speed as well as its direction. It’s not really that hard to do and it can be mastered, like many other aspects of photography, with simple practice. We’ll teach you how to photograph moving subjects in this panning photography tutorial.
Here are three easy-to-follow tips if you’d like to try your hand at panning.
1) Slow and steady
Your shutter speed needs to be relatively slow while your hand needs to be steady. It’s hard to say exactly what the shutter speed should be because it depends on each individual instance and the speed of your subject. In general, it will usually need to be 1/200th of a second or slower. If the subject is moving quite fast, then start out at 1/200th. If the subject isn’t that hard to keep up with then you might be able to slow things down to about 1/40th of a second.
2) Faster shutter speed equals crisper subject
If you’d like to make sure the subject is sharp and clear you will need to use a relatively fast shutter speed. As long as the image shows the motion you’re looking for you’ll be successful. The more you practice and get the hang of panning the slower you can go with the shutter speed to show even more motion.
3) Keep the subject consistent
If you can keep the subject in the same area of the frame during exposure you’ll have a better chance of keeping it sharp and crisp. Just remember, it’s always harder to pan the faster the subject is moving. This means it will take some practice to be able to achieve the ideal photo. It’s a good idea to start out with slower-moving subjects and then gradually try out faster-moving objects or people.
Don’t become discouraged if you can’t get the hang of panning in one afternoon. Just make sure you keep the camera as steady as possible and then follow the subject while trying to keep it in the frame. Don’t get ahead of the subject or behind it. The timing needs to be steady and this will take practice.
We hope you enjoyed this panning photography tutorial on how to photography moving subjects. Leave a comment below sharing your experiences using this technique.
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