Photo Tip – Panning for Emotional Impact
There is nothing wrong with stopping the action completely. However, I find that sometimes images where the action is so stopped it can lack the feeling and energy of “movement” and speed.
By learning panning techniques, you can create a feeling of action and speed.
This is done by slowing the shutter speed down. In the images above, I shot these at 1/40th of a second.
By moving the camera with the subject, in this case, the riders, as they go by, you are moving with them and as the shutter is slow, the background is blurred. Do not worry about the subject themselves being perfectly sharp either. Because this also creates that sense of motion and speed!
1. Slow shutter speed down. The faster the subject, the faster it needs to be, but you have to experiment with what that speed sweet spot may be based on the speed of the subject, your ability to pan, and lots of various factors.
2. Make sure you get your light meter lined up for the other parts of the exposure.
3. Set the camera on a continuous shutter. Be sure to shoot as many images as possible as the subject comes by.
4. Results – DO NOT EXPECT PERFECTION! For every 100 images, 1 or 2 may be that nugget you are looking for! That is part of the fun and thrill of doing this type of photography. There are never the same results twice!