This week’s assignment in my photography class was to practice a technique called panning. From a photography perspective, panning is a technique used to suggest fast motion and bring out the subject from other elements in the frame. When I thought about a fast moving subject I could photograph the first thing that came to mind was Dave and his Harley. I did not even need to ask twice for him to be part of this photo shoot!
To achieve this effect the photographer must move the camera along with the moving subject and the exposure must be relatively long to allow the background to blur. The photo above was shot at a shutter speed of 1/60. It also helps to use the continuous shooting mode on your camera which I had never used before trying this technique. In high-speed continuous shooting mode my camera will take 8 shots per second….that is fast! In the 30 minutes total that I spent shooting these photos over two different occasions, I took over 400 shots. Boy am I glad we are in the digital photography age…..that would have been over 10 rolls of film to develop back in the old days.
Our instructor also wanted us to take some shots of the moving subject but keep the camera stationary so we could get a feel for the opposite effect of panning. With the goal of panning to have your subject in focus and your background blurred, holding your camera stationary with the same type of shots will result in your subject blurred but your background in focus. The photo below shows this type of shot.
This was a really fun assignment for me and one that I felt comfortable with since it was much more about the technical side than the creative side of photography. Besides that, I ended up with some great shots of Dave and his motorcycle. I think we might even have one or two (out of 400+) that is frame worthy!
While you are here, check out the new post on the ABC Dinner Club page….G is for Gaslight Grill.