Planet M Files

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April 11th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Last Sunday I got outside with my camera and my two youngest kids, and of course Timmy!  We finally had a warmish, sunny day!  I tried something new with my camera that I have read about in some photography books and online.  It’s called panning.  First you need a moving target, which was my youngest son!  You set your camera shutter speed to a slow speed.  I set mine to 1/40th of a second.  It also helps to set your camera to continuous shooting (burst) mode.  You are more likely to get a shot that works that way.  You shoot a moving subject and pan with it as it moves.  As you pan you must keep your moving subject in the same spot in the viewfinder.  The desired effect is to have your subject crystal clear and the background blurred to show motion.  I had my son go up and down the driveway on his bike until his arms hurt from holding the handlebars!  I shot like crazy.  (This was the day I took 196 photos, in like an hour!)

This is my best result.  It shows motion in the background and my son is closer to being in focus than all my other shots.  I need more practice.


Next I tried to achieve this effect on a swing.  I got myself swinging, pointed the viewfinder at my feet and just kept my finger on the shutter release, continuously shooting as I swung back and forth.  I wanted to get my feet in focus and have the background blurred to show the motion.  Well, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned here that I get motion sick pretty easily.  Yeah, swinging, looking through the viewfinder at my feet, not so good.  Just looking at this photo makes me feel a little queasy.  But!  I got a fairly good shot!


Not perfect, but I’m pretty happy with my first attempts.  I will be working on this…but not on the swing!

Have you ever tried this before?  Do you have any pointers for me?  Please feel free to leave links to any motions shots you have!

Tags: Photography

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 elk // Apr 11, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    no pointers ~just applause ..for the great weather &photos!


  • 2 Se'Lah // Apr 12, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Love the photos !!! Great captures.

    Happy Easter!!!

    Se’Lah’s last blog post..Don’t try this at home…

  • 3 Gayle // Apr 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Hi elk and Se’Lah!

    Thank you! I hope you both had a great weekend!

  • 4 Stephanie // Apr 13, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Oh, I love these. I always get good panning shots on accident. When I actually try, they turn out awful.

    All I know is that you want to position your body in the direction of where you’ll actually be pressing the shutter, then twist your body to where the object starts moving.

    For example, if you’re going to photograph someone running, your body would be positioned facing the finish line, then twist at the waist to face the starting line. Press down halfway on the shutter so that you’re continually focusing on the person running and follow them with your camera. Then finish pressing down on the shutter to snap the picture at the finish line.

    Easier said then done, right? I hope you’ll keep us updated on the progress!

    Stephanie’s last blog post..Loving.

  • 5 Tired of Gloom and Doom // May 8, 2009 at 9:30 am

    […] Practice panning! […]

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