If you are fresh to photography, do you ever wonder how to achieve a shot where the foreground is in focus while the background is blurred? Have you ever envy photographers who can produce such images? This technique is commonly known as Panning and can be achieved effortlessly with sufficient practices. A SLR camera is preferred for panning shots due to its ability to achieve quick reaction. DSLR is taking up the consumer share quickly with its price being highly competitive too. DSLR being digital in nature, is very welcomed nowadays especially when people are getting more IT savvy. Images can be downloaded into computers which make editing easier as compared to before. And not to forget, films which is now replaced by memory cards for DSLR makes photography relatively affordable! Panning shots is commonly used in sports like motorbike racing, running, cycling and many more.
This technique allow the photographs to tell a story to the viewers. Viewers can easily appreciate that the subject of interest is in motion and thus making the photograph more attractive and complete, as compared to a freeze moment due to the result of quick shutter speed. To create a panning shot, you would need a subject of interest, like most photography criteria. This subject preferably should be moving across your camera from left to right or vice versa. Panning shots will be quite impossible if the subject of interest is moving inwards or away fromyour camera. The background is recommended to be vivid so as to make the photograph more enchanting when blurred.
The following are the settings for your camera and the steps for Panning shots: Step 1: Set your camera to Shutter Priority mode, Step 2: Set your shutter speed with its denominator value smaller then your lens focal length. I will recommend to set the shutter speed to 1/15 sec. With this setting, you are deliberately achieving "camera shake" which is your main motive in panning shots, Step 3: Set your camera to "Continuous Shoot" mode. This will allow you to get a few shots at one time so as to achieve higher "probability of hit". Step 4: Set your camera to "AF-C" mode, Step 5: As the main subject is moving across your camera, quickly focus on the subject and shoot.
As your camera is set to "Continuous Shoot" mode, hold on to your shutter while moving your camera along with your main subject, making sure that the main subject is always in the middle of your viewfinder. There you go! You have just utilized the technique of panning. Panning needs tremendous practice and you will be considered lucky if you are able to get 5 good shots out of 30 tries.
Remember the good old days where SLR cameras are using film? Imagine how much funds you will have to spend on films to get at least 10 good panning shots! Thus we are considered much lucky now as SLR cameras go digital. You can further beautify the photographs by doing some editing in Photoshop or other photo editing software. You may choose to do some cropping of the photographs such that the main subject is placed at the golden rule for photography, the "Rule of Thirds".
With this, the photographs are able to tell the viewer the whole story and thus making the photographs more enchanting and eye catching! Remember, you need a lot of practice for panning shots and do not be discouraged if you failed for the first few times. With enough practice, I am sure you can achieve what you longed for!.
Yong Sak is a Singapore Photographer that owns an enchanting and information packed online photography portal that consists of a lot of useful Beginners Photography tips. You can also view a tremendous collection of Chin Yong Sak Photographs in his personal photo gallery.