Panning in Digital Photography has one glitch – entry level DSLR faces the issue of shutter lag and in P&S segment, shutter lag can render panning ineffective. You can read about the phenomenon of shutter lag in digital photography here. Panning in Digital Photography or rather the word Panning refers to moving the camera while aiming any moving object to focus and compose the image and finally to press the shutter. The moving object can be a running tiger, a bird, a train, a car or a athlete in running action, while the camera is in a relatively constant position. Definitely Panning is one of difficult technique to master, demands a good DSLR with a good lens and good grasp on the basics of Photography.
Panning in Digital Photography : Basics of Panning
We started this article Panning in Digital Photography with a typical problem with digital camera. The reason is, it is practically useless to try with a mobile or entry level digital camera. It must be avoided by a learner with such bad setup as failure is obvious and might create a sense of hopelessness which is detrimental for learning.
Usually the sports photographers use the technique of panning, because in fact, it is mainly they who often have to photograph the situations where the subjects are moving, even at high speeds. In fact, if we think of it, things are not absolutely non moving still objects, in that, a child playing on the bumper cars or skating, as well as a friend who is jogging in the park demands panning. Panning can turn a photo into a masterpiece. In addition to giving a motion blur to the image background, due to the optical effect on the generated background areas makes a beautiful and inspiring wallpaper.
Panning in Digital Photography : Techniques
In the definition in first paragraph we mentioned this condition : “while the camera is in a relatively constant position”. Because the camera can be moved with a moving object. The best example can be the taking the video of dancing scene in Titanic movie, which was basically like this :
This condition, “while the camera is in a relatively constant position” is important because of the practical aspects of relative motion. If the camera (that means the photographer) is moving in the same speed that of the moving object, the camera needs no panning. The background effects will be like panning but it is not panning itself.
From a technical point of view, panning in digital photography is used to shoot moving subjects so as to convey the impression of dynamism and speed. To determine techniques to choose from, it is the choice of the subject on which the eyes of those who are look at the picture will be.
As mentioned at the beginning panning independent of the use of a special optical or focal length. The technique in question can not, however regardless of the presence of a moving subject and from a number of other requirements that we try to sum ??up, one by one.
The panning can be applied if the movement of the subject is more or less perpendicular to the orientation of the lens. Translated from theory to practice, it means that panning can not be applied if there found for example in front of the moving subject.
Conversely, you need to place yourself always at the side of the subject. In the case of a machine which tackles the curve of a circuit, means that the best position is inside the curve, the ideal vertex of the angle of the trajectory followed by the vehicle. Panning in fact to follow the moving object on its path with the camera. For this reason, even before that time, how to set aperture is important to learn i.e. smoothly but firmly, without abrupt movements. One technique, therefore is that requires some attention to the aspect of “physics” of the photography. To achieve a good panning, not only is it necessary to have strong arms, especially in the case of super telephoto lenses, but it is also important to get a good posture. Ideally, it is better to follow the movement of the subject, pivoting legs that must remain secure throughout the firing sequence. The ultimate goal is to engage with your autofocus on the subject at the beginning of the last shot.
Panning in Digital Photography : What settings and tools to use
In order to properly take panning, you must choose the right settings on the camera :
- The shooting mode that must be manual or shutter priority, so as to be able to control the exposure time
- The exposure time must be sufficiently slow as to create blur the background and should therefore be proportional to the speed of the subject to chase, that will surely not more than 1/60s
- Mode must be continuous autofocus to help to follow the moving object
- The AF area selection mode must be a single point but dynamic, in order to allow to place where we prefer the point of focus and help us to follow the subject, possibly correcting focus
- Stabilization must be disabled to prevent the image processor which will try to blur that we do want to introduce
Panning is, in fact a difficult to master method. Regular practice will give you an idea of the required speed of movement of your camera.