Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Weekly Header Challenge - Panning

It's time for the Weekly Header Challenge!

"Headbanger" Participants

I'm joining in the group above for this weekly challenge.
Feel free to click on the other participants' blogs
to see what they've come up with!

Theme ~ Panning

For this week's header, I chose the only picture I have of true panning!  I took it (there really are two!) for a photography class lesson on...panning lol, and capturing action.  Here are the two full images I took:

For this class lesson, I asked Danny (left) and his friend Nathan to run by me.  Since we were doing this after church on a bright, sunny Sunday literally at noon, I knew I'd have to fiddle with settings in order to achieve the blurred panning look I wanted.  The settings:

  • ISO 100
  • Canon 17-85mm lens at 28mm
  • f/22
  • 1/30 second shutter speed

The reason behind the settings:  I recall trying to get a slow enough shutter speed to achieve blur in the image, so I set the shutter speed first and adjusted the rest so the images would be properly exposed.  In the bright noon sunlight, this meant the lowest ISO possible, and a pretty high f-stop.

I also used the AI Servo focus mode so that the camera would continually focus/refocus as I panned with the guys.  This form of panning is a great way to achieve a sense of motion, if that's what you want to convey in the image.

I do use panning, just not with the above effect.  For Thomas' football team, for which I was the official team photographer, I had to pan with the players running around on the field.  I did not want to have the blur, however; I wanted the sharpest images possible, to stop the action in the image.  Here's a series of images I took of Jonah, the team's captain, as he ran with the ball one play:

In order to achieve the stop-action look, I knew I had to set my shutter speed at 1/500 second or faster (according to the quick research I did as a non-sports photographer!).  So I set the shutter speed and set everything else to jive with it:

  • ISO 500
  • Canon 70-300mm lens at 170mm
  • f/5
  • 1/1000 second

Fortunately, this was an afternoon game, meaning lots of light.  My 70-300mm lens is not the best, but by bumping up the ISO to achieve a fast shutter speed, I could get a nice overall sharpness.  The F-stop was set as low as the lens would let me.  And, of course, I used AI Servo focus to continually focus/refocus as Jonah ran up the field.  (BTW, I captured a little face-mask action there--tsk, tsk, Jonah!)

One final shot, but it's not really panning.  Panning is basically moving the camera in order to follow the subject.  But what if the subject is stationary?  Can you still move the camera somehow and achieve a blurred effect?  You sure can.  :)

Now, I'm no expert, haha.  But I read about this particular technique right before Fernando and I went to Paris.  And there was a stationary subject that leant itself to this technique, in my mind, so I figured I'd try it.  And what came out of my camera was pretty cool.  Here it is, the Arc de Triomphe on a beautiful Friday evening:

It's called zoom blur, and it's achieved by keeping your camera stationary, but turning the lens to zoom in (or out) while the shutter is open.  Click here if you want to read a detailed tutorial.  But basically, the essentials are a steady hand (or tripod), a slow shutter speed, and a zoom lens of course!  As soon as you click the shutter, twist the zoom lens in (or out depending on how you started).  The settings:

  • ISO 100
  • Canon 17-85mm lens starting at 85mm, ending at 17mm as I twisted
  • f/4
  • 1.3 second shutter speed

Here's another tutorial (click here) if you're intrigued; the really cool images are the three examples at the end.  I'd like to experiment more with zoom blur; I think it achieves a sense of motion in a unique way!

Treasuring life's moments,

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  1. Most interesting results Christine.

  2. This post was all kinds of fun! I have a couple of zoom blurs in the archives, and I like how they look. Your header was nicely composed on top of achieving the nice panning blur in the background. Thanks for including the settings, because I like to look at that stuff, too.

  3. Christine: I loved your football shots, it definitely was panning because of the out of focus trees in the background.

  4. Superb! Love the football sequence. And the zoom blur is amazing. I had not heard of that technique, but got similar effects with long exposure and the lights moving away from the camera.