Hold on we’re going fast!

Ok, you’re at the street fair with your kids and your younger one says that he/she wants to ride the motorcycle ride. What a cute shot you think to yourself as he/she gets on the ride. You snap off a picture when your kid is having the time of there life and it looks as if he/she isn’t moving. So whats the secret to get movement showing in a picture? Answer: Panning

Panning is the technique of tracking a moving subject during the open shutter time to keep it in focus while blurring all other things. This shows dynamic movement, brings the subject out from the background, and can be really artistic.

1. So basically pick out your subject such as the child on the ride and practice your tracking to be sure to keep the subject in one part of your viewfinder or live view screen.

2. Set the camera to time priority and set the exposure time to 1/2 second to no more than 1/8 second. The longer the time the more pronounced the blur. The danger is that there is a greater chance of losing your track on the subject and ruining your shot.

Simple as that, you now know the deep dark secret (well maybe not deep or dark or even secret). The more the practice you get at this the better your pictures will be, so get out there and good luck.

Note: The pan on this picture was taken at 1/50 second setting. There’s some blur but not enough. So speeds lower than this will work better.

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About Mark Birks
Professional photographer specializing in fine art photography and portraiture.

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