Panning Shots – Sharp and Blur Together

Panning shots always looked cool to me.  You see them often in sports photography – a car or bike in perfect focus with the background just a motion blur behind it.  The way you usually do this is by setting your camera to a moderately low shutter speed (it all depends, but maybe somewhere between 1/50 and 1/10) and as the subject moves past you in a horizontal direction, you track them with your camera and take the picture while moving your camera to follow them.  When done right, you get a subject in focus and everything else a blur.  I’ve never had a ton of practice getting this type of shot but here are a few like that:

Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland - Panning Shot

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Here’s another.  Notice how… not sharp the subject is.  Part is lack of practice and the other part is this just… kinda hard!

Seattle Redbull Soapbox Derby Banana - Panning

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I’ve got the cure for your problems.  Wanna take a picture that doesn’t require things to go whizzing past your face, lets you easily accommodate your subject of choice, and get a great panning effect?  With a little help from an idea stolen directly from DIY Photography, you can do just that!  Hit the jump for the rest!

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On A Winter's Day

Winter Balcony View, TtV

Alright – I’ll just say it. I’m a BIG fan of *stuff*. One of the things I’ve talked myself out of buying more than once is a LensBaby attachment for my camera. This trick lens lets you blur parts of the frame and leave focus in the middle. It just never made enough sense for me to buy, and that’s saying something. One of the great parts about the TtV style is that you get the quality of the viewfinder you’re shooting through and most of these old cameras have some issues. My particular copy has some pretty serious blur around the edges – I love it!
  • ApertureValue: f/5
  • DateTimeOriginal: 2008:12:04 15:05:48
  • ExposureTime: 1/320 sec
  • Flash: Off
  • FocalLength: 100 mm
  • ISOSpeedRatings: 4294902160