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:
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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!
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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!