Beginner What am I doing wrong in this panning shot?

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Misery Guts Monica
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#2
Try using AI Servo. Focus is tracked regardless of changes in focusing distance from side to side or approaching or moving away from the camera. The camera sets the exposure at the moment the image is made. The camera uses either the manually selected AF point, or in automatic AF selection, it uses the center AF point and tracks movement as long as the subject is within the other eight AF points in the viewfinder. In Creative Zone modes, you can also press the AF-ON button to focus.
 
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#3
With the 1st one it may be your shutter speed was not fast enough to stop the up down motion. Just looking at the front wheel. It appears to be going over a rough pice of track. Were as the back is in a smoother bit.
 
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#4
Shutter speed looks a bit long and there's some up-down movement visible too, though the different blurring front/rear of the car is usually caused by being too close with a shorter lens that exaggerates any unevenness of the panning movement in relation to the car.
 
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#5
You're confusing 'in focus' with 'sharp', what's causing the lack of sharpness is movement. You have no idea how much of the car is in focus, only which bit's moved away from your pan most / least.

The problem with Rallying is that Panning is rarely the winning technique it is in circuit racing. You have movement in many directions, and what comes out sharp is the bit of the car that moved more or less in the direction you panned. On the Land Rover, you can see the movement of the car up and down pivoting around the rear axle mounting points, on the (no idea, but I'm embarrassed to admit) the car isn't travelling in a straight line, so you've panned with the front of the car, the rear of the car has moved in a totally different line (rally cars do that) as well as up and down a bit.

The best thing is that you have to work out what shots do work for panning with rally cars, because most pans that'd work on a track look odd (like these), when you crack it, it's awesome
 
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#7
Try using AI Servo. Focus is tracked regardless of changes in focusing distance from side to side or approaching or moving away from the camera. The camera sets the exposure at the moment the image is made. The camera uses either the manually selected AF point, or in automatic AF selection, it uses the center AF point and tracks movement as long as the subject is within the other eight AF points in the viewfinder. In Creative Zone modes, you can also press the AF-ON button to focus.
I had AI Servo on, with Center point manually selected, and I was in Shutter priority soI could set a slow shutter speed.
 
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#8
Shutter speed looks a bit long and there's some up-down movement visible too, though the different blurring front/rear of the car is usually caused by being too close with a shorter lens that exaggerates any unevenness of the panning movement in relation to the car.
It was a bit bumpy. I was probably about 6' from the track, not really able to get much further back.
I followed the car from well before the shot until after it had gone past, attempting to time the shot for when I thought it was framed nicely (to greater & lesser effect).
 
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#9
You're confusing 'in focus' with 'sharp', what's causing the lack of sharpness is movement. You have no idea how much of the car is in focus, only which bit's moved away from your pan most / least.

The problem with Rallying is that Panning is rarely the winning technique it is in circuit racing. You have movement in many directions, and what comes out sharp is the bit of the car that moved more or less in the direction you panned. On the Land Rover, you can see the movement of the car up and down pivoting around the rear axle mounting points, on the (no idea, but I'm embarrassed to admit) the car isn't travelling in a straight line, so you've panned with the front of the car, the rear of the car has moved in a totally different line (rally cars do that) as well as up and down a bit.

The best thing is that you have to work out what shots do work for panning with rally cars, because most pans that'd work on a track look odd (like these), when you crack it, it's awesome
Ah yes, I think I get what you're saying. What I'm seeing as 'out of focus' is really just motion blur contrary to the direction of my pan. That makes sense now :)
I shall persevere, as they say practice, practice, practice.
The yellow car is a Nova by the way (or possibly the Opel version).

Cheers.
 
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#10
Shutter speed looks a bit long and there's some up-down movement visible too, though the different blurring front/rear of the car is usually caused by being too close with a shorter lens that exaggerates any unevenness of the panning movement in relation to the car.
Cheers, I think you and Phil cracked it, it's the motion of the cars not being followed (perhaps not even possible to follow, because different parts are going in different directions (IYSWIM).
More practice needed :)
 
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#12
Maybe you could find a happy medium of shutterspeed where enough of the car will be sharp and still have the background blurred enough for your liking ...
Unfortunately, panning only works following an object travelling in one direction. It's perfect for trains and works well for circuit racing. But rally cars continuously move in many different directions, partly due to the uneven terrain, then also due to the sliding about, as soon as the shutter speed is showing movement in the wheels, you're risking showing movement in the car. The trick is to find shots where you can use those properties to help the image.

Sometimes, just a small amount of panning as you suggest, other times near a flat straight, or a really slow section, my favourite is the inside of a bend, where the rear of the car blurring through a long exposure adds to the depth of the image.
 
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#14
First off this shot is obtainable and is not as hard as some may think. The two things that you need to change is your shutter speed is way to slow 1/50? That is slow for a stationary subject you wont have much luck shooting that slow. The other thing I would suggest is to stop down your lens some. You do not have as much control on a shot like this so you need to give yourself room for error when it comes to aperture. When I shot like this for the first time I went to a regular street and practices as cars drove by. It took a bunch a shots to figure out what works but It taught me that the motion of the lens and where that motion starts and stops is key to pulling off a panning shot. Hope that helps.

:canon:
 
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#15
Personally It depends what subject you are photographing, what speed the subject is travelling at, what lens your are using and getting the right shutter speed / aperture to match to create the right motion blur rather than VR OS IS etc. Correct camera settings and a smooth pan get you the shots.

Shutter speeds of 1/30 1/60 or even 1/125 aren't easy to get right especially for someone not practiced in taking pan's. And for someone who said panning is easy, why don't we see more pro's panning, because its not easy to get right and the hit rate can be variable. So apply the 1 over focal length rule explained below to get an idea of somewhere better to start.

A common rule of thumb for estimating how fast the exposure needs to be for a given focal length is the one over focal length rule. This states that for a 35 mm camera, the exposure time needs to be at least as fast as one over the focal length in seconds. In other words, when using a 200 mm focal length on a 35 mm camera, the exposure time needs to be at least 1/200 seconds-- otherwise blurring may be hard to avoid. Keep in mind that this rule is just for rough guidance; some may be able to hand hold a shot for much longer or shorter times than this rule estimates. So for users of digital cameras with cropped sensors, one needs to convert into a 35 mm equivalent focal length, eg 200*1.6 (crop) = 1/320 sec

That will help with setting up the right shutter settings to start with, you can get more adventurous later.

Now, Panning is a technique which requires mastering over time, its not something that you can instantly do and repeat. It require training you body to become familiar with the motion, thus it become almost automatic. What this will achieve is a smooth pan, something that is not easy to master.

Pick up the subject early, focus and pan with the subject, take them image when subject fills 2/3 of the frame, continue the pan after the shot, try and avoid stopping the pan or jerking at the edge will also aid in good results.

You are able to capture pans at slower shutter speeds, but to get everything right in the shot takes practice and a very smooth pan movement, taken at 1/100sec, but generally, I'm taking shots at 1/200 or 1/320 sec because of the speed of the bikes and slightly slower for cars....

1/100 sec


1/320 sec


or even 1/640 sec, but still generate motion blur


300mm f2.8 + 2x TC @ 1/800 sec


Feet position is important to give you a base from which to pan you body, as describe above, you then need to pick the action up early, panning with the on coming bike/car, then when it fills 2/3 screen start to take your 2 -3 images, recompose and take the next shots, remembering to continue the motion after taking the shots, that's also very important.......

Fire single shots not a burst, bursts are a waste of time for a plain old panning shot. Yes you might miss the moment when Elvis and ET climb out the sun roof and roof surf around the track to the sound of the Beach Boys, but... Concentrate on getting your timing right.

Don't shoot into the sun. (well you can, but remember that you'll lose detail in your shot because you're fighting with the light, not working with it) That amazing corner you (and everyone else with a camera) has discovered where the cars/bikes come inches away from your face is worthless if you are shooting into the sun. Try to work out if/when the sun will have moved off and come back then.

If it is a bright sunny day, consider using a 1 or 2 stop ND filter to get the shutter speed down. Not a problem normally at 1/250th, but as you slow it down you will have problems.

Slow(ish) pans don't work if the vehicle is not on smooth ground. Its generally rubbish for non-tarmac racing as the bumps blur the subject.

Practice Lots.


Same can be applied to aircraft, wildlife etc, set your shutter speed for the lens and the speed of the subject.





So to sum up, start with a fast shutter speed in (shutter priority), let the camera set the aperture (increase the ISO if you're not happy), unless you want a head on shot then aperture priority. Then throughout the day as you gain confidence and your panning technique becomes smoother, reduce the shutter speed, but remember light is your friend, so the conditions on the day will effect your setup.

Peter
 
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#16
The Landie shot 'fails' because of the direction of the front of the vehicle. If you look at the front wheel it's pointing away from you - turning to it's left which means it's attempting to pivot around the rear axle, which is why that part is sharp - vehicle motion, panning and shutterspeed are at one!

There is no up/down motion (notice detail of front wheel arch - blur is horizontal). In the other shot I would suggest the rear is going into a drift and so is an additional movement the pan can't capture.

In all Peter's examples it appears there is only one direction of travel generally - exceptions handled by a higher shutter speed. Panned to match the vehicle/subject speed with just enough slowness of shutter speed to add the background blur.
 
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#17
At the end of the day the both images were taken at 1/50 sec which as I've explained above ain't easy to capture especially with the additional movement of the car. OP should increase his shutter speeds to bring more of the cars into focus and picking the spot he wants to focus on the car



 
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#18
First off this shot is obtainable and is not as hard as some may think. The two things that you need to change is your shutter speed is way to slow 1/50? That is slow for a stationary subject you wont have much luck shooting that slow. The other thing I would suggest is to stop down your lens some. You do not have as much control on a shot like this so you need to give yourself room for error when it comes to aperture. When I shot like this for the first time I went to a regular street and practices as cars drove by. It took a bunch a shots to figure out what works but It taught me that the motion of the lens and where that motion starts and stops is key to pulling off a panning shot. Hope that helps.

:canon:
All I'm going to say is:
1/50 is a perfectly acceptable panning speed, I've gone as low as 1/15.

And you can't compare a car on the street with a rally car.

A car on the street, or on a race track is generally moving in a single plane, rally cars very rarely do that, which is obvious if you look at the example photos.
 
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#19
I wouldn't put much credence on where DPP says the focus point is to be honest.

As for panning your rally cars, it is going to be hit or miss with all the bumps.

What you need to do is find the highest shutter speed that still gives you wheel blur, not the slowest shutter speed.

I won't try and quote any because it's all down to the speed of the vehicle you're trying to pan.
 
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#20
I wouldn't put much credence on where DPP says the focus point is to be honest.

As for panning your rally cars, it is going to be hit or miss with all the bumps.

What you need to do is find the highest shutter speed that still gives you wheel blur, not the slowest shutter speed.

I won't try and quote any because it's all down to the speed of the vehicle you're trying to pan.
Agreed.
 
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#21
...
What you need to do is find the highest shutter speed that still gives you wheel blur, not the slowest shutter speed.

...
Wheel blur won't give the panned background effect though. Rally cars are generally shot to capture wheel blur but very little other movement, but that's not what the OP wants.
Here's a rally car at 1/50th sec.

Like I said, you have to pick your spot. This is 17mm on a 1.6 crop
 
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Kyle
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#22
Personally It depends what subject you are photographing, what speed the subject is travelling at, what lens your are using and getting the right shutter speed / aperture to match to create the right motion blur rather than VR OS IS etc. Correct camera settings and a smooth pan get you the shots.

Shutter speeds of 1/30 1/60 or even 1/125 aren't easy to get right especially for someone not practiced in taking pan's. And for someone who said panning is easy, why don't we see more pro's panning, because its not easy to get right and the hit rate can be variable. So apply the 1 over focal length rule explained below to get an idea of somewhere better to start.

A common rule of thumb for estimating how fast the exposure needs to be for a given focal length is the one over focal length rule. This states that for a 35 mm camera, the exposure time needs to be at least as fast as one over the focal length in seconds. In other words, when using a 200 mm focal length on a 35 mm camera, the exposure time needs to be at least 1/200 seconds-- otherwise blurring may be hard to avoid. Keep in mind that this rule is just for rough guidance; some may be able to hand hold a shot for much longer or shorter times than this rule estimates. So for users of digital cameras with cropped sensors, one needs to convert into a 35 mm equivalent focal length, eg 200*1.6 (crop) = 1/320 sec

That will help with setting up the right shutter settings to start with, you can get more adventurous later.

Now, Panning is a technique which requires mastering over time, its not something that you can instantly do and repeat. It require training you body to become familiar with the motion, thus it become almost automatic. What this will achieve is a smooth pan, something that is not easy to master.

Pick up the subject early, focus and pan with the subject, take them image when subject fills 2/3 of the frame, continue the pan after the shot, try and avoid stopping the pan or jerking at the edge will also aid in good results.

You are able to capture pans at slower shutter speeds, but to get everything right in the shot takes practice and a very smooth pan movement, taken at 1/100sec, but generally, I'm taking shots at 1/200 or 1/320 sec because of the speed of the bikes and slightly slower for cars....

1/100 sec


1/320 sec


or even 1/640 sec, but still generate motion blur


300mm f2.8 + 2x TC @ 1/800 sec


Feet position is important to give you a base from which to pan you body, as describe above, you then need to pick the action up early, panning with the on coming bike/car, then when it fills 2/3 screen start to take your 2 -3 images, recompose and take the next shots, remembering to continue the motion after taking the shots, that's also very important.......

Fire single shots not a burst, bursts are a waste of time for a plain old panning shot. Yes you might miss the moment when Elvis and ET climb out the sun roof and roof surf around the track to the sound of the Beach Boys, but... Concentrate on getting your timing right.

Don't shoot into the sun. (well you can, but remember that you'll lose detail in your shot because you're fighting with the light, not working with it) That amazing corner you (and everyone else with a camera) has discovered where the cars/bikes come inches away from your face is worthless if you are shooting into the sun. Try to work out if/when the sun will have moved off and come back then.

If it is a bright sunny day, consider using a 1 or 2 stop ND filter to get the shutter speed down. Not a problem normally at 1/250th, but as you slow it down you will have problems.

Slow(ish) pans don't work if the vehicle is not on smooth ground. Its generally rubbish for non-tarmac racing as the bumps blur the subject.

Practice Lots.


Same can be applied to aircraft, wildlife etc, set your shutter speed for the lens and the speed of the subject.





So to sum up, start with a fast shutter speed in (shutter priority), let the camera set the aperture (increase the ISO if you're not happy), unless you want a head on shot then aperture priority. Then throughout the day as you gain confidence and your panning technique becomes smoother, reduce the shutter speed, but remember light is your friend, so the conditions on the day will effect your setup.

Peter
I have nothing to add to the thread, just want to say thanks for the great panning beginners guide :)
 
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#23
All depends on how much blur the OP wants in the background.

This is a slowish mini at Knockhill last Sunday taken at 1/160th......

 
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#24
Wheel blur won't give the panned background effect though. Rally cars are generally shot to capture wheel blur but very little other movement, but that's not what the OP wants.
Here's a rally car at 1/50th sec.

Like I said, you have to pick your spot. This is 17mm on a 1.6 crop
Some great advice on this thread - will be trying it out.

Also - absolutely love this shot!
 
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