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Panning technique

LensYews 12 1.3k 1 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2010 10:31PM
New topic for the sports photography group


Do you use panning, do you pan hand held or on a monopod/tripod, what panning speeds do you use for which sports?

I've tried 1/80 to 1/100 for horses cantering/galloping, but my hit rate is very low. I guess its just practice to get that arc right, but my resulting images have the subject just a little softer than I would like. I've tried with Ai servo on, with one shot AF and prefocusing where I expect the subject to be, but I'm not sure which is the most likely to get me a sharp subject. Any suggestions?
shooter 18 105 Canada
3 Aug 2010 5:01AM
You'll need a slower shutter speed, generally 1/30 or less, and prefocus is easiest. The more blurred the BG, the sharper the subject is is contrast.

The eye's easily fooled. Most panned shots aren't as sharp as they seem; by having a very blurred BG, a non-blurred subject seems much sharper than it is, by comparison.

To get a long shutter speed, you'll need to set a narrow aperture. Naturally the tight aperture results in plenty DOF. So focus is not an issue at all. No worries!
ripleysalien 14 1.2k 11 United Kingdom
3 Aug 2010 9:13AM
The slower your subject the slower you shutter speed will need to be, though i do go down to 1/60 even for motorbikes and cars, just for fun and effect.
A monopod is a good idea sometimes, it takes out a lot of the vertical shake ( not all ) but the best thing is practice practice practice, it pays off in the end.
One problem with horses/riders is they will "put in" a lot of vertical movement as thats how they move, im not sure how you would counteract that.
3 Aug 2010 11:35AM
I went to a car rally in Lurgan Park at the weekend, my first ever attempt at motor sport photography. I found a shutter speed of 1/90 just right for capturing some blur in the car wheels. I'm aware there's faults with this photo, but it illustrates the point!Wink
ge22y 13 115 12 Wales
3 Aug 2010 1:11PM

I took this last year, it was a pretty grey old day but managed to get 1/250s, f7.1 at ISO 200. I think it just has the right amount of movement in the wheels but would prefer some more movement in the bg! But by keeping the shutter speed up a bit I find I get a better hit rate with getting the entire car in focus, and still get movement in the wheels. 1/125 is the speed I usually try and aim for, but will play at lower speeds but my hit rate will drop dramatically for these.

I tried horse racing earlier this year but wasn't impressed by my results in the panning department, had some good shots of the horses over the jumps, but when it came to panning I think there was too much movement, as mentioned above there's up and down motion as well as the direction of travel, also with horses each leg moves independently, combined with the slower shutter speed to compensate for the slower movement of the horse, the legs just looked like a jumbled mess. With the car the wheels are fixed so as long as you pan at the same speed as the car then the tyres will look like tyres, with the wheel spinning inside.

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