Panning Practice

Panning Practice, ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Panning Practice, ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

Beyond enjoying the antics of the pre-parade entertainment, I got in some much-needed panning practice. It’s a technique that I rarely use. And while my previous motion blur images were purposely imperfect or somewhat lacking in execution, I got better with repeated tries. It was still hit or miss though.

This was my best pan, which I shot with the 12-40mm f2.8 Pro on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II. I found certain adjustments that made it easier. Having a deeper depth of field, at f5.6 in this case, made it easier. I pre-focused and the deeper depth of field made it to easier to get everything sharp. The pan effectively blurs the background so a shallower depth of field is not needed.

A 1/30 of a second shutter speed worked well but will vary with the speed of the subject. I also had preferred backgrounds, ones that give a more interesting blur. Here, the marquee lights of a theater give a needed sparkle.

Beyond that, the challenge is getting the speed of the pan correct as well as the framing during the pan. It’s something that just requires repeated practice.

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