Panning in Photography

by Imogen and Brooke

The grass behind the cheetah is very unrecognizable and the animal is easy to see.

Panning is a technique in photography that focuses on the subject and blurs the background.

The taxi is very clear in contrast to the building behind it.

How To:

1. Use a lower shutter speed for panning photos.

This photo has a very clear bird while the water and trees are undefined.

2. Follow the object with your camera as it goes by.

In this picture, the rider and his horse are relatively clear while the background is blurred

3. If you have auto-focus, just let the camera do the work. If not, focus your camera on the spot before you take the picture.

Since the fox is clear, and the background is blurry, this photo demonstrates panning.

4. Release the shutter, but keep moving with the object to get a good blur in the background.

This kid's backyard is hard to see, while the child remains clear.

Tip: Although it's a hard technique, using a flash in your photo can help your picture look even better.

In this photo, the man, the horse, and the carriage are clear and the background is blurry.

Tip #2: Practice on traffic in a busy city.

You can see the grass and dirt, but it's very blurry in contrast to the dog.

Tip #3: Try to have your target on a parallel surface.

In this photo, the chicken is easy to spot against the blurred background.

Tip #4: Start with 1/30 or 1/20 shutter speed.

In this photo, the cats are clear while the background is smeared.

Tip #5: Before you press the shutter, start to follow the object or person.

The man skiing down the hill can be seen clearly while panning blurs the background.

Tip #6: On a flat surface, using a tripod can be beneficial to your photo.

The forest behind the jogger is distinguishable, but the runner stands out since she is much clearer.

Tip #7: From a distance, panning can be much easier, but you have to have the right lens for the job.

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