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TOPIC: Motion blur to show speed

Motion blur to show speed 3 years 3 months ago #4816

I took a few hundred images of a tractor pull event over here in the UK... they are all wonderful and sharp, but how do you get the panning blur whilst still keeping the object sharp?

This image is one of a small number I got, the rest look frozen


NWTP-3 by WalneyHobbit, on Flickr
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Motion blur to show speed 3 years 3 months ago #4824

  • Luke
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It takes a bit of practice to get it right, you need to use a slower shutter speed than you would if you wanted to fully freeze the action, something like 1/30 to 1/125 depending on the speed of the subject. Start off panning with the subject before you press the shutter and try to keep it as one smooth action. Try to position yourself so that even when the subject is moving the distance between you and the subject doesn’t change too much, if the subject is moving towards you it can quickly move out of focus while the shutter is open.
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Motion blur to show speed 3 years 2 months ago #4899

Panning, in my opinion, is one of the harder images to pull off. It requires very accurate shooting settings and skills.


As mentioned, you actually need to use a slow shutter speed. There isn't a, this is the shutter speed for everything setting on this. It depends on how fast your subject is going past you. The hardest part is actually panning your camera the same speed as your subject as it goes by. It needs to go exactly the same speed, otherwise the subject will not be sharp.

I almost got a sharp image once, and I've been practicing over a month.


On the Go by Blu3dagger, on Flickr

This was at 1/15 at f22. Fish eyes are great for this because the autofocus is quick and very large DOF so there isn't much need for it to be auto focuses.

EDIT: I would also recommend shooting in a burst mode until you can get the panning down. In 4 shots one of them may be sharp.
Last Edit: 3 years 2 months ago by Steven Santamour.
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