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Photography Question 
Jean D. Otis

Clear Action Shots

Grandson races motocross. I cannot seem to get clear image shots. When aimed direct in front shots are fine, but trying to take a side shot while he is moving is always blurred. I use 800 max film. What can I do to get good pictures.

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Esther Mishkowitz   You might want to use a tripod and "pan" the camera - as the vehicle moves you follow it with the camera pressing down the shutter button half way at the same time and then take the picture - when you see the rear of the vehicle. If you don't have a tripod, you need to brace your arms to your sides so the camera is steady and (hold your breath). Then pan - following the movement with your camera with finger on the shutter button half way till you are ready to snap... Hope I've been a help.

My question now is - for someone a bit more knowledgeable - can you pan and still use flash? If you are keeping your finger down for a second more or less does that affect the flash in anyway? Please explain. Thanks.

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Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
Owner,, Inc.
  Another point about panning may answer your question about flash, eglm. When panning, you usually want a relatively slow shutter speed - perhaps around 1/30 or 1/60 of a second if you are using a 50mm lens. This helps to get the motion blur effect. If you were to use a flash, that would defeat the purpose by freezing the action too much. You could possibly combine flash with panning in a very dark setting to cause a ghost image effect.

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Esther Mishkowitz   Dear Sir: it sounded to me that Jean wanted a clear shot(frozen image?) perhaps to capture the expression on the driver's face? I also think he might need a longer lens than 50mm unless he is especially close? Thanks for your response.

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