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Photography Question 
Madison Barrett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2008
 

Panning


 
 
Hi Im a photography student at SF State- its my first semister in photo class. We are assigned to do a pan shot, where the background is blury and the subject is clear. (but it is the subject that is moving, not the person), Does anyone have a good idea of how I can get a good crisp pan shot, without camera shake? The photo below is the closet I have gotten to a pan- but its still not good- any advice>?

Thanks, Maddie


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3/19/2008 11:51:26 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Hi ya Maddie. Not too difficult really. The easiest way is to get or borrow a tripod with a panning head. Go stand out in front of campus facing 19th Ave. and the muni-platform. Wait for a trolly and using a fairly wide angle lens to allow seeing background and foreground, like cars headed toward the freeway or Daly City. Then loosening the handle that allows the head to rotate, as the trolly starts rolling, rotate the head to keep the trolly in the frame. Start snapping at about 1/30th or maybe 1/60th of a sec. That should do it and avoid camera shake, especially if you can use a cable release to trip the shutter.

Or, you can do the same without a tripod by leaning up against say the brick wall out in front of campus to stabilize yourself, tuck your arms in tight and at the same speeds, you be the tripod and pan yourself to again fill the frame with trolly as it rolls out of the platform and gathers speed.

The principles of panning require a bit of practice but you can use them in any situation with moving objects OR do the opposite with non-moving objects, say people standing still and others moving around them. Experiment with slower shutter speeds too, say 1/15th of a second or even a bit longer depending on your ambient lighting levels.

Finally, you can use a flash to freeze motion while letting the periphery blur. Just flash the object you want to freeze, and if you can, drag your shutter to allow the motion to blur.

Are you by any chance taking a class from my ole buddy Ken Kobre, another photojournalsit?

Take it light.
Mark


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3/19/2008 12:17:35 PM

 
Madison Barrett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2008
  Thank Mark! I will try that out. I don't have Kobre this semister, I think I will have him in the Fall next year, I have Sibylla this year. She is great!


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3/19/2008 12:41:26 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  It's a gr8 program. I've guested there a number of times. Hollar if you need some more guidance.
Take care Maddie.
Mark


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3/19/2008 2:13:47 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Hey Madison, I too have been there a couple of times...the dorms are OK...never seen any of the classrooms (went to USF).hahaha Anyways check out some of my AMA photos and it gives a decent description of how I did those shots. I'd go for one of a cable car maybe since that says SF better than anything...or maybe a photo of a homeless guy.JK


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3/19/2008 9:58:52 PM

 
W.    Hi Maddie,

Mark's advice is spot on of course. It will still be a hit-and-miss affair, though: probably 99 misses against 1 hit! So just don't forget to do many, many, MANY exposures like that, literally hundreds, to get a few exposures that you can actually work with.


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3/20/2008 2:13:17 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Maddie, the reason I suggested shooting the Muni platform across from the main campus entrance is because these days, the BART police, among others, are using photography as a pretext to stop and ask for ID and just generally hassle folks, tourists or not. I pitched a complaint to the Film Commish. and mayor's office but haven't heard back yet. So, my vibe is that they're less likely to hassle you in front of the school although I strongly doubt you look like a terrorist. ;>)

Let us see how you do with this exercise, btw.
M.


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3/22/2008 10:02:06 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  She looks pretty shady to me....you never know these days...I hear the Police are always hassling the men with beards, Hats and dark glasses....you know any men that get hassled with that description Mark????? hahaha


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3/22/2008 10:13:54 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  All Mark's gotta do is drop the hat and jacket, add a hooded sweatshirt with the hood over his head, and, well, you get the picture.


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3/30/2008 8:27:57 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Let's not forget my watch cap, right?
0;>)

M


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3/30/2008 8:45:52 PM

 
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