- Become a better photographer today!
remember me:     

Photo Discussion

To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.

Cyclist - Panning   Featured in PhotoFlash #013
  Cyclist - Panning
Cyclist - Panning
Panning shot of a bicycle racer.
© Jim Miotke
Owner,, Inc.
Dawn M

member since: 3/9/2004
    I learned how to pan in high school and want to show my 17-year old son how. But when he did it, the subject was blurry. I forget what shutter speed and aperture I should use. Can you help us?

3/9/2004 7:40:01 AM

Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
Owner,, Inc.

Sure, Dawn. The answer, though, depends upon the speed of the subject. With racers like this, I don't need to go down to a very slow shutter speed. I think I probably used 1/60 for this shot. Because the rider was going by me so fast, I was able to make the background blur and not the rider using this 1/60 shutter speed.

If your subject is moving by you at a slower rate, you may need to go down to a slower shutter speed, like 1/30 or 1/15.

Remember, you have to shoot A LOT of images when panning to get one good one. I have plenty of versions with blurry riders to go along with this one semi-crisp one.

Also, be sure he is at a 90 degree angle to the path the subject is travelling along. This greatly helps the photographer get a good panning shot. If the subject is coming at you, this reduces the likelihood of getting a great image.

3/9/2004 1:56:18 PM


member since: 3/19/2004

Geez that's a great photo you have there! Can you show me how you took a picture of a person cycling?

3/19/2004 7:42:19 PM

Charles Dias

member since: 6/3/2002

Great sport photo ... perfect panning.
I liked too much the non-centralized composition and the shadow of the races on the ground.

4/1/2004 6:14:53 AM

Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
Owner,, Inc.

Thank you very much, Charles. I appreciate your comments.

Sue, if you would like to learn how to shoot images like this, start by trying out the above techniques. Feel free to ask me specific questions after that.

4/1/2004 8:40:49 AM

Kelvin Lewis

member since: 7/1/2004

f9, 1/45th, ISO200, AI Servo mode, 70-200mm 2.8 IS,
© Kelvin Lewis
Canon EOS 10D Digi...
I attempted panning for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I got a 'hit' rate of 10% I took over 400 total pics in 3 hrs. I've attached the best pic of the day. It was taken with a 10D at 200mm, f9 at 1/45th. AI Servo mode.

What do you guys think?

7/1/2004 10:02:46 PM

To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.

Copyright 1996-2014, Inc. All Rights Reserved.