Friday, October 21, 2016

Panning

Lately I have been reading "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson to notch up my photography game a little bit. The book lays out with many examples and in simple terms the relationship between the three corners of the exposure triangle namely aperture, shutter speed and ISO. The example images are inspiring and the related caption text describing the author's choices of camera settings is immensely helpful to understand how the three variables are manipulated to get that particular image.

One of the most important point the author makes is that there are many possible settings to get the correct exposure for the given subject but there is almost always just one single combination of the variables which yields an artistically correct exposure. Anyway, if you are into understanding the topic thoroughly, I would wholeheartedly recommend the book.

I tried experimenting with the panning which is discussed in the book while visiting Amsterdam. Panning is basically a technique where one moves the camera parallel to the direction of the motion at slower shutter speeds to focus sharply on the moving subject while at the same time blurring the stationary background. The end result is a photo portraying the motion of the subject due to the one directional blur of the background. 

It was a beautiful autumn evening and the city was full with cyclists on the bridges. This photo was taken at one of those busy bridges. I spent almost 15-20 minutes literally "shooting" the cyclists as they rode by with different shutter speeds and aperture settings almost as if I was playing that duck shooting game "Duck Hunt" on the 8-bit gaming console back in those school summer vacations. This one is one of the sharper ones which I could take at full zoom. I believe with more patience one can lock the subject as sharp as a knife.

1/40 f/10 ISO 160
I chose exactly this one out of the other competing panning shots because I just love the style of this girl; with her hairs trying to untangle themselves from the chequered bluish green shawl, her cool rucksack and that classy blue-jeans-black-shoes combi.

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