Sunday, April 5, 2009

Panning Has Nothing To Do With A Pan

This week, I am talking about panning. Panning is a technique that many photographers use to make their photographs more visually pleasing and interesting. Panning is used to catch a object that is in motion and get a photograph of that movement.To create panning in an image, a photographer will scan the subject as they move. The photographer will focus on the subject and then as they begin or continue to move, will hold down the shutter and move the camera along horizontally or vertically with them. The result of doing this is the creation of all of the pictures that you see above and below: the subject is mostly or somewhat in focus and the background and surroundings are blurred.
Panning is often used in film to follow a subject as the move of display the surroundings in a certain scene. It can also be used on a person that is standing still. If you subject is standing still in the midst of many moving objects, you can capture them, surrounded by a variety of motion blurs from the objects around them. This causes the photograph to focus in on the still subject and give a photograph an artistic edge.
To obtain a clear picture during panning, the photographer must keep the subject in the same place in the frame for the duration of the pictures exposure. The exposure time must be long enough to allow the background to blur as you move the camera. If your exposure time is too short or quick, the background will also be in focus like the subject. Similarly, if the exposure time is too long, then both the subject and the background can become blurred if you stop or continue to move the camera. Exposure time is dependant on the shutter speed and aperture settings of your camera. On manual cameras and on some automatic cameras, this can be easily fixed by altering one or the other to get a longer exposure time. To help photographers get a more clear, steady panned photograph, they often use a tripod, to reduce camera shake and other interruptions.
People may ask, "Why would you want a picture to be blurry?". However, when you look at a picture where one thing is clear and the rest is blurry, it gives the photograph a sense of complexity and artistic flare that may not be present in a regular photograph. It gives photographers the availability to capture something in motion and freeze it, making it more interesting and enjoyable to viewers.

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