Children running, playing, jumping, just having a good time are some of my favorite photos. Personalities jump right out of the picture. Another of my favorites are kids on a carousel. Not a stale, flat picture but one that conveys the motion of the ride. But how do you do this? How can you keep the subject in focus and show motion at the same time. The answer: Panning.
Panning is fairly simple with practice and will offer a creative solution for conveying motion in a still photograph and can also give you a last trick for the end of a shoot when the light may be really dim. Here is how it’s done :
1. Set your camera at a slower shutter speed than you would normally handhold.
2. Follow a subject moving laterally in your viewfinder (on the screen for those of you using a consumer digital camera) with your camera. This technique does not work on subjects moving toward or away from you. You must move the camera with the moving subject.
3. Make your exposure (push the button) at about the time the subject is directly in front of you. Do not forget to follow through with the motion like a golf swing or a quarterback does when he releases the ball.
4. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
It may not work on the first try. Try also to lower the shutter speed below what common sense would allow. Sometimes great things come when you’ve got nothing to lose.
If a child is running like a madman and you can’t slow him/her down then this is a good technique. Even if it’s high noon and the sun is killing you all you need to do is drop your ISO, drop your shutter speed to about 1/30th and stop you lens down ( make the F number get bigger ) to the correct exposure and follow the above instructions.
I hope this is easy to follow. If you have any questions then comment them and I will answer .