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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:33 pm 
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Hi everyone,
I've been photographing for quite a while, but always happy to hear some good tips and techniques.
So here is the topic, I sometimes take action pictures and panning (moving cars, bikes, etc.), but I'd like some tips about the following:

1. How do you keep the focus right? I use servo AF, but still, when a car or bike is moving fast, it is quite difficult.

2. How do you handle the zoom? When a car is moving from right to left (for example) I need to change the zoom from tele to wide while taking a set of pictures. Sometimes the car does not fill the frame, sometimes it is cut.

3. Any interesting setting you use?

I know it takes a lot of practice, and any help in techniques and ideas about this will be appreciated.
Thanks

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:48 pm 
Gordon has a tutorial on this. If you haven't watched it already I urge you to do so here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlnsVX_QtEc
Or here: http://www.dslrtips.com/workshops/How_t ... hoto.shtml

I think you are doing it wrong.

First of all I have never done these kind of photos but i'll share my views on it anyway:

You say you zoom from telephoto to wide angle. This would create all sorts of distortions as the field of view would be changing as so would be the perspective making the picture look 100% out of focus.

I also think your shutter speed is too low.

Try 1/125 of a second.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:30 am 
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gordon's tutorial helps a lot for panning. Try just taking a picture of something that moves at the same speed, that you can rest multiple times, and play around.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:54 am 
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you can't say for sure that 1/125 is too slow, it depends on what you are taking picture of or actually the movement speed of your subject.. the faster they are the shorter your shutter speed can be. anywhere from 1/30 to 1/250 can be acceptable for panning

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:39 pm 
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Hi,
Thanks for your replies, but I don't think I explained myself well. I'm aware that I need to take a picture with the adequate shutter speed and follow the object.
Here is an example:
http://picasaweb.google.com/amitziliron/Germany2009#5442914994774807010

My questions weren't about the panning itself, but:
1. How you keep the object in focus because it moves (and I assume you take continues pictures, does the camera in servo manages to focus?)
2. How do you keep the object in the frame? This is an example of a panning I tried to do but couldn't keep the car in the frame because it moved fast and I didn't keep up with the zoom:
http://picasaweb.google.com/amitziliron/Germany2009#5353580181858551218

Thanks

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:50 pm 
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Don't zoom while panning, it will really weird out your shot. Secondly, try something slower if it's moving too fast ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:30 am 
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Yep, there's no need to zoom, and as for AF, I just use single shot (non-tracking), pre-focused to the spot where the car will be as I press the button. It's all about trial and error, but you'll get it soon enough!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:34 am 
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So basically, you're saying I should plan everything in advance: Decide where the car will be when I take the picture, zoom to fit it in the picture, focus on that point and when it comes, just follow it (with focus already set) and do the panning.

In my tests I tried to take several pictures while panning so I had to zoom and focus during.

That's interesting, I'll have to try it.

Thanks a lot.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:44 am 
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This won't necessarily help your technique but for obvious reasons I like to deliberately look for a spot where the subject will be slow moving. I also find it easier to pan when the car/bike is slowing down as opposed to moving at a constant speed or speeding up, no idea why but it works for me!

I use AF-continuous and focus where the subject meets the ground (the road), this way the subject stays in focus and the camera doesn't try and focus on something in the background because I couldn't keep the focus point spot-on.

I wouldn't mess around with the zoom. If I had as many megapixels as you did, I would make sure that there was no chance any part of the subject would get cut off, then crop the image as I see fit.

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