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Monday, 22 February 2010

Panning with different shutter speeds

Linked to the previous exercise,the idea behind this exercise was to follow the movement (panning) with the camera while taking a series of images from a fast shutter speed to a slow shutter speed, then make notes and compare the image effects.

I located myself along a busy road 3 lane road with a speed limit of 50mph. I used my 18-55mm kit lens; however I kept the focal length constant throughout the exercise; 28mm, and like the previous exercise I have cropped them to fill the frame with more of the cars. For consistency I kept the ISO at the lowest setting of 100.

For this exercise I left the camera in an autofocus mode. This works fine for this exercise as I panned the subject the camera was able to autofocus without difficulty.

The weather conditions were cold, sunny with intermittent cloud, and the sunlight coming from pretty much overhead. As with the last exercise I didn’t concern myself with perspective and depth and just concentrated on the panning.

Throughout the exercise I changed the shutter speed only and left the camera to adjust the aperture for exposure. 




1/2000 sec underexposed due to the very fast shutter speed; the image appears frozen in time there is no sense of movement.




1/1500 sec little difference than the first image. The car still looks Stationary. There is a slight blur to the vehicle travelling in the opposite direction, however think this is more to do with focus rather than me panning in from right to left.




1/1000 sec little movement, but a bit lighter exposure.




1/500 sec lacking movement in general, however there is a slight blur to the wheel hubs. The background also seems ever so slightly more burred. Don’t think it’s camera shake at this speed. Either way I don’t feel the van has movement yet.




1/250 sec to get a bit of movement now. The vehicles on the opposite side going the other direction have started to stretch (like in the previous exercise – see the wheels). The taxi wheels also appear to have a blur to them; adding to the feeling of motion.




1/125 sec to ‘feel’ it now. The buildings in the background are starting to stretch and blur more as I pan with the car. The car is still relatively sharp, but the wheel hubs are starting to blur more too.




1/60 sec feeling of movement is becoming more apparent now, the background as well as the lines in the road are starting to blur more and streak horizontally (note the lamppost ghosting). The car is relatively sharp (perhaps starting to suffer from some minor camera shake) and the wheel hubs are much more blurred. I feel that this has a nice feeling on motion. (So far my panning technique seems to be holding its own too!)




1/30 sec background and road are now much more streaked and blurred, the wheel hubs are also blurred. I also think the sharpness and panning in this shot is pretty sharp considering the speed of the shutter now. I also think the exposure is well balanced in this shot. Perhaps the notion that it’s a sports car adds the the feeling of speed.




1/15 sec is still holding it’s own. I was quite surprised at this stage as I thought there would be more camera shake than there is. The houses in the background are pretty much unrecognisable at this stage too. I think the camera was also getting to the the limits of the exposure as the images were getting brighter.




1/8 sec image is starting to become overexposed, as the shutter speed slows and the aperture has gone as small as it can (for the setup). The background is now coloured streaks and unrecognisable as houses and trees. There is more camera shake in the image which can be seen by the wheels starting to distort in shape, However I was still pretty happy with my technique; the shape is still recognisable as a car and there is still a sense of motion and speed.




1/4 sec is hanging in there! Over exposed and the camera shake is more obvious. I was still impressed that the car was still recognisable. I thought I would have lost it by now!




1/2 sec

At half a second the image has lost the plot. The overexposed image is had to tell what you are looking at. However I plan to have a play around in Photoshop to see what effects I can produce from this.

This has been my favourite exercise to date! I really enjoyed practising the panning technique. I aim to add a few extra ‘motion’ shots that I have taken in the past to this project.

Out of this set of images I would have to say that images 7 and 8 are my favourite as they have clear images of the cars but have a strong feeling of motion. That said I like all the images after image7 I think they capture the feeling of motion and speed in all of them.

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