This week, I am going to start with Slow Shutter Speed and then move to Panning. While I have done some of the latter, I am not a real user of the former, so this gave me a chance to play. Since it has been cold again, I decided to photograph using slow shutter speeds during a nightly round of the game we call "Feed The Dogs." There is always plenty of activity by some members of our group, and that activity is pretty predictable, so I knew I had a good chance of capturing workable images.
Our text asked us to keep shutter speeds at or below 1/60. I started out with a speed of 1/60 to capture Burton becoming aware that dinner time was imminent, and his tail began wagging. You can see that tail blur in the photo below.
Next I took the shutter speed down to 1/30. I sat with my camera on my knees and/or moved to lay on the floor braced on my elbows, with camera braced against my face. I am not great with hand-held below 1/100, but I was too lazy to run for my tripod and set that up.
Again, the photo has noise, but you really get the feel for what is happening based on Billie's movement, thanks to the slower shutter speed. And while we typically do not let her do what is depicted below, I left the shutter at 1/30 and encouraged my husband to let her show her exuberance at getting fed, so that I could capture this photo.
Now, on to PANNING. With panning you have to take into account the speed in which your subject is moving and set your shutter speed accordingly. The speed is usually going to be below 1/100. You plant your body and bracing your camera you follow your subject as they move to keep them somewhat focused, while at the same time blurring the background.
After spending countless amounts of time in my back yard in the freezing cold, I can tell you that doing a panning shot with a horse and rider in a show ring is FAR FAR EASIER than trying to predict the trajectory of a dog with a ball or toy. Nevertheless, little Luke was game to try to run past me and be cooperative. Here is my panning shot of Luke.
Finally let me share an image I did over the summer of 2015. It is a horse show image and shows that if you can keep your speed of movement at the same level as your subject while panning, you get a much crisper image.
For more on movement, slow shutter speeds and panning, start here with Little White Dog Pet Photography - Sioux Falls, SD, Kelly Middlebrooks. Enjoy!