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This week’s assignment was about showing action… and I found some unsuspecting victims subjects during our snow trip last week. Take a look.

First, showing motion without panning. In other words, holding the camera still and letting the action move past the camera – creating motion. (In this case, the snow is the moving subject.)

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And now, showing motion with panning – moving the camera with the subject while take the picture. Ideally, the subject is sharp (at least the key parts of it are so that it’s recognizable) and the background is blurry. My key learning’s are:

  • Panning is an art, not a science.
  • It’s difficult to tell if I captured the panning correctly until I can look at it closely on my computer
  • The direction of the subject compared to the camera makes a big difference. It works best when the subject moves left to right or right to left.  If the subject is coming at you or away from you, it’s difficult to show the motion.
  • It’s easier to practice panning on subjects that move in a predictable way. (Sledders do not move in predictable ways. Some of these sledders are going to need chiropractors!)

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How did it go for you? Any other panning tips out there?

And now for week 6’s assignment: Portraits  (We’re halfway done already!)

  1. Depth of field in portraits
    Find a willing victim patient friend and take their picture with different aperture settings – from shallow depth of field (meaning –  large aperture, small f-stop number) to large depth of field (meaning – small aperture, large f-stop number). Make sure there’s some space between the subject and the background so you can notice the effect. (In other words, don’t have your subject touching the background, unless you’re practicing mug shots.) Notice how the different depth of fields changes the portrait.
  2. Natural light portraits
    Find another willing victim and take their picture on a bright sunny day. Experiment with facing him towards/away from the sun. Try using fill flash and notice the difference.

Feel free to share links to your shots from any of the assignments in the comments below.