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Camera/Lens/User, please C&C (6 images)
Hiya,.

I have lately started to work on my panning and seem not to be able to get the results that I want. IQ is pending between quite poor and okay but unfortunately never great. I think that all the pictures below are not blurry enough (meaning surrounding) and my target (dog in these cases) are not enough in focus. Basically I am quite disappointed..

All pictures are taken in lower light with D40x and AF-S 18-135 lens. Camera is set to shutter priority 250 which makes the f balance shift depending on light, normally around 7-11..

Now does anyone have any useful tips that I might need to upt my skills a bit more or any other comments on any of the images will be gratefully appreciated..

Thanks.

Xavier.

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Yes, I know this is a double post, but I am quite desperate for the help...

Comments (17)

Your subject isn't really moving that fast so the background isn't that blured by motion. Try shooting wide open in Apreture Priority and increase your ISO to allow just enough shutter speed for a good exposure. Wide open will reduce the DOF and inhance the motion blur. Make sure any anti shake is off as well......Dennis..

Comment #1

Dogs don't run at a constant speed. This means even if you have the smoothest panning motion, it's unlikely that you can match the speed of the dog. This also means you will have to use a relatively faster shutter to get sharp picture of the dog. And thus the background won't be very blurry..

Personally I think what you've got is already very good. I can't do better...

Comment #2

Dylanbarnhart wrote:.

Dogs don't run at a constant speed. This means even if you have thesmoothest panning motion, it's unlikely that you can match the speedof the dog. This also means you will have to use a relatively fastershutter to get sharp picture of the dog. And thus the backgroundwon't be very blurry..

That's true. Also, and to expand on that:.

1/250 isn't enough to fully freeze a running dog. They're faster than you think! I find 1/500 is usually the minimum. Of course at that speed you lose some of the background blurring, but that may be a price you have to pay..

OK, I hear you say, but what about panning? Surely that compensates for the lower shutter speed?.

Yes, it does - to an extent. But unlike, say, a car, dogs have different body parts that move at different speeds. Even the long coat on your dog can add to the issue. So it's a lot easier to freeze a racing car at as low a speed as 1/250, with good panning technique, than a dog, where even if your panning is perfect the dog's body is moving around within the frame, if you know what I mean. You might freeze the head, but the tail or legs will still blur. Unless you ramp up the shutter.



Personally I think what you've got is already very good. I can't dobetter..

Me, too. They're good shots. There's always room for improvement but don't be too harsh on yourself..

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Comment #3

Thanks Dennis,.

I will definitely give this a shot..

But if I would get the dog to move faster (can always get him to play with one of friends dogs) the blurred effect would increase but the clarity of the dog would still be the same...unless I increase the shutter. Well I think I am starting to answer my own questions..

Great thanks for your comment and input...

Comment #4

Thanks a lot for your input..

I will continue to play around with the shutter speed until I find my killer combination..

Thanks again..

Comment #5

Thanks a lot for your input..

I thought about the legs becoming an issue as they are moving quite quickly but I never contemplated that the long coat would be an issue, however you are absolutely right..

I don't know if the lens/camera and the light conditions I normally take photos at will allow me to try at 1/500 and above but I will make sure to give this a shot. Hopefully I can remove some of the out of focus parts of the dog without freezing the background to much..

Again thanks for your input...

Comment #6

Xavier77 wrote:.

I don't know if the lens/camera and the light conditions I normallytake photos at will allow me to try at 1/500 and above but I willmake sure to give this a shot..

There is another option..

Get a slower dog .

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Comment #7

Who ever says dogs dont run THAT fast, have never tried to photograph one..

They are faster than you think and turn/change direction in a split second. You have to be VERY quick with a camera. I would rather take motorsport photos any day. At least cars/bikes follow a line, and are easier to anticipate. Where dogs can and do go anywhere..

I think your photos are good. You just need to work on it a little. I have found that trying to shoot them coming towards you to be a little easier..

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If you could get a little closer to the dog, then you will be moving the camera faster, and therefore blur the background more. Try with something easier first, like motorsport or someone on a peddle bike..

I will guarentee that you will take LOADS of photos that you will delete straight away, and only one or two worth keeping..

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Comment #8

Love the motion blur in your shots! Oh, wait I guess you missed the part where the OP was looking for more motion blur in the background! Nobody said dogs in motion are easy to shoot. That wasn't the issue here. For motion blur the speed of a dog is indeed slow compaired to say a car doing 200mph on a race course......Dennis..

Comment #9

Why have you got all sarcastic and defensive? I wasnt refering to your post..

I guess you missed my point about taking easier shots first, rather than jumping straight into difficult shots..

As I said, cars/bikes (to me) are a little easier, they follow a predefined course (more or less), and no, they dont do 200mph. They have to slow down for corners  That is where you will find it easier to shoot, especially with a monopod. A moving subject at 200mph is near impossible to photograph successfully (for me). On a track day, you can shoot 'til your hearts content, using different focal lengths, apertures, shutter speeds, ISO, lenses etc, until you know what each one does, for that subject..

Dogs run around all over the place, and if you are not experienced and quick enough you will easily miss the opertunity. Its is also more difficult to use a monopod with dogs..

I have tried panning with my dog, and my results arent as good as the OP, but I am finding through practice they are getting better..

I guess you also missed the part where I advised the OP to practice with something a little easier, like a cycle, and at a close distance..

Maybe you should show a few of your animal (or motorsport) panning shots to help us all who need assistance. Also please explain how you did them if you have the data at hand..

I will listen to advice off anyone, but would rather believe people who have first hand experience and can show examples..

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Comment #10

I am not meaning to step on anyones toes, but well what I want to do is to become good at panning and yes combining that interest with my other biggest interest...my dogs. Yes I have two, but the other one does not like running as much as the other one so not as often in pictures..

I have understood from everyones comments on this forum that it is a very difficult style of shooting and that only inspires me more and I will now try even harder to get better at it..

All I guess I need help with is by looking at my pictures and the technique I am using (see below for more detail) if anyone could give me tips and pointers/ideas how I can improve..

Right now my style of shooting is to use the camera and lens I have D40x and Nikkor AF-S 18-135 (as mentioned earlier), monopod or tripod...well I don't own it yet and I think for me they would be in the way as I need to have quick movements to be able to follow my dogs. Unfortunately since these days it is getting darker the light conditions are not the best but that ain't stopping me from shooting as I see any chance for practice is good (probably should stop quite soon as it will be pitch black). So far I have used shutter priority and set it to two hundred/two hundred and fifty and left aperture pending depending on light, iso up to 800-1600 to be able to cope with the fast shutter. I guess this is it, this is the current technique I am using..

Based of many of your comments on this forum I will now also try cranking up the shutterspeed to 1/500, max aperture and stepping closer to the dogs when taking the picture to see if any of these gets me better result. Okay I will not try them all at the same time but testing them to see what gives me the result I want and then work from there..

Just to show you why I want to learn panning, below pictures is the 170th picture I ever took (31st May -07) from when I started taking photos. It is taken with the normal kitlens 18-55 that came with my camera. Shutterspeed 1/80 at iso 800. A few weeks ago I was looking through my pictures and stumbled on this one and I just like it so much and want to be able to replicate it again...but this time with good quality..

I guess I been rambling on long enough but thanks for any more input that anyone has to offer..

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Comment #11

Weird, seems I couldn't see your pictures at work, very nice view and dog. Wish mine would sit still like that sometimes..

Comment #12

Some very nice pictures of your dog I might add...

Comment #13

Matt simpson wrote:.

Why have you got all sarcastic and defensive? I wasnt refering toyour post..

I guess because I've fallen prey to this site, either folks taking over a thread with their own adjendas and to argue, others not adding anything constructive or just answers to questions that really have no bearing on the OP's question. Unfortunatly that last one was where I felt the bulk of you post fit. I shouldn't have been sarcastic about it though and apologize for that... Since I was the one that said the slow speed of the dog made for less blur I assumed you were addressing me which led to me replying to you..

I guess you missed my point about taking easier shots first, ratherthan jumping straight into difficult shots..

But the OP actually took great shots and is just looking to kick it up a notch... Why send him back to learn how to walk when he's training for the Olympics!.

As I said, cars/bikes (to me) are a little easier, they follow apredefined course (more or less), and no, they dont do 200mph. Theyhave to slow down for corners  That is where you will find iteasier to shoot, especially with a monopod. A moving subject at200mph is near impossible to photograph successfully (for me). On atrack day, you can shoot 'til your hearts content, using differentfocal lengths, apertures, shutter speeds, ISO, lenses etc, until youknow what each one does, for that subject..

Oh but cars do go 200 mph on the track, even those that go around corners..

Nascar the cars go well over 200 on the straights and record lap times approach the 190's. Indy cars fastest qualifying lap speed is almost 240mph for a man and almost 230mph for a woman... Top fuel dragsters go in a straight line with top speeds in the 300's..

A moving object going around a corner is a lot easier target because you can pan with it and not have it coming closer or moving away from you. At high speed distance can be your friend as well..

Cars, Bicycles etc... He already has his subject picked out, others may not be of interest....

Dogs run around all over the place, and if you are not experiencedand quick enough you will easily miss the opertunity. Its is alsomore difficult to use a monopod with dogs.I have tried panning with my dog, and my results arent as good as theOP, but I am finding through practice they are getting better.I guess you also missed the part where I advised the OP to practicewith something a little easier, like a cycle, and at a close distance..

My point but I wasn't clear because of the sarcastic nature I presented. As I said above why assume the OP needs to go back to baby steps if you liked his shots already?.

Maybe you should show a few of your animal (or motorsport) panningshots to help us all who need assistance. Also please explain how youdid them if you have the data at hand.I will listen to advice off anyone, but would rather believe peoplewho have first hand experience and can show examples..

I'm a hobbiest not an ameture or pro and don't profess to have all the answers or be close to god in my photo skills. If you don't want to listen to my advice because I don't have a web site and flaunt my photography thats your business... I have given a lot of thought to motion blur and shared what I think might help knowing what I do know and I tried to present it in a way that applied to the OP's question without second guessing his skills..

A last question, I agree with you that a dog will be harder to shoot because it's unpredictable. Wouldn't moving closer to the subject (even though it would require moving the camera faster and creating more blur) make the shot even harder?.

Again I apologize for the sarcasm and for taking the thread off topic with banter......Dennis..

Comment #14

5D DjD wrote:.

I guess because I've fallen prey to this site, either folks takingover a thread with their own adjendas and to argue, others not addinganything constructive or just answers to questions that really haveno bearing on the OP's question. Unfortunatly that last one waswhere I felt the bulk of you post fit. I shouldn't have beensarcastic about it though and apologize for that... Since I was theone that said the slow speed of the dog made for less blur I assumedyou were addressing me which led to me replying to you..

I was not refering to you, but some people think because it is slow then it is easy to photograph. Quite a lot of people are full of good ideas, advice and critisism, but havent really had a go at it themsleves. I too have had remarks said about my posts, and people twist them to something they arent. Apology accepted .

But the OP actually took great shots and is just looking to kick itup a notch... Why send him back to learn how to walk when he'straining for the Olympics!.

Yes, he did take great shots, but sometimes you do have to go back a notch in order to progress. Admitting to yourself that there is room for improvement is the first step in realising that you can do better, becuase you can see where you have gone wrong, but may not know why..

Oh but cars do go 200 mph on the track, even those that go aroundcorners.Nascar the cars go well over 200 on the straights and record laptimes approach the 190's. Indy cars fastest qualifying lap speed isalmost 240mph for a man and almost 230mph for a woman... Top fueldragsters go in a straight line with top speeds in the 300's..

And I bet they are notoriously difficult to photograph..

A moving object going around a corner is a lot easier target becauseyou can pan with it and not have it coming closer or moving away fromyou. At high speed distance can be your friend as well..

I have also found that focusing on a predefined point, then panning the subject, pressing the shutter at this poin to be a help. Track racing allows for this. That way the only thing your concentrating on is shutter speed and aperture etc..

Cars, Bicycles etc... He already has his subject picked out, othersmay not be of interest....

Yes, they may not be of interest, but sometimes it's easier to photograph what is readily there before trying for that once in a lifetime shot. I have tried a little macro, and spent quite a while photographing a fork, I have no interests in forks, but it taught me a lot about depth of field, lighting etc..

My point but I wasn't clear because of the sarcastic nature Ipresented. As I said above why assume the OP needs to go back tobaby steps if you liked his shots already?.

I am not assuming that at all, if he is happy that he doesnt need any practice, but only advice on motion blur, then that is fine. I dont know his level of experience, so was only suggesting ways o that he may find useful..

I'm a hobbiest not an ameture or pro and don't profess to have allthe answers or be close to god in my photo skills. If you don't wantto listen to my advice because I don't have a web site and flaunt myphotography thats your business... I have given a lot of thought tomotion blur and shared what I think might help knowing what I do knowand I tried to present it in a way that applied to the OP's questionwithout second guessing his skills..

As I said, I will listen to any advice. You did give good advice to the OP, I am not disputing that. I could have echoed that, but what would the point be in that? So I tried to give a little more advice not connected to yours as such, but in addition..

A last question, I agree with you that a dog will be harder to shootbecause it's unpredictable. Wouldn't moving closer to the subject(even though it would require moving the camera faster and creatingmore blur) make the shot even harder?.

Yes it would be harder, because your camera movement will be faster still. But if the distance between you and the dog is shorter, and the distance between the dog and background farther then that will help to blur the background more, due to the dog appearing to move past it faster. If that makes sense? thats where practice comes in..

Again I apologize for the sarcasm and for taking the thread off topicwith banter......Dennis.

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Comment #15

Xavier77 wrote:.

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"Is it a bird? is it a plane?, no, it's Superdog!"..

Great photo, it still has loads of impact even though there is loads of motion blur. it looks like it's flying. It was a great opertunity spoilt by either not being 'quite' ready, and not knowing how your camera and equipment would perform. Its all to do with practice, and looking at your photo data to see where you went wrong. You WILL get there, but unfortunately may not get a photo quite as good as this with the perfect timing you had..

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Comment #16

HAHA, spot on..

I think it is all of the above, lucky shot to capture him in the air like that and unlycky not knowing anything about camera/photography/anything at all really. Added to this I fell right on my ass after this shot, the doggy is a bit to fast for me..

Great thanks for all your input...

Comment #17

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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