MASTER PANNING TECHNIQUES
Discover the simple process for creating a distinct collection of images with an abstract sense of place
1 FIND A LOCATION
coastal views work well because there are defined bands of colour created by the beach, the sea and the sky. During spring, yellow oilseed rape against blue sky would work brilliantly. same with poppy fields in the summer.
2 LEVEL AND SQUARE
The camera needs to be perfectly level and square so you record parallel bands of colour. use a hotshoe spirit level or your camera’s internal electronic level. Also check the tripod head is level using its bull’s eye bubble.
3 SLOWLY DOES IT
use a shutter speed of 0.5-2secs to get the streaky effect. To achieve this, set the camera to aperture priority exposure mode and stop the lens down as far as you need to – in bright conditions you may need an nD filter.
Loosen the horizontal lock on the tripod head so the camera swings freely from left to right. Move the camera to the left, start panning smoothly to the right and fire the shutter as you’re panning. Keep panning after the shutter closes.
5 VARY YOUR APPROACH
The results may be a little jerky to begin with, but you’ll soon get the hang of it. As well as left-to-right pans, you can try right to left and also vary the speed of the pan so you get more or less streaking.
6 FINISHING TOUCHES
Back home, download the RAW files to your computer and process them in Photoshop or Lightroom. Adjust clarity to boost contrast and vibrance to make the colours stronger – all the way to +100 if necessary.