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on Jul 16, 2014 in Aviation

The Panning Test of Tests

Panning is such an essential tool in photography. It doesn’t matter if you photograph rocks or rabbits, stamps or sports, there is some point when capturing THE photo requires a solid panning technique. I have written many, many times about it and posted a few videos because I feel it is for many a difficult or lost art in photography. I pride myself on my panning skills, I practice them over and over again yet there are times even I feel that my panning is simply not up to par.

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Well last week I had an opportunity to see if I could walk the walk and I did the talk. I had a very special, kinda one person airshow up close and personal with a P-40E Warhawk and FM-2 Wildcat. Standing on a hill, I had flybys of formation and single aircraft and they were anything but standing still. Shooting with the D4s / 80-400VR3 I planted myself on the rise and waited for the aircraft. Knowing where they were coming from, knowing how close they would be to me (which directly effect how fast you have to twist to keep them in the viewfinder) and where they would be going, I set my feet to twist and pan. They were hauling ass, no if, and or buts about it! And I missed more shots than I would have liked. Worst thing, I used a faster shutter speed than I wanted to because I knew by what I was seeing in the viewfinder they were kicking my butt. That only means one thing, I gotta get better and that means more practice. So, if your technique isn’t where you want it, you’re not alone because mine isn’t either. It’s a challenge, a good challenge that can only make our photography better if we keep at it.