Stop Them In Their Tracks!
There are thousands planning on witnessing the great Dak flyover the UK and Normandy the 6th. You’re privileged to witness history and have a responsibility to share that with us all through your photography. Stopping those flying Gooney requires panning to bring back the sharp images. Panning can only get better with practice, lots of practice! Unlike most other things in photography, if you need great panning tomorrow and you don’t have it today, you are screwed! Start practicing now so you are reay for the 6th. Here’s how.
It starts by making proper hand-holding second nature so you start by practicing this technique, every day! I literally have a camera in my hand every day set to Manual, 1/20 (I practice with the D5 / 180-400VR at 400mm) focusing on and shooting items in the office getting a sharp photo. It just takes five minutes but it makes a difference. Then as often as I can during the week, I practice my panning photographing our dog Sadie as she runs around the property (currently practicing with Z6 / 70-200f4). I know this sounds really silly and I’m sure it looks even sillier if you were to watch me, but practicing and perfecting that muscle memory permits me to use this incredibly important tool whenever I need it.
Bird flight and aircraft in the air are my classic examples of needing panning. The Mustang shot above, I was using a fast shutter speed for me, 1/50 while shooting the launch. While the Mustang is sharp, the background is not as blurred as I wanted. Knowing my own goof-ups, in the rush to get the shot (I was in Shutter Priority), I probably changed the shutter speed when I was lowering my exp comp and didn’t notice I hit the Shutter Speed in the process. But this just illustrates the importance of practicing panning because while I was messing with those controls, I was able to get a sharp image. Below is my video on panning basics. Remember to practice, practice, practice making panning a successful New Year’s Resolution!