PANNING SHOT IN HAVANA, CUBA
BY CONNIE TERRY
I just love this very well done panning shot by my friend and multiple tour participant Connie Terry. Connie has been with me to Spain and now Cuba, and I’ve really enjoyed not only traveling with her but also working with her on her photography skills, which are formidable, to say the least. I asked Connie to be a part of the Participant Showcase feature here on my blog because I’m well aware of her advanced photography skills, as well as her ability to do subtle but effective post-processing. As I’m sure you’ll agree, she really has a talent for image capture.
For those who aren’t familiar with the technique Connie is using here, “panning” has the photographer follow along with a moving subject so that the subject is clear (although in most cases it’s OK if it’s not tack sharp), but the background blurs and gives the viewer the sense of motion that was there, in this case her subject is a classic American taxi (an indisputable icon of Cuba) against Havana’s very distinct architecture. Connie told me that after much experimentation, which this and other new photography skills always require, she found that a relatively fast shutter speed of 1/50 second (at f/4.0 and ISO 400) was needed to accomplish this affect, and so the moving subject is in relative focus as she moves along with it, but the background blurs out.
Bonus: Another take on this would be to find an interesting background and then keep the camera steady (preferably on a tripod) and focused on it, but still to use a slower shutter speed. In this scenario the taxi would be blurred out and the background nice and sharp. This is just another way of showing the motion of a moving subject, although the one Connie chose here works fabulously.
Great work, Connie!
I came to Seal Beach, where I now live, by way of Ohio, Seattle, and Lancaster, CA. After a 20 year absence from photography, I fell back in love with it 5 years ago and have been working on improving my photographic and post-processing skills since then. I’ve retired from Boeing aircraft so I now have plenty of time to devote to it. I photograph a variety of subjects, but, my primary passion is travel photography. Whether traveling or shooting at home, I’ve discovered that taking pictures helps me to be more completely in the moment and helps me to see and more fully appreciate the beauty in life.
FOR MORE OF CONNIE’S WORK ONLINE
To see more of Connie’s work, visit her SmugMug site.
I’ve taken 2 trips with Ralph now, one to Spain and one to Cuba. He leads wonderful trips with a great mix of structured activities and plenty of free time to do your own thing. He is very knowledgeable in finding great locations for shooting as well as giving excellent technical advice. I can definitely recommend one of his tours for anyone whether they are interested in photography or not.
~ Connie Terry