Panning: A Photography Technique to Capture Striking Images of Moving Subjects

Have you seen a picture where the background is blur but the moving subject/object appears sharp and in focus? Well, the photographer has used the ‘Panning’ technique to create such an eye-catching image!

Here’s everything you need to know about Panning.

What is Panning in Photography

Panning in Photography

For Panning, you have to move your DSLR Camera along with the moving subject that you are photographing.:

Some of the Examples of Moving Objects/Subjects for Panning:

  • A Moving Vehicle
  • A Skateboarder
  • A Runner/Jogger
  • A Motorcyclist

How to Use Panning when shooting with your DSLR Camera

Go for Shutter Priority Mode

Since Panning is all about Motion/Moving Subjects, Shutter Speed is of utmost importance here. So, set your DSLR on Shutter Priority Mode; the Camera will accordingly set the Aperture and ISO to achieve the Correct Exposure.

Move along with your Subject

Start moving with your subject & ensure that the speed at which you are moving your DSLR should match with the speed at which your subject is passing by your frame.

Panning in Photography

Wait for the right moment to capture the perfect shot – Click the photograph only when your subject is parallel to your camera.

This way, the subject will be in Focus whereas the Background will Blur.

Use Slow Shutter Speed

You’ll have to use Slow Shutter Speed so that the shutter remains open for a longer time. Since you’ll be following your subject in the viewfinder, it will keep the subject in the same part of the picture making the subject appear sharp; due to the camera movement – the background will blur.

The recommended Shutter Speed is between 1/30 sec and 1/125 sec depending on the speed of your subject.

Panning in Photography

Play with your camera settings till you get the desired shot. If everything in the photograph including the subject appears blur, then increase the shutter speed; and in images where the background is not blur – reduce the shutter speed.

Keep adequate Distance between You & your Subject

If you are very close to your subject, your Camera lens may not be able to Focus on the subject due to the distance being shorter than the minimum focusing distance.

Use Advanced Setting: Automatic Focus

AI Servo AF Canon

Switch on the AI Servo (for a Canon DSLR) & AF-C (for a Nikon DSLR). This tracking mode enables you to continuously focus on your subject as it moves across the frame.

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Panning with the help of practical examples.

Panning Photography

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How to Use Foreground Composition to Give a 3D Feel to your Photos

Ever wonder how some people manage to click aesthetically pleasing pictures? Well, the answer is quite simple – they use Composition rules/techniques to creatively arrange the various elements present in the scene which instantly draws the viewer’s attention.

We’ve explained Composition techniques like Rule of Thirds, Centred Composition, Leading Lines, Fill the Frame, Pattern & Texture, Rule of Odds, Colour Theory, Frame within a Frame, Simplicity & Minimalism, Rule of Space, Left to Right Rule, Isolate the Subject & Negative Space Composition in our previous blogs. Now, it’s time to move on to the next Composition technique – Foreground Interest & Depth.

What is Foreground in Photography

The Foreground consists of anything that lies between you and your subject.

Foreground in Photography

Look at the above image of the Waterfall

The Rocks in front of the waterfall form the Foreground in the scene.

When to use Foreground Composition in Photography

Foreground in Photography

You can ideally use Foreground Composition while capturing Landscapes, Waterscapes or Seascapes.

What can you use as a Foreground in Photography

  • Rocks in front of a Stream
  • Small Flowers/Plants/Grass in the Mountain area
  • Fossils/Pebbles/Shells on an Island/Beach
  • Fallen Leaves in the Woods

Foreground in Photography

In the above pic, a Moving Boat in front of the Waterfall was used as a Foreground.

Reasons why you should use Foreground Composition in Photography

  • To give a 3D Feel to your Images/ To create a Layered Image
  • To add a sense of depth to your scene
  • It gives the viewer the feeling of being physically present at the photographed place
  • So that the colour, texture, pattern & shape of the foreground object enhances the photo’s visual impact

Take a look at the below image of the Rainbow Falls in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya where the Rocks served as the Foreground Interest

Foreground in Photography

And a picture with a Riverside Setting in Meghalaya where the Rocks & the Stationed Boats form the Foreground

Foreground in Photography

Now, take a look at the below images of these places – the Image on the Left is without any Foreground & the Image on the Right with a Foreground

Foreground in Photography

Foreground in Photography

  • In both the above images, you clearly notice that the Images on the Left (without any Foreground) are FLAT Images whereas the Images on the Right (with a Foreground) are more appealing due to the 3D Feel & sense of depth.

Protips:

  • Look for Natural Objects in the Surroundings that can serve as the Foreground Interest
  • Use Wide Angle Lens to capture all the elements in the scene
  • Try lowering your camera angle or adjust the angle in such a way that you are able to include the Foreground Object, inside the frame.

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Foreground Interest & Depth with the help of practical examples.

Foreground in Photography

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How Using Negative Space in Photography will Reward You with Amazing Photos

The Secret to Creating Expressive Pictures is using Composition Techniques!

Well, we’ve already seen Rule of Thirds, Centred Composition, Leading Lines, Fill the Frame, Pattern & Texture, Rule of Odds, Colour Theory, Frame within a Frame, Simplicity & Minimalism, Rule of Space, Left to Right Rule & Isolate the Subject in our earlier blogs. Now, let’s understand Negative Space Composition.

What is Negative Space in Photography

An Image comprises of the Subject and its Surroundings. The Subject is the Positive Space while the White/Blank/Empty Space surrounding the subject is called the Negative Space.

How to Use Negative Space to Create a Positive Impact on your Photos   

Heard of the phrase – Less is More? Well, it applies in case of Negative Space Composition.

Take a look at the below photograph of a Spider

Negative Space

  • The White Wall acts as the White/Negative Space.
  • While clicking the snap, Focus was set on the Spider.
  • Since there are no distractions in the scene, it draws our attention to every little detail of the spider – the colours, the shape and so on.

Here’s a photograph of 2 Fishermen

Negative Space

  • The River surrounding the fishermen forms the Negative Space.
  • When we look at this picture which was taken in the early morning hours, the Water seems to have a Calming Effect on Us.
  • The picture depicts the Morning Mood as these Fishermen set out in search of fishes.

Check out the pic of the Iconic Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai

Negative Space

  • The gigantic Burj Al Arab is the subject in the photo.
  • The beautifully lit up Sky acts as the Blank/Empty Space.
  • This setting gives the subject, Burj Al Arab, Space to Breathe.

Here’s a picture of a Flower

Negative Space

  • The Flower was captured using the Rule of Thirds Composition which gave way to plenty of Negative Space in the image.
  • Focus was set on the Flower; hence the Background appears Blur.
  • The scene focuses our attention on the Flower.

Below is another example of Negative Space with Blurred Background: Image of a Grasshopper

Negative Space

Take a look at the below photograph of a Buddha Statue

Negative Space

  • The Negative Space around the Buddha Statue makes the picture very attractive.
  • It creates a sense of Minimalism & Simplicity allowing us to focus on the Buddha Statue which evokes a Feeling of Tranquillity.

Well, above is only a Guideline…Photography is all about Experimenting & Developing your Creativity Skills your way…

Protips:

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Negative Space with the help of practical examples.

Negative Space

Keywords: Basics of Photography, Composition, DSLR Photography for Beginners, DSLR Photography Tutorials, learn DSLR Photography, Negative Space

Isolating the Subject is the Trick to Capturing Eye-Catching Photos

Did your well-composed photos earn the appreciation of fellow photographers? You might have experimented with Rule of Thirds, Centred Composition, Leading Lines, Fill the Frame, Pattern & Texture, Rule of Odds, Colour Theory, Frame within a Frame, Simplicity & Minimalism, Rule of Space & Left to Right Rule. Now, let’s understand Isolate the Subject Composition.

How to Use Isolate the Subject

First of all, when should you Isolate the Subject? Well, when you intend to focus all the attention of the viewer to your subject.

Check out the below picture of Hot Chocolate…tantalising, isn’t it?

Isolate the Subject

  • A wide Aperture of f4.5 was used to blur the background
  • Zoom lens of 34 mm was used
  • Both of the above isolated the subject (Hot Chocolate) which in turn help us to focus on the subject.

The below photograph was taken on a Diwali night!

Isolate the Subject

  • A wide Aperture of f5.6, Shutter Speed of 1/40 sec, ISO of 3200 were used
  • Zoom lens of 55 mm was used
  • The background is pitch-dark which instantly draws your eyes towards the earthen lamps

Take a look at the below photograph of a Grey Bush Chat in Binsar, Uttarakhand.

Isolate the Subject

Here’s a picture of a Coppersmith Barbet…

Isolate the Subject

And a snap of a Seashell taken at Ladghar Beach

Isolate the Subject

  • In all of the above 3 pics, wide Aperture was used
  • The blurred background is less distracting
  • The above two resulted in Shallow Depth of Field which makes the subject stand out in the photograph

Protips:

  • Go for a plain & uncluttered background
  • If the background is cluttered or contains unimportant things, if possible, physically move things out of the shot.
  • Keep your subject in focus & blur the background by using wide aperture
  • Move closer to the subject or use a zoom lens

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Isolate the Subject with the help of practical examples.

Isolate the Subject

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Rule of Space & Left to Right Rule: Photographic Composition Techniques

Want to create amazing photographs? Then, experiment with different composition guidelines which include Rule of Thirds, Centred Composition, Leading Lines, Fill the Frame, Pattern & Texture, Rule of Odds, Colour Theory, Frame within a Frame, Simplicity & Minimalism and many more.

How & Why to Use Rule of Space Composition

We all need our space, isn’t it? So do the subjects in our photographs!

Well, Rule of Space means when you’re photographing your subject, there should be more space in front of it than behind it.

For instance, if your subject is placed on the left side of the frame & is facing towards the right. Then, go for Rule of Space Composition – so that it gives you a feeling that your subject is facing into the frame & not out of it.

Another example is when you’re taking a picture of a moving object.

Take a look at the below photograph of the Camel Cart which was taken at the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat.

Rule of Space

And here’s a picture of a Boat in the Sea.

Left to Right

You’ll notice that in both the photographs, there is more space in the frame for the Camel Cart/ Boat to move into.

  • As a viewer, we tend to look forward to where our subject is heading. If the camel cart/boat was at the right hand side of the frame, it would lead us out of  the photograph.
  • We can mentally picture that the boat is moving into the space ahead as it sails along the sea.
  • It gives continuity in the picture.

What is Left to Right Rule & Why to Use it

They say that ‘We read an image from Left to Right’ & for this reason – any motion depicted in a picture should flow from left to right.

Left to Right

In the above still, you will see the people & the camel cart moving from the left to the right of the frame.

And check out the truck in the below pic which starts from the left side of the frame and heads towards the right side of the frame.

Left to Right

  • Both the snaps are easy on the eyes.
  • They are pleasant to look at, as we are used to read/look at an image from left to right rather than from right to left.

Well, above is only a guideline…if you’re of the opinion that Right to Left Rule appeals to you, then go ahead & experiment.

After all, Photography is an Art & ART HAS NO RULES.

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Rule of Space & Left to Right Rule with the help of practical examples.

Left to Right

Keywords: Basics of Photography, Composition, DSLR Photography for Beginners, DSLR Photography Tutorials, learn DSLR Photography, Left to Right Rule, Rule of Space