As I mentioned in a previous post railroadforums.com‘s advanced topics challenge this month is ‘creative panning’. To create a contest entry I shot quite a few photos through the month of June. I ended up with about a half dozen I really liked and now I’ve posted my favorite from the month in the contest gallery. If you are a rrf.com member, please make sure you vote for your favorite image when Leia releases the poll next week.
In my previous post I mentioned some items that I had learned while experimenting. At the end of the month here’s my favorite tips on panning.
- Use a tripod. The tripod helps with some of the unwanted vertical motion blur. Of course you still have to keep up with the train as it moves across the scene!
- Shutter speed I found had to be regulated by train speed. Generally trains moving 20 m.p.h. or slower need a 1/10th second shutter speed or slower to capture decent motion. From there 1/15th second worked well up to around 35 m.p.h. and speeds above that worked well with 1/20th, 1/30th, and 1/40th of a second.
- Use tracking focus (called AI Servo on Canon gear) to continually refocus as the train moves by the camera.
- Take plenty of photos and throw away those that are not focused or panned just right.
Besides the one I posted at rrf.com here’s a few of my other favorites.