Panning with different shutter speeds

Panning with different shutter speeds

This exercise was practiced using a car repeatedly driving forward down a quiet road. The car was driving around twelve miles per hour. I used the same car and scene to make the images easier to compare and to achieve a more consistent set of results. I set the camera on a tripod and loosened the head so as to be able to move the camera in a panoramic fashion. I hoped for a cloudy day to minimise reflections and highlights and to enable me to shoot at slower shutter speeds without running the risk of over-exposure.

I used a Nikon 18-200mm lens, a tripod, a shutter release remote and a neutral density filter. I shot twelve images with shutter speeds ranging from 1/2000s to a one second exposure. The shutter speed was lessened by four stops with each image and was compensated for by contracting the aperture or lowering the ISO. I used a neutral density filter on the last two images (1/2s and 1”) to correct the exposure. I flicked between cloudy and shady white balance depending on the nature of the light.

I have labelled each image with the shutter speed used from fastest to slowest. The settings are as follows:

Shutter speed – 1/2000s
ISO – 640
Aperture – f/5.6

The car in this image does not appear to be moving at all. The image is completely focused and sharp and has frozen every moving part in the image. The same also applies to the next two images.

Shutter speed – 1/1000s
ISO – 100
Aperture – f/5.6

Shutter speed – 1/500s
ISO – 100
Aperture – f/6.3

Shutter speed – 1/250s
ISO – 100
Aperture – f/9

If you look very closely, you can see that the wheel hubs and the edge of the tyres on the car are starting to blur only very slightly, almost un-noticeable. The background is also starting to suffer from motion blur. The image is correctly exposed. The same applies to the next image although slightly under-exposed.

 

Shutter speed – 1/125s
ISO – 100
Aperture – f/13

Shutter speed – 1/60s
ISO – 100
Aperture – f/18


Shutter speed – 1/30s
ISO – 100
Aperture – f/25

You can really begin to see that the car is moving now as the wheels and the background adopt some motion blur. A correctly exposed image.

Shutter speed – 1/15s
ISO – 100
Aperture – f/25

The car is quite sharp and focused in this image while the background is very blurred resulting in a strong suggestion of speed. This is probably the best result.


Shutter speed – 1/8s
ISO – 100
Aperture – f/32

The background is now streaking through the image quite dramatically and the wheels are very blurred. The car is a little blurred but is by far the sharpest thing in the image.

Shutter speed – 1/4s
Aperture – f/32
ISO – 100

Well framed as slightly sharper than the previous image.

Shutter speed -1/2s
ISO – 100
Aperture – f/32
Neutral density filter

This is my favourite image in terms of aesthetics. I like the image as it portrays a sense of erratic movement, it is almost unpredictable. I find the impressionistic effect very appealing.

Shutter speed – 1 “
ISO – 100
Aperture – f/32
Neutral density filter

After looking at this image you can clearly see the difference between the fastest and the slowest shutter speeds and what each of them conveys.


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