Panning for Vehicle Photography Gold!

So you picked the perfect location for your vehicle photo shoot, everything went well and it looks like you have all the shots and angles you need to make the perfect addition to your portfolio.
Then it happens.
Your customer smiles, looks at you with wide eyes and asks...
"Can we do some motion shots?"
Your only response should be, "Hells yes!"
There are two common methods used to get the job done.

The idea here is to convey a sense of speed!  Standing in a stationary position, you need to stay focused on the vehicle as it passes by you, this will keep most of the subject in focus while allowing the background to blur. The closer the vehicle is to you, the faster you will have to pan your camera to keep up.  The end result will be more background blur. Here are some important steps to take in order to achieve this amazing look:

a picture of a motorcycle travelling left through the frame at a high rate of speed
  • try to find a road that has minimal traffic. This will help to avoid a unwanted vehicles getting into your frame.  It's also safer for you as the photographer, as your mind will be on the shoot and not on the traffic around you.
  • find a spot to stand just off of the road that your subject will be travelling.
  • if the vehicle you are shooting is coming around a bend, make sure you have an assistant with you to let you know when to shoot.
  • you can adjust your shutter speed to increase or decrease the amount of motion blur.
  • use the manual focus on your lens to preselect a focal distance and be sure to use your cameras burst mode.  The autofocus feature on most cameras just can't keep up.   

Shooting From a Moving Vehicle
By focusing on the car or bike in your frame, and keeping your shutter speed fairly slow (1/60s). You get the added bonus of built in blur, and the car will end up looking clearer.
This method is usually reserved for the pros or for those with suicidal tendencies!  The way to accomplish this photographic feat would be to have someone drive your vehicle ahead of the one you are shooting and match their speed, then hang out the window and blast away!
This will require a driver for your car, a sunroof for you to hang out of, and copious amounts of life insurance!!

Using motion in vehicle photography can produce some fantastic quality shots, and is one of my favourite things to do!
In a previous article on vehicle photography, I talk a bit more about what type of lenses that are the best to use, location and the angles to shoot at. Take a look at that, but don't forget to come back and leave your comments!!
If you enjoyed this article, let me know by clicking on the 'Like' button below!

No comments:

Post a Comment