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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Panning on a tripod -- tips required...Had a play with panning on my tripod but found it awkward at best, in the same way as there ...
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Old 31-08-2005, 15:51   #1 (permalink)
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Panning on a tripod -- tips required

Had a play with panning on my tripod but found it awkward at best, in the same way as there is a definate technique to holding a camera is there the same for when mounted on a tripod?

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Old 31-08-2005, 15:53   #2 (permalink)
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Get a decent tripod would be an essential I would have thought.
I personally have a 15 quid cheapy Hama job, and have to have the resistance set perfectly if I wantd to use it while panning. The slightest too much / too little resistance resistance and it would bugger up the shot I think.

That said, I would have thought it's possible with ANY tripod, and that it all boils down to our old friend : practise, practise, practise.
 
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Old 31-08-2005, 16:00   #3 (permalink)
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I agree, but what I'm wondering about is what do I hold? The camera or the lever thingie?
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Old 31-08-2005, 16:07   #4 (permalink)
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Lever thingy and wired remote would be ideal I would have thought.
 
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Old 31-08-2005, 16:15   #5 (permalink)
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I've never panned on a tripod to be honest, I much prefer to do it handheld but it does require practice and it's easy to lose the knack, so it's never something you should take for granted.

The technique is much the same as a clay shooter would use for crossing targets...

Lets say the target (car?) is coming from your rignt. Position your feet so that your body and shoulders are pointing squarely at the area where you intend to take your shot. This is so you're not twisted from the waist and there'll be no strain involved at the crucial moment.

Now wind to the right from the waist without moving your feet, and pick up your target car early. Centre it in the viewfinder and keep it there as you unwind from the waist. This is far more natural than trying to follow the target with a push/pull technique using your arms, and far smoother as you're using your bodies own elasticity to provide the movement.

As the target reaches your pre-determined point, your feet and shoulders should be in a nice straight ahead position as you press the shutter.

It's absolutely vital that you don't stop your swing as you press the shutter, but keep swinging smoothly to the left. Stopping your swing with a racing car is likely to result in an empty frame as he'll be long gone, or you'll just have the back of the car in the shot.

If you're taking the car when it gets side on at an angle of 90 degrees, don't forget it will be crossing your field of view at it's fastest - much faster than when it was approaching at a sharper angle, and it's dead easy to get a shot of the empty space behind it if you stop your swing. Same with a nice fat cock pheasant.
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