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Subject: "Help with blur technique" Previous topic | Next topic
Sasquatch519 Registered since 26th Mar 2013Thu 28-Mar-13 02:20 PM
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"Help with blur technique"


US
          

I did some experimentation at a sporting event last night (before my hands got frozen...) with a blur technique. The idea is to use a slower shutter speed while tracking a subject by moving the camera so that the subject is in focus while everything else is blurred. I didn't really get to the point where I could determine my optimal shutter speed because I ran into a different problem: while the shutter is open, the eye piece is closed. (I assume this is to prevent light from entering through the eye piece and messing up the image.) So I found myself guessing where the subject was as he moved.

Has anyone tried this technique and have any tips?


Nikon D5100
AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
SB-700 AF Speedlight

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Thu 28-Mar-13 09:34 PM
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#1. "RE: Help with blur technique"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi John,

The technique is called "Panning".
The reason the viewfinder is going dark is the mirror must go up before the shutter opens and goes back down after the shutter closes.
As you have learned panning requires a great deal of practice to master and even then the keeper rate is not very high.
Try using Shutter priority mode and start with a shutter speed of 1/30th sec. and adjust from there. I would also use Continuous AF-C AF mode and a single AF point.
VR should be helpful too. Keep your movement as smooth as possible and in one plane.

Try tracking your subjects motion while the AF system focuses, once the subject is in focus continue panning and gently squeeze the shutter release button while continuing to pan through the release.
Then Practice, Practice, Practice.....

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sun 31-Mar-13 04:52 PM
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#2. "RE: Help with blur technique"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 31-Mar-13 04:58 PM by blw

Richmond, US
          

Panning is a very common technique. It's practiced by pretty much anyone shooting motorsports, as just one example. If you're turning the shutter speed down so slow that you can't really see out of the lens, you've gone too far. (The reason for this is that the mirror flips up to allow the light to go to the shutter. The light either goes to the viewfinder or to the shutter, but not both.) In practice, a panning shutter speed of 1/15th is slow enough to get a very dramatic effect, and even that requires precision technique and/or some good luck. Depending on other factors such as how far you are from the subject, and how fast - and what type of motion - the subject has, even 1/160th or 1/200th can provide quite a bit of panning excitement. Some examples:



This was 1/30th, and I think you'd agree that the background is quite blurred.



This one was shot at 1/160th, and not even with a particularly long lens (100mm or so). At 400mm, this would have been quite a dramatic pan.

In other sports and with other types of motion, you can get a more complex situation. For example:



This was 1/60th, and you can see that there is quite a bit of motion blur in various directions. In fact, it looks like I didn't even get the pan right - but look at his belt, which is where the focus point was. It's reasonably sharp, but almost nothing else is. In particular, the background is blurred, and so are his feet. On the other hand, I caught the runner at an instant where his hands were about to change direction, so were virtually motionless with regard to the camera.

At any of these shutter speeds, you'll be able to see through the viewfinder well enough to track the subject. I also think that if you dial in (say) two seconds, you'll have a VERY difficult time tracking the subject accurately enough, even if you had full access to the display, as one might with some of the advanced P&S cameras.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)

  

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Sasquatch519 Registered since 26th Mar 2013Tue 02-Apr-13 03:03 PM
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#3. "RE: Help with blur technique"
In response to Reply # 2


US
          

Thanks for the tips guys. Sounds like I need to keep practicing. But it's reassuring to know that it's a hard technique that involves a little luck.


Nikon D5100
AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
SB-700 AF Speedlight

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 03-Apr-13 05:47 AM
26751 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#4. "RE: Help with blur technique"
In response to Reply # 3


Richmond, US
          

A 1/250th, it's not very hard at all, and definitely there's no luck involved at that sort of speed. In fact, it's pretty much like shooting ducks in a barrel. At 1/8th sec, the story is very different. I probably shoot 100-150 frames and expect to get one or two to use. I don't have the experience that the pros have - they do 15 race weekends in a year; I've probably only done 15 race weekends. I'm sure some of them are much more adept than I am at the slower shutter speeds.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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Forums Lobby GET TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA & MASTER IT Nikon D5300/D5200/D5100/D5000/D3300/D3200/D3100/D3000 (Public) topic #7920 Previous topic | Next topic


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