The skill of panning photography is going to take every ounce of patience you have. Almost every person I have talked to about this type of photography has told me that it wasn’t until they saw that “one cool photo” that they had that “AHA!” moment. I was 13 when I stumbled upon this. Yes, stumbled−sometimes ignorance is bliss−and as a 13-year-old trying to freeze images with high shutter speeds, my lack of knowledge produced an image that gave me some ideas.
Back then our family had a miniature poodle named Brandy. He was a bolt of white lightning when he ran out the backyard. One afternoon I was trying to freeze the dog’s motion for photography class with little success. After a roll of film and a tired dog that was fed up with my Milk-Bone bribery, I discovered that I could freeze part the dog yet have the background blurred.
This latchkey kid would now have a couple hours each day to work on getting this image perfected. Dozens of film rolls, a couple boxes of dog treats, and a few extra pounds on Brandy later, I got the shot…a dog, head and body in focus, legs a little blurred, mid stride, hovering over the blurred ground…“AHA!” From my personal trials and tribulations, here are a few tips I put together to hopefully take your keepers from one out of five hundred to one out of one hundred.