Learn How to Shoot Great Action Photos While Panning with Your Camera (Video)

David Bergman is a top sports photographer, and in this two-minute tutorial he demonstrates how to convey motion in action photos by “panning” with your camera. The technique involves moving the camera at the same speed as your subject, with the goal of keeping the subject sharp while creating a blurred effect in the background.

Panning is easy to do effectively, once you learn the simple tricks in the video below. Bergman begins by explaining how to set a proper shutter speed to create the best result, noting that if the shutter speed is too fast, both the subject and background will be relatively sharp (see image below). The “correct” setting depends upon how fast your subject is moving.

Once you’ve selected the proper shutter speed, either in the camera’s Manual or Shutter Priority mode, the next step is to set your camera for Continuous AF, so accurate focus is maintained as you shoot several bursts while the subject moves across the frame.

Bergman also discusses lens choice, and explains why a telephoto focal length typically works best. Panning does require a bit of patience and practice, but once you nail the technique you’ll be rewarded with great images

You can find more helpful videos on the AdoramaTV YouTube channel, and be sure to watch an earlier Bergman tutorial we posted, with simple tips for better outdoor portraits.