I love the photographic effect created when panning the camera. And with the NYC marathoners running just a block from my home, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to use this technique. You have to take many shots to gain just a few good ones and when you get a really great one you are overjoyed. Well, this is true for me in the present phase of my photographic journey.
I started photographing the typically expected pan of just the runners. Even with the marathoners rapid pace, I managed to capture some interesting photos. My shutter speed was set to 1/15 of a second which created a beautiful swirling motion of their legs and shot in manual mode to have more control over the camera. On my next "panning adventure", I am going to experiment using different shutter speeds to see the various effects that can be achieved.
Interesting graphic shadow silhouettes were created on the pavement with the angle of the sun on the backs of the runners.
Running seems to be a lot about the gear and of course the sneakers. Colorful combinations were whizzing by me. I thought it would be interesting to capture the movement of the running shoes. I practically laid on the ground aiming and panning just their feet. I got some interesting effects that I was quite pleased with. Below is a detail of one of those photos.
See my WORK page and click "Marathon Run" for complete photo.
I remember the days of “Fotomat”, a tiny kiosk where you dropped off your roll of film and then waited for it to be developed. I mostly used Kodak color film, ISO 100 with 36 frames. You were real careful and cognizant of what you were photographing as every click cost you money.
Shooting digital gives me the opportunity to experiment with different types of techniques without that expense. I would have been much more cautious back then and don’t know how willing my pocketbook would have been to try new things. That’s one of the reasons I love digital photography. But even with that being said, I think I am becoming more mindful of every click. I’m using just a little more thinking and strategy before releasing the shutter, and in doing so, I think it's helping me improve my photographic skills.