Motorsports / Panning

Over the weekend a friend was telling me about how she attended a motorsports event and how she used the opportunity to practice her panning technique.  We talked briefly about the difficulty of timing and how it really does take practice.  Once you get the hang of it, though, it’s really pretty easy and makes for some pretty cool looking photos.  This reminded of some shots that I took several years ago when I shot at Formula Drift in Seattle (probably 2006).  Back then I did a lot of shooting at events and functions, but had very little experience in motorsports, so, like my friend, it was a great chance to practice my panning.  After a couple of car runs in the morning of the event, I pretty much settled on shutter speeds ranging from 1 sec to 1/30 sec to maximize the blur effect of the foreground and background, to convey the sense of speed.  But my aperture was pretty small (physically, high number-wise) considering it was a sunny day.

Here are a couple shots from several years ago.  The blur is from panning and not any post processing.

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