Pan Blur

Pan Blur 1/15th second

Pan Blur gives a static image a sense of motion. This technique works well if you follow a few basic tips. First you need a subject that is moving in a linear line, runner, bike rider, horse, roller derby, etc… Then you need a simple background that will create a streaky blur. So avoid skies or changing backgrounds. A line of trees, field of grass or race track, for example work well. I highly recommend using a tripod so you can pan the camera in a smooth motion.

My technique consists of using shutter priority and setting a shutter speed that is slow enough to allow enough time for me to pan the camera with the subject. The key is to focus on the subject and then move with them as they move. The longer shutter speed creates a blurred background, giving a sense of motion. The subject will rarely be sharply in focus unless you are using a computer controlled unit, like they do in advertising, use Photoshop techniques or get very lucky!

Pan Blur 1/20th second

I start with a shutter speed of 1/15th and go slower from there. There is a lot of trial and error and you need to take a lot of shots to get a few good ones. So keep trying! Next up is zoom blur.

Pan Blur 1/15th second