Posts tagged “panning

A morning at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

A couple of weeks ago, I walked with a friend down to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.  Canada geese were massed along the Bow River in and around the cold water. Flights of these birds came in and out all morning.

I dragged the shutter and panned with the birds as they flew past to create blur and lend motion to the images.

A very enjoyable couple of hours went by and then my friend had to leave.  I elected to stay and walked down the iced over path that parallels the Bow along the eastern edge of the bird sanctuary.

A young stag trotted along the rocky beach right in front of me at one point.  He stopped for a few seconds out of mild curiosity before skipping around the corner and quickly going out of sight.

An immature bald eagle alighted in a tree across the water a few hundred meters away.  It was watching the geese that congregated near the water intently.  After half an hour it launched into the air, crossed the river and flew directly overhead.  I love eagles so this was a highlight of the morning for me despite the somewhat harsh lighting.

The day was close to noon by then and I headed towards the ponds.  A couple of magpies were making a terrific racket which drew my attention.  Looking in the dense stand of trees I spied a great horned owl calmly perched a couple of meters off the ground.  She stayed mostly oblivious to the angry birds and they soon moved on.  I returned to check on the owl a couple of times in the afternoon but she was napping for the most part so I didn’t photograph much.  It was unseasonably warm so I enjoyed spending time with the owl with no expectation for more.

 


Californian wave forms

Wave flow - 2013 © Christopher Martin

I woke to a grey morning on the Pacific earlier this week.  As the sun rose, its light diffused across the dull silver clouds and carried on to the waves rolling in.  In these images I stretched some of these waves out with longer exposures (1/30 to 1/2 seconds) and swung the camera around a bit just to play with the idea a bit more.

Wave form 2013 © Christopher Martin-1787

Rip curl -  2013 © Christopher Martin-1798

Amid the abstract work, a few seals skimmed by.  One of these glided inside a wave as it rolled into shore – which was fantastic to watch.  I hope to share images from those encounters as well as a few with Brown pelicans from the same morning soon.

Seal wave - 2013 © Christopher Martin-2534


Canada Goose Flight

Geese takeoff - © Christopher Martin-3200

At Inglewood in November, I spent a few hours along the river watching and photographing the mass of birds that congregate on the rocky islets in the middle of the water each night.  I was down there in the morning to watch them takeoff, heading out for another day foraging on the prairie.  The vast majority of the birds were Canada goose flocks, followed by Mallard ducks and then small numbers of a wide variety of other species.  I really enjoy watching both the Canadas and the Mallards taking flight.  The geese run along the water once they get up above the water, before they are fully airborne.  Here, I used a lower ISO and smaller aperture (200 and f/11, respectively) to get a shutter speed on 1/30th of a second.


Running with the Kolea

Running Kolea - © Christopher Martin-5198

I photographed a pair of Pacific Golden Plover, called Kolea in Hawaiian, in the grasses near our hotel this morning.  They scuttled about the grass in the same fashion as I had observed them skip over rocks along the shoreline last year on a beach further north here in Kaua’i.  In the photograph above, I panned the camera while one of the birds ran nearby.


Motion Pictures: Trains, Horses, Buses and Blurs

I love to show movement in my photographs.  One of my favourite techniques to achieve this is to pan with my subject as it moves in front of me.  I like the effect of the blurred elements stretching and wrapping around a train, horse or any number of other things in motion.  The actual shooting is great fun too and I enjoy interacting with the scene to create the image I have in mind.

Standing on a street corner, a forest’s edge or along the fence at a rodeo, I will slow my shutter speed down either by using a smaller aperture or lowering my camera’s ISO setting.  With the camera ready, I then focus on the subject in motion and shoot it as goes.  When the panning of the camera matches the speed of the train, animal or athlete, the subject will remain sharp while the static elements and those moving in another direction or at a different speed will blur.

It is this blurring that frames the subject and creates the sense of speed. I like to play with the shutter speed to adjust how much blur there is and to affect how sharp the subject is.  An abstract quality can be found in some images where the details are soft allowing patterns and colors to step ahead of the subject in importance.

There are numerous techniques to improve the success rate of sharp subject’s in a motion blur image including keeping the camera parallel to the subject’s path, starting to shoot as the vehicle approaches and following through as it passes, locking arms, shoulders, knees and feet and pivoting at the hips and many more.  I try to practice these and incorporate as many as possible when I am panning.

The results can be really interesting and create compelling images.  The web is your friend for specific details on these and many other ways to pan effectively.  It is worth mentioning that while the slower the longer the shutter speed, the harder it is to keep the subject sharp, the payoff can be more interesting blur and consequently a more dynamic image.  I often set my shutter speed as low as 1/10 of a second, which can result in more misses (blurry, unusable pictures) but when everything comes together there is a chance for something magical.

If you have an interest, give it a try and see if you like the photographs you create.  It can be a great way to see a common scene in a new way or to pass a few minutes waiting for the bus.  I would love to see any results you would like to share.


Canada Goose Landing Blur

Guy Tal is an excellent photographer whose writing I find to often be inspirational and always thought provoking.  He is currently running a series of weekly photography contests  with the first theme being Natural Abstracts.   This is the image that first came to mind when I was reading the outline for the contest.  I photographed this Canada Goose landing on a small pond in Bragg Creek, Alberta on May 1st, 2008.  Much like this year, the winter had held a tight grip until the middle of April so the brown hues in the image are due to the still dormant greens of spring leaving the trees bare and the dark earth uncovered.  I have photographed many Canada Geese but this panning image is a favourite for the energy in the landing and the color palette matching the bird’s coloring with the environment around it.


Motion: A train rolls through Banff National Park

Two 4400 horsepower diesel-electric locomotives (GE AC4400CW is the model of both trains if anyone is interested) lead a convoy of freight cars past the Third Vermilion Lake heading west through the Banff National Park.

A photograph created by using a slower shutter speed (here 1/13 sec.) and then panning with the train to keep the engines in focus and blur the surrounding landscape.  This joins the images that chronicle my long running love of things in motion!


The C Train in Motion

Here, I panned with the one of Calgary’s C Train cars as it moved out of downtown towards the southern reaches of the line.  I used a longer exposure, 1/4 of a second, to really stretch the lines of light and dark in background.  Usually I pan the trains at between 1/10 and 1/20 of a second as that allows for decent blur streaks in the background and achieving a sharp subject (the train or sometimes its occupants).  Longer exposures can end up a blurry mess quite easily.  In this image, my panning matched the train’s movement pretty well so outline at the front of the vehicle is clearly that of a train.  Not sharp but I think there is a good balance between the background blur and the lines and edges of the train.  I think there is a lot of movement in this photo which was my intent.


Calgary’s C-Train Commute

Working with a slow shutter speed, I wanted to see what kind of detail I could of the commuters riding into the downtown core on one of Calgary’s light rail transit trains.  For this image I panned with the train as it sped past, trying to pivot quick enough to briefly match the rail car’s velocity.  The goal being to capture the detail inside the train while blurring the scenery outside.  This technique has been applied to all types of motion by many photographers and creates an interesting effect.

 

 

Click on the image for a larger version

 

Exposure details: 1/13 second, f/4.0 at ISO 400 using a Canon 1D Mark III with 70-200 lens at 200mm.


Cruising in style

A neighbor has this lovely old hot rod that he’s brought up to show condition.  He takes it out for a cruise now and then.  Here is one of the photos I’ve made as he rolls past.

The blur is created by using a slow shutter speed on the camera and then panning with the car as it drives by.  Here, the shutter is set to 1/8 seconds using a 300mm lens on my Canon 1D Mark III.

 

In this second image, I have softened edges in the image to play up the painterly quality of this motion blur.  In Adobe Lightroom, I reduced the clarity to -84, set sharpening to 0, and adjusted noise reduction (luminance 100, detail 0 and contrast 0).  A different look, I’m going to print both to see which I like more.