Taking panning shots is a good way to emphasize speed. If can take a bit of practice to get the shots sharp where you want them to be, but rewarding when you get a final cool shot
Toronto Street Car Moving at Speed
The settings and steps I recommend are below...


Lens: A wide lens with a good autofocus is best. This is because the camera will need to constantly update the focus. I will explain further below. The lens I use is the Canon 24-105mm as it has a good range and a Supersonic Focus Speed.


Camera Mode: Shutter Priority (TV Canon, A Nikon)

Shutterspeed: The slowest possible. Between 1/25-1/125 of a second. This technique takes a bit of experimenting.

Aperture: This will be set by the camera.

ISO: 100 (To keep noise to a minimum).

Focus: Auto Focus, and set the drive mode to Continuous, also set the focus point as the center focus point.

White Balance: Auto is normally fine. If you shoot raw you can change this later if it doesn't look right.

Taking the shot

1. Point your camera to the left or right in the direction the traffic is coming from. 2. When you see the vehicle, half press the shutter button. This will start the focus.

3. As the vehicle moves along the road in front of you, keep panning with it, the continuous drive mode will make your lens constantly update the focus to give you a sharp image. 4. When the vehicle is directly in front of you, fully press the shutter button. 5. Have a look at your shot, if it's not as you want it, try again. It will most likely take practice.

Other examples
I hope this helps you get great shots, I would love to see them if you follow my tips and get some shots you are happy with. If you have any questions feel free to send me a message.
  • Kimberly MacKinnon

    on February 15, 2015

    This was very helpful!! Panning has been such a challenge for me!

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