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How do you fare at the shooting gallery at a carnival? Trying to hit those cute little ducks is a lot like trying to photograph a moving subject when you want the subject in sharp focus but the background blurred — so says Caroline Maryan in today’s cool camera trick, below. This trick will take some practice. But the results are worth it. Just take a look at Caroline’s pictures below… READY, AIM, SHOOT: HOW TO GET A GREAT PANNING SHOT By Caroline Maryan in Williamsburg, VA Summer is a great time to be outside panning. It feels a bit like the shooting gallery at a carnival… You capture your moving subject, as clearly as possible, while blurring the background with motion blur. The result is a wonderful expression of movement. WHAT YOU NEED: *** A camera (ideally a DSLR, or a point-and-shoot that has Shutter mode) *** A subject to shoot, like a moving car or motorcycle. HOW TO DO IT: 1. Set your camera to Shutter mode. This is often a letter “S” on your mode dial. On a Canon, it will be “Tv” (for Time Value). 2. Set your Shutter to 1/15 second (also may be written, simply, as 15). 3. Your camera will set the Aperture, so you don’t need to worry about that. 4. Set your ISO to 100, to reduce noise. 5. Now, it’s time to focus your camera. Stand at a street corner and watch for a moving subject. The easiest thing to shoot is a car or motorcycle on the far side of the road. You’ll want to prefocus on the spot where you think your subject will be when you shoot. I usually choose a spot opposite from where I am standing. I prefocus on a car as it goes by in that lane, or on a line on the road. Then, I turn off my autofocus (check your camera manual or Google it, if you’re not sure how to do this). Now, you need to stay in the same place… no walking around. Your camera is prefocused. 6. Plant your feet firmly on the ground and bend your knees slightly. As your subject approaches, twist the top half of your body to the right and find it in your viewfinder. Follow it with your camera and your upper body. When it reaches the place where you prefocused, shoot. Here’s the secret… Keep turning and following your subject as it continues off to your left. You want your body to be moving at the same speed as your subject. You don’t stop moving when you shoot. Hint: After you’ve practiced a bit, wait until the light is about to turn red. You’ll probably have subjects to shoot that are speeding by to make the light — a great time to get an isolated subject! Here are a few other things to keep in mind… *** If it’s really bright out, you may have to come back later in the day, since you’re using a slow shutter speed and might overexpose your shot. *** You don’t need a tripod for this, even though you’re shooting at a slow shutter speed. By bending your knees and keeping your feet firmly anchored in the same spot, you become 2/3 of a tripod. Smooth movement will result in a smooth shot. *** After you’ve succeeded a few times, try working on composition. Leave room in front of your subject, so it looks like they have somewhere to go in the photo. I took this shot of a moving motorcycle on the Colonial Parkway, near Jamestown, Virginia. See how the leaves blend into horizontal bands of green, giving a great sense of motion: And, I love this one from Shanghai. As I shot the moving bicycle cart, the woman saw me and posed for the picture: If you get a taste for panning, why not leave your camera preset for it, when it’s in Shutter mode? If you switch to a different mode to shoot other photos, the last settings you used in Shutter mode will still be there when you switch back. I always leave my shutter speed set to 1/15 in Shutter mode. That way, I can capture surprise photos, like the one of the woman in Shanghai, by just twisting the mode dial, planting my feet, and shooting. [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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