My Favourite Panning shots

Panning shot is one of my favorite photography technique. It really brings the subject to life by capturing a part of the action, and makes the dullest of the background seem interesting. They are not difficult to take, however, they do require a lot of patience. Here is a small collection of my best panning shots over the last couple of years.

The Location: NOIDA, sector-12

The Story: This is how it  started. I had just bought a new telephoto lens and was experimenting with it. I had tried panning shots earlier, but with the kit lens, I was not able to take an effective panning shot. So, when I got the telephoto, I was trying panning shots of vehicles passing in from of my house. Most of the shots were nothing more than a blur. Vehicles were moving at a fast speed and it was difficult to keep up.
To get a good effect I had kept my shutter speed very slow. Then this cycle-rickshaw passed by. It was comparatively easy to follow him with the cam. Clicked almost at the end of the road where this tree got in between, but I guess it looks better this way.

The Location: Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Gurgaon

The Story: After my first successful panning shot, I was fascinated by it. I read all about panning shots and wanted to try more. Vehicles do provide a good subject but they are not very impressive, unless you are shooting sports car. So, I thought of visiting Bharatpur, Bird sanctuary and while searching for it, I came to know of Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, which was just 60 km away. I took my friends bike for the day and drove to Sultanpur.
Its a small place with a lake in the center. You can go around the park in around an hour. Lot of migratory birds can be spotted in the park. I stayed there for around six hours.
Catching a bird mid-flight was not easy. Most of the shots were just a blur. My camera's servo focus mode was not fast enough. So I was manually focusing continuously. Almost after two hours and hundreds of shots later, I got a few photographs worth sharing.

The Location: Pangong Lake, Ladakh

The Story: Probably one of the most picturesque landscapes in India, Pangong-Tso. A panning shot with the majestic lake in the backdrop was on my mind since I landed in Leh. 
However, when we reached the lake, I couldn't find anything, no birds, no vehicles, nothing. So, I asked my friend to run by the lake.
In that low oxygen environment, running is not recommended, but he agreed in hopes of getting a good shot. The panning effect didn't come as pronounced as I thought it would, but still it looks descent.
The reason I included this picture is because of what happened afterwards. He Fell! Like a little kid, flat on the ground and slid for a few meters before coming to stop. He bruised himself badly, but got a good shot. 

The Location: Ranganthittu bird sanctuary, Mysore

The Story: I took this picture on my trip to Bandipur (read about it here). One of the most crisp and sharp panning shot the I have ever taken. The subtle reflection in the water makes it even better. My dream shot would be where the water is calm and the reflection of the Bird is also in focus. Will try that next time!

Somil Bhandari

Somil Bhandari, A programmer, traveler and an amateur photographer. Loves adventure, hates stagnant life. Always looking out for something new.

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