Panning (out)

 

We walked to the park today because the weather turned out lovely, despite the dire predictions of the weather channel.  I’m not complaining, nope! not with winter coming up.  As always, my camera was with us – stowed neatly in the stroller compartment right underneath Corbin.  The park is a lovely place to visit anyway, and Corbin might just be in a photogenic mood.  Maybe.

And he was, sort of.  He loves swinging in the “big kid’s” swing – it’s like a rollercoaster seat with a pull down harness that keeps him secure while I push the swing.  Of course, he doesn’t quite fit because it’s designed for toddlers.  He’s big for 5 months, but not that big.  So, we took along a handy little stuffage to act as a pillow and prop him up.  It came in handy later for a photo shoot, but that’s another post entirely.

I’ve never really tried to photograph much of anything in motion other than a little motion blur here and there, so I thought I would try something new.  The last batch of swing photos looked stationary because you couldn’t see the movement – it was time to try panning and see what I could catch.  I didn’t read up on tips and hints – I just pulled out the camera and tried as best I could.  Something tells me I’m probably missing a crucial element here, because most of the panning shots just look blurry despite my best efforts.  Clearly, I need to do some research before we try again.  Still, one or two turned out fairly well.  I’m surprised!

I did realize that things are a lot easier if you have room – a swing set with a stroller in the way (mine, of course, because I did move it, but not far enough) isn’t the best place to try this.  Basically, what I did was focus on Corbin’s face as best I could and tracked the motion of the swing back and forth with a slow enough shutter speed to capture motion while (hopefully) still freezing him.  His cooperation – staying still – helped a lot.  At least, when he did stay still.  The swing is one of his favorite things to do so he spends his time looking around a lot, as well as moving his hands, squealing in glee, and just generally wiggling.

The pacifier accessory was non-negotiable – he kept trying to suck on his fingers and the germ-a-phobe in me said “ewwww!”

 

So, something to try again at a later date, but not a total failure.  And I was right – this set of swing shots looks a whole lot more interesting than the last batch.

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