Yesterday, while gathering some video and making images of the “real” nature offered to the people of Columbia along the MKT Trail (vis-a-vis the artificial nature at Stephens Lake Park), I made an unintentional panning blur. Hand-held. And it didn’t suck. As Artie Morris would say, “you gotta love it!”
Normally, the trick to and panning blur is to have the camera on a tripod and to slowly pan downwards. This is hard to do on a ball head, but easy to do if you have a big lens mounted on a Wimberley or other gimbal-style head, or if you’re using a video head.
Usually, the hardest part is going slowly enough on the pan that you get the effect that you want, but not so slow that it just looks out of focus! Start with a shutter speed of 1/15 second and slow down from there. In this example, my exposure compensation in aperture priority brought me to 1/6 sec. before I even realized it–I just heard the slow shutter and cursed under my breath. Only when I looked at it did I jump for joy. Then I tried making more blurs, and they all failed! Again, you gotta love it.