Usually when we take fast action photos, we need to increase the shutter speed a lot so that the pictures won't be blurry. It's called freezing the action. Now with cameras capable of shooting at 1/4000 sec or even higher speed, freezing the action isn't that hard as long as we have plenty of light. But what if we shoot in low light situations that prevent us from using very high shutter speed? And shouldn't we purposely allow some blurriness to better convey the sense of fast action? That's when sometimes the panning technique comes very handy.
Yesterday I wrote about shooting sports, and mentioned about shooting with big (e.g. 1/2.8) aperture often gave more dramatic results than shooting with smaller (e.g. 1/5.6 ) aperture. The reason behind it is because bigger aperture decreases the depth of field, making only part of the picture clear so that the focused subject stands out. I am here to illustrate the effect using the following pictures.
In the first picture, the focus is on the player who is trying to score a goal. Other players in the picture are blurred:
I love shooting sports, and more
particularly soccer games. It's full of fast actions that our naked eyes
are simply not capable of fully grasping without the help of
photography (and videography which is converging fast with photography).
It seems that when I freeze a dramatic action with a photo, I can
better appreciate the details, the form, the tension, and athleticism
that happened in that moment. This is the third season that I've been
shooting soccer games seriously, and I've learned quite a lot during the