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  • Andrew JK Tan

Panning Galore at Phnom Penh

After my 2 days of charity photography sessions at M'Lop Tapang's educational / vocational / Life Skill programs and vulnerable children services in Sihanoukville , Cambodia. I decided to make a short visit to Phnom Penh for some photography before I headed home.

I thought it would be cool to just focus on creating images with a Phnom Penh flavour by using the Panning photography technique.

Before I proceed to share the image highlights , let me first share my camera setup and my panning technique workflow.

Camera Setup :

- Nikon Df

- Nikkor 24-120mm f4.0


- AF-C

- Dynamic Area 9 points or Group Area mode (if available)

- Back-focus button

- Burst rate at 5FPS

My Panning Technique Workflow / Tips

1. AF point is set to one side (away from centre)

- if subject is moving from left to right , AF point is set to the left from centre

- this allows for more area for the subject to move into

2. Track subject continuously from a distance

3. Start capturing in burst mode before subject is directly in front of my camera

4. Continue shooting until subject passes

5. All the while shooting & following as subject passes in front of me with a smooth swivel action

6. For moving vehicles , shutter speed set to between 1/10s to 1/30s

7. For very slow moving or walking subjects shutter speed set to between 1/4s to 1/15s

8. Composition wise

a) the background should be able to produce streaks

b) background should not have large bright / dark areas that dominate the subject and streaks

c) I also like to include streaks / out of focus elements in the foreground

Panning Image Highlights

Daytime panning

Monks hitching a ride from the public

1/15s shutter speed for the panning images with the monk(s)

1/30s shutter speed for the panning image with the boy on bicycle

Evening / Nightime Panning (1/10s to 1/20s shutter speeds used)

I love the image below which was panned at 1/10s shutter speed , the ambience captured of the passenger's face gives the image a very sensual & unique feel.

Another 1/10s shutter speed panned image

The rest of the night panning images below were captured at 1/20s shutter speeds. The reason why I used such slow shutter speeds was mainly to create sufficiently long light streaks but I also wanted to make sure that I had a good chance of capturing "sharp" subjects with a reasonable success rate.

I hope you enjoyed viewing the images & I hope you also found my panning insights useful. Till the next blog.



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