While leading the instructional tours in San Cristóbal, (S.C.) Mexico, we found this very cool wall of graffiti. Sadly, many of the colorful walls in S.C. are covered with tagging type of graffiti – making it a challenge to photograph the colors the way we had hoped, without planning for Photoshop work to remove the tags. But this wall was a ‘work of art’ by someone. It was a fun background to use for practicing panning with slow shutter speeds and simply using slow shutters and letting the subject move through your scene. In the main blog post, while on a tripod, I set the shutter for 1/20 second, and I waited for the scooter to come into position so that when I tripped the shutter, he’d blur past me. Timing was tough, as we were pretty close together and I used a 21mm focal length to get the angle of view I wanted. The results were a ghost-rider, and although the mural is the sharp part of the scene, because he’s dark, your eye is drawn to him as well. The result is a bit of visual tension that adds interest in this case.
In the second image above, I panned with the cyclist, using 1/15 second shutter speed. Here, I feel the cyclist becomes the main subject, even though everything is moving in this scene. He’s the closest thing to camera, and sharper than the background.
It’s always worth trying alternate techniques when you have situations like this. You can get such different and fun results!