Saturday, September 1, 2012

Forced to use slow shutter speed, panning offered solution

Panning can capture subject movement.
Recently I visited Montreal, and while there I visited the Biodome. The exhibit made the news recently with the survival of a baby lynx, one of three, born to a captive Lynx that calls the dome home.

It's seems bright enough in the dome until one tries to take a picture of a moving lynx. Today's slow lenses in our point and shoot cameras have very small f/stops even when used wide open. These lenses demand the use of very slow shutter speeds in dimly lit indoor situations. A slow shutter speed, as you know, will not stop action. A blurry image is the result.

Panning is one way to squeeze an image out of a situation like this. Focus on the moving subject and pan, follow the subject with the camera. Squeeze off your shots carefully trying not to jar the camera. With luck, the feet and legs will be rendered as moving blurs of motion while other parts of the subject, such as the head in this case, are captured with an acceptable amount of sharpness.

My shot of the lynx was shot at 1/10th second at f/5.6 using and ISO of 800. I think it works. Sadly, I'm not sure the Biodome works for the lynx. The mother's constant pacing suggests stress.

Other animals in the Biodome environment looked quite happy. They were content. But I did not get a feeling of contentment and happiness from the clearly agitated lynx.

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