Panning with a moving figure,


Panning with a moving figure, for example, allowing adequate space in front of the figure as you pan, requires lots of practice. Many weekend videographers expect this to come naturally; it doesn’t. A good exercise is to set up your camera on the tripod and pan with anything moving. You don’t need to record, just go with the flow.

As far as adjustment is concerned, I find that the head should be loose enough that there is absolutely no “stick” when moved. If you have to overcome tension on the head you’ll get a jerky start.

A trick I was shown many years ago is to position your feet and body facing where the pan will end, then twist your torso to where the shot will start. You’re starting with the toughest position and ending with the least stressful, kind of like a spring winding down. This will smooth our your pans quite a bit.

Make sure the pan head is properly adjusted, then practice, practice practice.

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