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Panning for gold: London 2012 cycling time trials #6 | by Rob Crane photos
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Panning for gold: London 2012 cycling time trials #6

It’s been a while since I got out and about with my DSLR. The London 2012 Olympics gave me the perfect excuse, especially as the cycling was taking place close to where I live and I’ve been wanting to try panning shots for some time.


I combined the slow shutter speed with rear-curtain flash to try and ‘freeze the moment’ while getting the blurred background effect. They do say that panning shots are often hit and miss, and I certainly found that to be the case. The bikes were going very quick (over 40mph, I reckon) and were also coming towards me. I found I had most luck when I really concentrated on getting the autofocus aligned on their head, almost ignoring the rest and instead going on ‘feel’ for when the framing was right. You need to keep panning after you’ve pressed the shutter, and I think at times I was rotating my camera as I swivelled my torso round to keep tracking them.


Nevertheless, I was quite pleased with some of the results, for a first attempt. I managed to get a few that have the face in focus, but my favourite is one that is not at all sharp but, I feel, manages to capture more of a sense of speed and action.


The London 2012 Olympics may have cost a lot of money to host, but as it got me out with my camera again, it was all money well spent!


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Taken on August 1, 2012