Photography: Panning - How To Do It

My Best Panning Shots - More in depth panning guide

In this topic, I will be showcasing some of my best panning shots I have composed. I will also do an in depth guide on how to pan.

I already made a guide on photography in general. If you are looking for that, here it is:

What in the world is panning?

Panning is the type of photography where your subject is in focus and the background it blurred. Panning is a really difficult thing to master, and I will explain it below.

My best and favorite pans of mine.

How to Pan

As I said above, panning is a really difficult thing to master. I will go over several things below, starting with your stance.

Your Stance

Your arms should be tucked in, your feet shoulder wide, and hands around the camera. Here is a picture of what your stance should look like:


Image credits to: Matt Bennett
The Settings You Should Have - Manual Mode

Depending on your camera, you should have the following settings:
Aperture (F) - 5.6 (between the 4-7 range)
Shutter - 1/60 (it all depends on the lighting. If that is too bright, go up to 1/80. If you have to go above 1/100, it is too bright to pan.
ISO - 100 or lower

Panning with TV mode (Shutter Priority)

Panning with this mode is somewhat easier than using manual mode. I tend to use manual because I want maximum control over my pans. This mode is perfect for learning, however

When you use this mode, your shutter should be set at 1/60. If you Aperture is above 8, it is still too bright to pan. You need to raise your shutter little by little and see what works. Like I said before, if you have to raise it above 1/100, it’s too bright to pan.

TIP #1 - You should only be able to pan in the morning and evening.
_TIP #2 - You should focus on 1 part of the airplane you are panning. I like to focus on a central feature of the aircraft such as the engine.
_TIP #3 - Don’t be afraid to try and twist the rules!

Well, that is pretty much how you pan. Although, I don’t want any of you to be discouraged. It takes time and practice to master. If your first few are really bad, just keep trying. Some of your pans might be a little bit bright, but if you edit them, you can easily edit it. Here is an example:



Editing is your friend :)

Thanks for reading!

Here is some of my social media:

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My account:

2nd account:


Yes, I am on JetPhotos! Here is my account:


So that’s what my pictures should come out originally when I look at it on my camera or did you just happen to get an overexposed picture?


The way you brought back the colors on that Emirates photo is quite surprising.

Usually once you overexpose, you can’t bring them back, but when you underexpose, you can easily lighten them up and bring them back to life.


Do you have to actually move the camera when you pan?

Sorry if this is a dumb question :|


I also am wondering that too, because then wouldn’t the plane look loooonger than it should?


I over exposed a little bit. As @cleipelt said, if it is a little over exposed its easy to recover from it. Otherwise, under exposing is the correct thing to do. Sorry about the confusion.


Yes. You need to twist your body with the aircraft. Another option would be using a tripod, but I don’t really encourage that.

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An aircraft on takeoff is going pretty fast. How do you manage to keep the subject in the same position for the duration of the frame? Also, would this image you featured in your last post be considered a pan?


Panning with a tripod is more difficult honestly. Especially with the slow shutter and trying to avoid bumping into the pod, while still trying to focus on the aircraft. Great for videos though!


the first emirates shot was a bit better. Here is it: (and @Moosehead08 )


Yes, that image is a pan. However, it was a night pan which I don’t have any experience on. Also, GFB has gear worth over 10K…so he is able to get good pictures like that. A rebel like mine wouldn’t be able to get a shot like his. You may be able to DM Gerald and ask him how he did it, though.

Pt. 2, you just focus on 1 part of the aircraft like I said. Don’t zoom in all the way when you pan though. Leave some space for cropping.


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