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Photographing Autumn Leaves – Panning Technique

Last week I was traveling in Canada and had an opportunity to catch up with a friend there who is into digital photography. He showed me a series of shots of Autumn leaves that were really wonderful. I thought I’d share a couple of his techniques today and tomorrow:

One series of shots that he took were of blurred leaves seemingly blowing in the wind. There was a real sense of motion and atmosphere in the images with the movement of reds, yellows and oranges on a lovely blue sky.

Interestingly my friend told me that while the shot appeared to be taken on a windy day that it had actually been perfectly still and he’d used a simple technique to make the leaves appear to be moving.

The technique involves ‘panning’ and creates a shot similar to the results you’d get photographing leaves on a tree on a windy day.

Switch your shutter speed to around the 1/8 mark, zoom in on a part of a tree’s foliage (try to frame it with some nice blue sky in the background), as you hit the shutter speed pan your camera up and down or side to side.

The results should be some lovely movement blur that gives the impression that the leaves are moving in the wind.

Experiment with different shutter speeds and panning directions and speeds to get just the type of result you’re after.

This technique works wonderfully with Autumn leaves (reds and oranges) on a lovely blue sky.

PS: Alternatively – wait for a windy day and use a slow shutter which captures moving leaves to get similar results.

Read more on Autumn/Fall Photography here

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Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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