panning, done on the spot or post processing

Started May 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Re: panning, done on the spot or post processing
In reply to KrisAK, May 26, 2014

KrisAK wrote:

RoxanneY wrote:

Hi all!

How many of you do your pans on the spot vs doing it post processing? What are the pros/cons of each? My hubby and I do it on the spot, but I just saw a nice video where they did it electronically afterwards. To my eye it looks a bit artificial and I was wondering if that it a technique problem or if most people can tell the difference. If any of you have a strong preference for one or the other please explain it.



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Don't focus on exceptional photography focus on exceptional subjects to photograph. -Bill

Hi Kris!

I agree that the fake camera moves (done in post) instantly read as fake. You don’t get any of the subtle randomness or shifts in perspective you’d get with a real move, and I doubt that any amount of tweaking of the ‘easing in’ and ‘out’ of the effect would restore that sense of reality. And more often than not, dropping the Ken Burns Effect onto a video clip seems like a last ditch effort at making an otherwise uninteresting shot interesting.

I was hoping that this wasn't the case and that I just hadn't seen it done really well yet.

Camera moves need to be motivated by something, and trying to find that something in post probably won’t work.

In my case I have a bunch of kids singing and I need to make a smooth pan that lasts the duration of a phrase/verse.  It is hard to get the timing right, though I am hoping to know the songs cold which should help some  The fluid head/tripod does help a lot in smoothing things out.  Every time we have to shoot I get stressed out planning which verses and when to pan which is why I was hoping to do it postprocessing.

Having said that, I’ll admit that as an exercise in self-humiliation I recently shot a varsity soccer match. Even with a decent fluid head, getting good camera movements would have required a lot more prior practice than I’d put in. (I reformatted the card and chalked it up to experience.)

I think that something like that with unpredictable turns and movements would be extremely hard to capture.  I'd probably attack it by having 2 cameras...a static long shot and a panning one.

Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts with me!


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Don't focus on exceptional photography focus on exceptional subjects to photograph. -Bill

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