Our last night in Amboseli National Park and outside in the Conservation Area found us with several wonderful opportunities as giraffes traveled from the distant forests near Tanzania to the park swamps for water. As daylight started to fall, I saw the opportunity to do some panning shots after the giraffes were spooked off of the watering hole. In these shots, the technique is to lower your shutter speed to a level that will convey motion. Some of this takes a bit of experience as well as a little bit of luck. The faster the animal is running, the higher shutter speed you can use. Conversely, the slower the movement the lower the shutter speed needs to be or you will simply ‘freeze the frame’. The key element is to pick out one point on the animal and follow the motion through just like a golf swing. In most cases I try to capture the head and eyes as the focus point, if possible. The rest is all in the motion of the camera, the follow through, and a solid guess on exposure.
Cheers and happy photo’ing