Re: Re: Lesson 3

Duncan Rawlinson

Thanks for submitting your third lesson.

This assigment reads as follows:

Lesson 3: Assignment Assignment
Title: Finding Depth and Motion

This assignment will have you prove to yourself that you understand how to create motion within a photograph and create a shallow depth of field. It’s a two part assignment and will require that you upload two different photo’s to our online student grading center.

The first photograph should be captured using a slow shutter speed on a moving subject which will create the illusion of motion within a two dimensional space.

The second photograph should be a shot of a shallow depth of field. The objects in your foreground should be in focus while your background should be slightly blurred.

If you don’t have manual control over your camera you should reverse the rules for the second photograph.

If you don’t have manual control of your camera your first photo should be of a fast shutter speed where you freeze a fast moving object of your choice. Most cameras that don’t have manual control have a fast shutter speed by default.

Your second photo should be of the largest possible depth of field you can achieve. Again, most cameras that don’t have manual control of this feature are usually built to capture a large depth of field.

You’ve submitted two nice photographs.

In the future if you can please upload them as a bit higher resolution. (it makes it easier to see for me)

Your first image:

You’ve shot a plant here in relatively shallow depth of field. Going forward I want you to remember assignment 1. Do you think you could have shot this in a more interesting way? A different angle or approach? I think so.

Your assignments should build on each other. When you move from on to the next try to remember what you’ve learned.

It’s easy for me to sit here and critique them but I’m serious. Try to keep previous lessons in mind when shooting.

You’ve shown that you can shoot a shallow depth of field image so you’ve done that part of the assignment.

Image 2:


This photograph shows motion quite well. You’ve done this by using a technique known as panning. If you’ve done this on purpose good on ya! If not you can learn about it a little more here.


In photography, panning refers to the horizontal movement or rotation of a still or video camera, or the scanning of a subject horizontally on video or a display device. Panning a camera results in a motion similar to that of someone shaking their head “no” or of an aircraft performing a yaw rotation.

Film and television cameras pan by turning horizontally on a vertical axis, but the effect may be enhanced by adding other techniques, such as rails to move the whole camera platform. Slow panning is also combined with zooming in or out on a single subject, leaving the subject in the same portion of the frame, to emphasize or de-emphasize the subject respectively.
In video technology, the use of a camera to scan a subject horizontally is called panning.

In still photography, the panning technique is used to suggest fast motion, and bring out the subject from other elements in the frame. In photographic pictures it is usually noted by a foreground subject in action appearing still (i.e. a runner frozen in mid-stride) while the background is streaked and/or skewed in the apparently opposite direction of the subject’s travel.

The term panning is derived from panorama, a word originally coined in 1787 by Robert Barker for the 18th century version of these applications, a machine that unrolled or unfolded a long horizontal painting to give the impression the scene was passing by; Barker also invented the cyclorama in which a large painting encircles an audience.

When photographing a moving subject, the panning technique is achieved by keeping the subject in the same position of the frame for the duration of the exposure. The length of the exposure must be long enough to allow the background to blur due to the movement of the camera as the photographer follows the subject in the viewfinder.

The exact length of exposure required will depend on the speed at which the subject is moving, the focal length of the lens and the distance from the subject and background. An F1 car speeding along a straight might allow the photographer to achieve a blurred background at 1/250th of a second, while the photographer might need to go as slow as 1/60th to achieve the same amount of blur for a picture of a running man.

The faster shutter speed allowed by fast moving subjects are easier to capture in a smoothly panned shot. With slower moving subjects, the risk is that the panning motion will be jerky, and it is also harder to keep the subject in the same position of the frame for the longer period of time.

To aid in capturing panned pictures, photographers use aids such as tripods and monopods, which make it easy to swing the camera along one plane, while keeping it steady in the others. A low budget option is to tie a piece of string around the lens, then to drop the other end to the floor and step on it to pull it taut. This will allow a little bit more stability and allow for smoother blur.

To improve this image you could slow the shutter speed down slightly. Also, if possible try to remove any elements blocking anyone’s face in photographs if possible.

Overall you’ve done well here. My main recommendation is to try and use previous lessons as foundation for your current lesson. If you don’t feel like you’ve got a good enough understanding of a certain lesson you can always practice more!

Thanks for your submission!