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Panning Shots


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#1 Erdwolf_TVL

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 02:15 PM

When shooting scenery (no action) how should one compose a panning shot?

Should one move at a constant velocity, should one start with a stationary shot and gradually accelerate, etc.

How should one transition from one panning shot to another without it looking amateurish?

Any tips and tricks on how not to "jerk" the camera when doing very wide pans? With stability control, this ceases to be a problem, but with a film camera, every slight movement goes directly to the film!

Edit : I already have a fluid head and a sturdy tripod, so that's not a problem!

Edited by Erdwolf_TVL, 04 April 2006 - 02:16 PM.

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#2 Dan Goulder

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 02:37 PM

When shooting scenery (no action) how should one compose a panning shot?

Should one move at a constant velocity, should one start with a stationary shot and gradually accelerate, etc.

Yes and yes. Then, you can decide when editing on which frame to begin the shot. Smooth looks best but, if it makes you feel any better, you can find less than perfect pans even in high end Hollywood productions.

How should one transition from one panning shot to another without it looking amateurish?

Either find the perfect frames to cut together, or go with a dissolve. Similar panning direction and velocity will help.

Any tips and tricks on how not to "jerk" the camera when doing very wide pans?

Practice, practice, practice!
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#3 Michael Collier

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 03:03 PM

If you want a cheat to a smooth pan, place a rubber band around the control arm of your tripod and pull on the rubber band. I say this is a cheat because though it does smooth the pan, it makes everything else much more difficult, namely your ending frame might be up in the air with that technique. I dont use this technique, its much better to hold the control arm and 'pan the camera with your body' but that has taken me years to learn how to do it smoothly everytime. If you need help the rubber band is there for ya.
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#4 Erdwolf_TVL

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 02:55 PM

Most interesting. Thanks!
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#5 Robert Hughes

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 07:27 PM

Of course the panoramic shot is a "mechanical" optical movement effect decried by some film purists, as it does not equate to human experience. When you turn your head and view a scene, you view successive focus points, and not a smooth uninterrupted movement such as occurs in a pan shot. It's a cheap imitation of a tracking shot, which does occur in nature when the viewer is walking through a scene.

Cheap imitation or not, it's a heckuva lot easier to set up and execute a pan shot than a tracking shot.
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