Parade of Lights

by Teresa
(Gahanna, Ohio)

I shot this photo last night at the local Holiday Parade of Lights.

I wanted all my photos to be clear and sharp with brilliant colors. I wanted the people on the floats to be in sharp focus as well. I used a tripod.

I can't remember my settings but I used a fast shutter speed and an aperture of something like f/3. My ISO was at 400. I did not use any flash.

I would appreciate any help you could give me in capturing these moving targets at night.

The festive season is well and truly upon us!

This means that photographers are presented with more photo opportunities than I've had turkey dinners!

The trouble is, how do you capture all the festivities?

Teresa has done a lot of the right things here. She has selected a high ISO. This makes the image sensor more sensitive to light.

She has used a fast shutter speed – in order to freeze movement.

And finally she has used a tripod – to steady the camera.

All sensible things to do . . . except the last one. The tripod.

It is a good idea to mount your camera on a tripod for photos like this, but you should set your tripod to allow you to 'pan' the camera. Usually this is done by loosening one of the nuts on the tripod head.

Panning is where you look through the viewfinder (or on the screen) at your subject, and track its movement. In the case of Teresa's photo, you would track the movement of the float from left to right.

Then, finger at the ready, press the shutter – but make sure you keep tracking the subject.

This has the effect of keeping the subject in sharp focus, at the expense of a slightly blurred background.

This background blurring is generally considered a good thing, because it really concentrates the scene on the in-focus subject.

Hope this helps Teresa; and if you get a chance to give panning a go, send us the results, we'd love to see them!


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