Shutter Speed and Panning

Shutter speed and Panning

I chose to do take my photographs on the topic of traffic, as cars travelling at speed provided good subjects for my images.

Shutter speed

In Photography, shutter speed or exposure time is the effective length of time a camera’s shutter is open. The total exposure is proportional to this exposure time, or duration of light reaching the film or image sensor.

Very short shutter speeds can be used to freeze fast-moving subjects, for example at sporting events. Very long shutter speeds are used to intentionally blur a moving subject for artistic effect.

Images taken Using a short / fast shutter speed

As you can see the traffic dosen’t seem to be moving as quickly although I think I should have used an even shorter shutter speed in order to totally freeze the movement as well as a tripod to steady the camera.

Using a longer / slower shutter speed

The traffic in these images appears to be moving faster, bluring the cars and there headlights and creating a sence of speed and a more artistic affect.

These Images were taken with an even slower shutter speed from a motoway bridge close to my home.


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, similar to speed lines speed lines.

This is achived by following the moving subject with the camera and using a shutter speed relevent to the speed of which the subject is moving.

Here are the photographs I have taken using the panning tecnique.


I successfully managed to freeze the subjects in motion using the panning tecnique although would have preffered my images to have had a streaked background, this could have been achived by using a greater length of exposure. despite this I am happy with the Images I came back with after this photoshoot.


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