The set subject for April was "Panning" - the art of capturing the effect of motion while using a moving camera. It's not my favourite type of photo, but it was a good learning opportunity - and a real challenge! I tried to get some inspiration from images already on the internet, but most are shots that have been done again and again before, and I wanted something different.
So Jacqui and I set off one Saturday morning to take some shots of one of our beautiful nieces, Bianca. I am really grateful to her for agreeing to give up some of her weekend time to help me out. What I was wanting to achieve was a panning image of her on a swing. Well - it proved incredibly more difficult than I expected. The time period between focusing on the subject at the top of the arc, and then following it through to the end of the arc is very short. In addition, there were things like poles getting in the way, and to top it all the panning motion was in a curve instead of in a straight line. So while the idea was different, the end result didn't quite match up to expectations.
I was able to get a number of shots which I liked, but unfortunately in all of the photos, there was not enough of the subject in focus. So I decided not to use them for the competition. In the end that proved to be a wise decision, as the judge would have had a field day marking the images down! But, it was fabulous spending some quality time with Bianca, though I'm sure she would have had woken with some stiff arm and leg muscles on the Sunday morning!
After packing up and dropping Bianca off at her home, Jacqui and I then took a trip out to Zone 7, to attempt to capture a more conventional panning subject. I submitted this image in the Set Subject Digital category, and received a silver rating for it. Apparently not enough of the main subject was in focus!
From there it was off for a lovely lunch at Durbanville Hills (we hadn't been there for ages, but will be back again as they now seem to have their house in order - the food was delicious!), and on our way home Jacqui noticed that there was action at the Durbanville Race Course. So we made our way there and spent some of the afternoon with a couple of beers trying to get some more images.
For me, the time spent earlier with Bianca was really beneficial, and from what I had learned while with her and then at Zone 7, I thought I ended up with some reasonably good images. I entered this one in the Set Subject print category, and while I only received a silver rating for it, it was placed as runner-up to the winning image!
I had more luck in the Open category, where my photo of the White Butterfly Bush (a macro stack of four images) received a gold rating. The mono Winter 2014 image received a silver - the judge said that there was too much water in the foreground, and some of the image should have been cropped off. For my particular taste, that would have made the image unbalanced, and would have cut off the reflection of the reeds, so I still prefer it the way it is!
As mentioned in previous blog post, please click on the images for the large view.