Tips to shoot Panning

We always have been surprised at photos with panning effect. The panning technique gives the viewer the feel of movement of the subject which is sharp and the background is blurred to give the feel of speed or motion.

Panning is just following a moving subject with the camera either horizontally or vertically or in any direction to get the moving subject sharp and blurring effect in the background. This is one of the ways you can establish the effect of motion in a still picture. You can try this in wildlife, wedding, sports, children and industrial photography.

1. Shoot in shutter priority or manual exposure mode. Slow shutter speeds could give great panning effect – choose shutter speeds like 1/30, 1/45, 1/60 increase the shutter speed if the subject moves really fast. – set camera

2. Use AF – Servo or AF-C autofocusing mode – set camera

3. Use continuous shooting/drive mode – set camera

4. Follow the subjects that move relatively slow – slow moving vehicles or people or anything can give an easy panning effect.

5. Follow the subject as it approaches the camera, but shoot when it is just parallel to the camera.

6. Choose to shoot subjects moving fairly closer the camera – maybe 15 to 20 feet distance would be fine

7. Try getting the full subject without cropping for an interesting composition

8. Keep your legs little apart and hold the camera steady. Move only the upper part of your body (above the waist) to follow the moving subject.

9. Choose a background with some patterns – trees, buildings, a large group of people etc. Avoid plain and flat backgrounds.
Check the exposure for the subject and the background by shooting few test shot. Use exposure compensation if needed.



Splashing in and out

This was the first time I attempted to shoot images to make a calendar. The thought process and the workflow are entirely different than other types of shoots.

Here is one image that I like to explain.

Diploma in Photography Fulltime

Diploma in Photography Fulltime

I wanted to have the glass appearing to be floating on water, and being underwater at the same time, grapes splashing into it.

The glass shot underwater required many to shots to be done in precision else it would not fit in during post production. I had done such an image in my Fashion Photography assignment, so I knew how careful I had to be while shooting. All the separate images went on as planned but it took me half a day to finish all the required images for that.

This image involved fair bit of complex post production. Base image was an inverted image of glass being inverted in the water. But I had to replace the top part of the glass, with a shot taken on a table involving the splash. I composited that and the result was glass with splash and floating in water. Next I carefully selected two of many shots of grapes splashing and composited those as well. Masking those was a hard job. To complete the underwater feel, I composited some bubbles as well, from other shots. Once I had the layout ready, I retouched finer details using a lot of tools on Photoshop, finally making all the layers stick together.

The final image contains 7 images combined and then retouched for finer details

The files from the camera were in RAW format. I used Adobe Lightroom to apply lens profile corrections, to remove barrel distortion, chromatic aberration and to remove unwanted lens vignette.Photoshop was used for masking and fine tuning the layer mask susing refine mask option.Blending modes were used where I felt them to be necessary.

Other tools used were healing brush, clone stamp, patch heal, content aware fill etc.. This stage clears up all the fine spots, scratches or dust on the subjects.

The calendar layout was also made in Adobe Photoshop. I called up my printer to check for available native print sizes and to decide the target print size.

I learnt how to start planning for a new type of shoot.

Got more practice in shooting action inside the studio.

Learnt where to find sources of inspiration. I used to search randomly on Google. This time I couldn’t find anything easily. So I asked a friend for help and he suggested to search in pinterest instead of searching on Google. Sounds silly but it really helped me a lot in planning stage.

This was the first time I tried to shoot food. By research I learnt how to light different types of food. And how to maintain the quality of the food so that it looks good in the final images.

The calendar printing made me realize that 300gsm matte paper prints require a lamination to make it durable. Else it gets scratched easily.

-Abhinandan N.
Advanced Diploma in Photography -fulltime batch 2014






Art at Work – Photography

The main tool of a photographer is of course his camera. A photographer shoots millions of images through his camera (his brains aside).

In this creation, I am portraying that when a photographers camera is faced down, a few of those billion images shot from it and stored in fall right out. The final picture is a composite of few images having action in them. In order to show that these objects are coming out of the camera and falling on to a floor, like the water droplet is doing, I created a gradient to the bottom half of the image.

WIP Photography

The final touch, to make the image a bit more interesting and also break monotony, I included a totally irrelevant subject, myself, in the scene. I found it interesting to add a human touch to the picture. It also helped me bring out the falling effect.

Most importantly, as I was going to use this image as the first in the layout, I wanted this image to have a stamp of my character in it (at least to the people who know me). I wanted to include an ever so slight funny side to this image and hence I included a falling myself in the picture. It also brings out an interesting twist of showing an otherwise bigger object very small and in between things one least expects it to be.

-Siddharth Krishnamachari
Advanced Diploma in Photography -fulltime batch 2014


Here are some of the interesting pictures from few of the students of the 2013 batch of  Diploma in Photography full-time programme.

Each student has planned and executed their project from concept to print independently.


This assignment helps them to display their skills in special effects photography as well as image manipulation. The learners are trained and encouraged to explore various  genres of photography to enable their creative expression. Faculty guidance through repeated feedback and suggestions at various stages of their project planning helps them to understand and execute their ideas effectively.

View Jinkal’s image gallery on the same project

View Esmeralda’s image gallery on the same project

Jinkal Dabi

Jinkal Dabi, a passionate, hardworking determined learner sets yet another example of motivation. She quit her corporate career to pursue her passion after attending the Basic DSLR Photography Weekend course at Ambitions 4 Photography Academy. She enrolled for the One year Diploma in photography fulltime programme to make her dream of becoming a Professional Photographer a reality. It has been a challenging learning experience for her as it is a totally new field and what she is now as a photographer is truly amazing. She is currently working in the specialist areas of hi-end thematic wedding photography.

Few of the samples displayed here are Jinkal’s work in Conceptual idea generation and special effects done during her course at Ambitions4 Photography Academy. She has executed this using advanced photographic techniques and post production process.



Esmeralda Peterson – Conceptual idea generation and action photography

“Esmeralda Peterson, an overseas student from Brazil is an out standing example in our 2013 Diploma in Photography – fulltime batch. She is passionate about photography and works hard to perform despite her family commitments. Being a mother of three kids she is able to pursue her dreams through full time photography study.

These images are from her project submissions ‘Conceptual idea generation and action photography’. As an avid learner she is standing as an inspiration to most other students of our Academy.” – KL.Raja Ponsing, founder and director Ambitions4 Photography Academy


Esmeralda is an inspiration with her determination to learn and improve continuously, striking a balance between her responsibilities to her family and the Academy, ability to mingle and interact with other learners despite the vast cultural differences, and the way she conducts herself in the Academy with atmost professionalism.  – R.Preethaa, faculty – Ambitions4 Photography Academy

“My Valentine…” February 2015 – photo contest organized by Ambitions4 Photography Academy – Image Review


Topic related to Valentine’s day, many enthusiastic photographers captured the moods of valentine. Most of the images are just a direct couple shots and the meaning of valentine here is confined only to couples..!. But still, few of the images deserve appreciation.

02 Feb My Valentine 02

This image by Zahoor Ahmed is a beautiful peace of story telling picture about our Valentines. On the beach.., on a sunny day…, unmindful about the surroundings…., an interesting capture. The composition and exposure are just perfect. The man next to the couple talking on the mobile phone is an interesting element in the shot. The use of selective focus to establish an activity amidst the crowd is to be appreciated.

02 Feb My Valentine 03

Another image (02) by Zahoor Ahamed is again in the beach. But is very expressive and depict the joy of togetherness. The splash of water and the mood is well captured. The light on the couple is just right and tells a lot about the details. A bit of a tilt in the frame could have added more dynamics and action.

02 Feb My Valentine 01

The above image by Arul Kumar is an unusual point of perspective. The translucent saree in the front does an appetizing job in the image. Though a set up shot, the feel of romance is established. Flow of the light and the fall of the fabric makes the image it interesting. The strong backlighting made the shot very effective. The shape of the couple is beautifully feathered with the soft backlight.

Top three winners of the month selected based on the maximum number of votes/ likes for the image.

picture winning 1st place  click here

picture winning 2nd place  click here

picture winning 3rd place  click here