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Photographing Moving Subjects {Tandem Bike Engagement Photo}

Photographing Moving Subjects {Tandem Bike Engagement Photo at Discovery Park}

A few people asked me about the photo I posted on Facebook of Megan and Mike on their tandem bike, so I thought I would blog about how I did it. Here is the photo:

Aren’t they ridiculously adorable?! I just love them. Okay, onto the logistics. Let me start by saying that this might not be the only way or the perfect way to photograph moving subjects. This is just the way that I found to work best for me for this shot. I practiced with my husband while he was riding his bike and I had him ride back and forth passed me until I got it right and knew exactly what to do when it was time for the real thing.

I used my Nikon 24-70 zoomed to 70mm and my settings were:

ISO 200, f/9, shutter speed 1/30

The trick to making the subjects look like they are moving in the photo is to pan the camera at the same speed as the subjects as they are passing by. In order to achieve this without shaking too much, I put my camera on a monopod with one hand on the shutter and one hand on the monopod, twisting it as they rode by so that my camera was following them at the same speed. Since the shutter speed was so slow, I couldn’t have done this without my monopod (I got my monopod at Target for $15.99).

I also set my advance mode dial (frame advance rate) to Continuous High (Ch on Nikon D700) to fire three exposures right in a row in order to have a better chance at getting them in focus. I use back button focus and I chose a focal point and held it as they rode by while I was panning my camera at the same speed they were riding.

You can practice with animals or kids running by, cars, anything that moves!


May 29, 2013 - 4:13 pm

Sarah McLachlan - Gorgeous image Nikki! And thanks for posting great tips.

May 29, 2013 - 5:06 pm

Amanda - LOVE this photo!!

May 29, 2013 - 7:52 pm

Rebecca Anne - What a fun picture and so awesome of you to share your amazing ways. :-)

May 29, 2013 - 8:32 pm

Hannah Nielsen - Love this shot!! So cute!

May 30, 2013 - 12:43 am

Whitney Lane - Beautiful and tech savvyyy :D your the whole package chica :P Love this

May 30, 2013 - 1:47 am

Ray Urner - Aw man, I haven’t done panning in ages. Thanks for the kick in the arse. ;)

May 30, 2013 - 2:47 am

Tanja - O my… We started practising Roberto’s tips on panning and failed at it, haha. I had my hubby running back and forward, but we had to raise the shutterspeed… :P Thanks for mentioning the tripod!!!! :D

May 30, 2013 - 3:47 am

Michelle S Hanks - I want to try this. Thanks for the information and inspiration. Great stuff!

May 30, 2013 - 6:46 pm

Ashley Rogers - Love the photo and thanks for the tip!!

May 31, 2013 - 4:17 am

Alaina Bos - I loved this shot when I saw it! Thanks for sharing tips to recreate the photo!

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