How to Pan With Ease


Settle on a powerful composition before actually panning the camera. Photograph/Madhusudharan Parthasarthy

I made this image at the Annual Transgender Festival held in Kovaagam, Tamil Nadu. The subject in the photograph is a transgender person. I wanted to portray them as experiencing the same emotions as anybody else, since they are so marginalised by our society.

This panning image was made using a Nikon D5100 with a Sigma 10–20mm wide lens. I set the camera to a shutterspeed of 1/40sec and set the aperture to f/10, as I shoot mostly in the manual mode. After this, I locked focus on my subject and as I pressed the shutter I moved the camera along with the merrygo- round. This is how I froze my subject while the background remained a blur.

To photograph a scene like this, you need to choose a vantage point where the subject is in clear focus and there is enough light on them. You will also need wide angle lens so that there is some room for the subject to move into the frame. I was shooting at the wide end of my lens to achieve the distortion you see in the image.

— Madhusudanan Parthasarthy