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On Being Boring

I moved from London to Brussels with my husband nearly 10 years ago. When I told people we were moving, the news was greeted with bemusement: why did we want to move to a city that was possibly the most boring place on earth? Ten years later and I can honestly say that I've had more fun here than I ever did living in London. It might not be the most exciting city in the world but it is a fantastic place to live. It is full of hidden treasures that you probably never get to see as a tourist: wonderful shops, amazing food, great museums and galleries, beautiful architecture, a forest (yes, a whole forest), and so much more... And if that doesn't convince you, well, get on a train and you could be in Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne or, yes, London in no more than a couple of hours... Which other city can you say that about?

Day 2: wheeeeeeeeee!

I’ve been determined to “do” a panning shot ever since my flickr (and now real life) friend Diyosa posted a picture of her daughter whizzing down a slide. And that was years and years ago. It’s taken me this long to actually get one in the box. And it still took me quite a few attempts! But first, the prep… Getting Amélie to build up a bit of speed:Then I had to figure out where to sit (it actually took me a couple of shots to figure out that head-on was not optimal. Yup, I know…). Best position I found was parallel to her arc of movement and more or less slap-bang in the middle (i.e. not too close to the ends of the arc). Then I had to close up the lens enough to allow for a longish exposure without letting too much light in (you don’t need a wide aperture to throw the background out of focus: the movement will do that for you). I focused on Amélie as she went past and then blocked the lens by switching to manual focus. Then it was just a matter of trying to swing my camera to follow her movement and pressing the shutter release at more or less the right moment to get her into the middle of the frame. And ta-da! I love it.Final settings: 50mm lens at f18, 1/13th of a second and ISO 160. What do you think? Share links to your favorite panning shots and any tips in the comments! I’m thinking a slightly longer exposure would have been great but not sure I’d have managed to keep her as sharp. It’s all a fun balancing act!

4 September 2012 - 10:12 PM Teresa - Wheeee, indeed! How super fun! I think you did a great job - it's so trippy and cool and fun. WhEeeeee!

5 September 2012 - 5:07 AM amanda - Ooooh that is sooo coool!! Imagine, Amelie one day looking at these photos with her daughter or son :)

14 September 2012 - 11:23 AM Ingrid - ooh..I love it. Now you've both inspired me :)

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