Welcome back to iDownloadBlog’s lessons in iPhone Photography. Before we get into today’s lesson, iDB reader Latinpride011 left a comment last week asking for a quick video about Hueless. I can’t oblige everyone, but I try my best. So here you go. I hope it helps!

Now that we’ve got that taken care of, let’s get your iPhone photography moving! In this lesson I want to introduce you to a cool little technique we call ‘panning’. The goal of this technique it to keep your moving subject in focus and turn the background into a blur of motion. The way you achieve this look is to have your subject move past you as you ‘pan’ your iPhone in pace with your subject as you take your photo. Here’s an example of this technique in action…

As the subject moved passed me I panned along with him and snapped the photo. Here’s how you pull off this type of shot.

Here are a few quick tips to help you out.

1) Because your iPhone’s shutter speed is working faster in bright light, this technique is more effective in darker light or shadows. By no means does it have to be dark, but if you have a choice between bright sun or standing in a shadow, choose the shadow.

2) If you can’t find a cyclist, try photographing a passing car at night. You can achieve some really cool effects this way.

3) If your subject isn’t moving too fast, move closer to your subject. The speed of the subject is exaggerated the closer they are to your iPhone.

4) Time your photo so your subject is parallel to you or moving away. Avoid taking the photo right as you begin to pan.


Now that we all have a fun new technique to extend our creativity let’s put it to use. You should know the drill by now, but if you don’t, here’s what we are going to do. You are going to head out and make some rockin’ high speed photos. You’ll tag those photos on Instagram with #iDBpan. I’m going to keep an eye on them and choose a few to highlight in two weeks when we explore other ways to use motion to our creative advantage.

Justin Balog is an award winning photographer and filmmaker. You can follow is daily creative adventures at HOSSedia.com or learn more about iPhone Photography in his iBook ‘Big World Little Lens‘. Click Here for the iPad Version. To find out more about Justin, follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Nice work Justin! I see great effort in these photography posts, very educational and interesting, keep it up!

    • Thanks much! They do take awhile to put together.

  • does this work with iphone 4 ???

  • 2008crna

    Let me chime in and say I really do appreciate and enjoy these photography articles. I never realized how much I could do other than point and click shooting. Thank you very much!

    • Right on, I’m glad you enjoy then. Thanks for the comment.

  • MagicDrumSticks

    The people who took these should be very proud of themselves for having this kind of talent. I hope they all see this comment.

  • nice pic man! the Rain was damn nice one!

  • Hassan Xia

    Nice but I also have taken real good pictures with my
    IPhone 4S and my friends think those are from a DSLR. I wish I could share them 🙂

  • My son achieved this effect by accident taking a picture if me as I was walking by. It looks really cool!

    • Very cool…..experimenting is mother-in-law of invention.

  • ty

  • Hassan Xia

    Yes I am, hassanxia7.

  • Subhana Allah the pic of @mohzeen is sooooooo great i love it really 🙂

  • Is HDR meant to be on for panning?

  • I am looking into doing iPhone photography myself. I love reading these kind of articles.

  • Shun Rodriguez

    What app are you using?

  • Hami Abro

    after reading your article i tried to explore my iphone 4s camera and the apps you mentioned and i took one pic which is shared on facebook over and over again man thanks 🙂

  • Benben

    Does this work with the native iPhone camera?

  • Matthew Barnett

    Hi, I’ve been reading through all past posts and I have a question about this one. I have the iPhone 5s so when I hold my finger on the camera button it takes burst photos. Is there any other way I can get the blur effect without holding the button?

  • Micha Müller

    Great feature and tx for all your helpful iPhone t&t. However, what do I do wrong with this panning on my 4S? When I hold the shutter it keeps on shooting photos

  • Linley Curbishley

    two questions: 1. Does this also work with ipad? 2. How long do you hold the shutter before releasing? I’m just getting loads of pix, maybe I’m holding the shutter for too long?

  • Yogesh Gupta

    but its start burst mode as i hold the shutter button