Set up for sharp moving car with moving background

edited December 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
Hi there! I'm new on this great forum and I have just purchased the cheat cards for my Nikon D3100. I would love to be able to take shots from moving cars, in which the background is blurry and the focus is on the car. I have just a tripod with swivel head to use. How should I tackle this?


  • It's likely not possible to do this on a tripod because you cannot pan fast enough. What you need to do is to follow the moving car at its own speed, using a shutter speed slow enough not to freeze motion.

    Set the camera for continuous servo auto focus, and either single point or dynamic area. Use a shutter speed under 1/250 if possible, and practice following the moving object smoothly. Slower shutter speeds will give you more background blur, but be more challenging to get the car sharp. The smoother your panning technique, the slower you can set it. A lot of this depends on practice, as you need to get comfortable swinging the camera and keeping its focus point on the moving object.

    It's essentially the same as you'd do for birds in flight. If you know approximately where your subject is going to be, it helps to pre-focus on something nearby, so that when it appears, your AF does not have to hunt before it locks on.
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