I don't pretend to be a photography guru, I never have been and never will be. If I can help anyone with any tips or hints, I would be more than happy to and I would also be honest to say that if I wasn't sure on a subject matter I would say so too. In my hints and tips blogs, I will be doing something a little different in that I will be posting some of my poorer images to show you the difference between getting it right and getting it wrong. Everything in my blogs is my own opinion and what I have learn't from experience. With out further or do, here is my first tip:
Make It Easy For Yourself
It doesn't make you any less of a photographer by using your camera settings to your advantage. You don't have to shoot in full manual mode all of the time to be classed as a 'professional'. What does make you professional is the quality of the image that you produce.
By using 'shutter speed priority', you can limit the camera to say "I am taking control of this aspect of the picture, but you do everything else". By this I mean, in the case of shutter speed, you determine how much blur your camera will input. I like to limit my camera to 1/320 or slower (1/250, 1/200 etc.) because if a car is moving I like to at least blur the wheels to show it is moving. Otherwise it might as well be sat on a static display.
More Misses Than Hits
Be prepared for not getting the results you are after straight away. It takes patience and will power to continue to try and perfect this technique. You can take five shots in a row and if you are lucky one will be in focus. This is due to the fact of, you have to be moving at the same speed as your subject, with a low shutter speed, to gain the effect of a subject in focus and a blurred background.
Tripod or Freehand?
This is down to preference. Personally I prefer freehand due to the camera being more maneuverable. Both techniques have pros and cons which I will tell you about a few now.
Freehand Pros/Cons - Camera shake. This is the one con that will not be avoided and will always be accented the slower you set your shutter speed. You will not get a sharp image if you do not give yourself a stable, firm base by planting your feet sensibly in what I call a stride position. One foot in front of the other and use your hips to swivel on the spot... DO NOT move your feet... This creates camera shake. Using this technique I have managed to capture images like these...
When it goes wrong, I get images like these...
Tripod Pros/Cons - Lack of movement. While you will get a firm base with the camera using the tripod for stability, I have found that it makes it harder to follow your subject through the frame. You are having to manuevure yourself around the tripod legs and one accidental slip or kick of a leg can ruin what might of resulted in getting "that image".
In a nutshell, panning is about practicing your technique and don't get disheartened. Not every image will be a keeper, be prepared to try, try again...