Hello again! Welcome to the next blog adventure.  This time around our story is about tackling a unique challenge regarding photographing a vehicle while moving to show the motion by panning.  You can do this a number of ways, but the way to get the most opportunities at the shot is to attach your camera to the car.  What do I mean the best opportunities? That’s a great question.  When photographing something that is moving, if you aren’t moving with it it will eventually pass you requiring a reset of all the pieces.  If you are moving, and the object (car in this case) are both moving independently, you have to match speeds, and you need a TON of space for both pieces to move.  In this solution, we mounted a camera to a pole and let it snap a bunch of photos while the car rolled down the street.  Simple, effective, and it created about 17gb worth of possibilities in a half hour or so.  Before we get to that, let’s talk about the process, and how this whole thing came about.

So my pal Tommy has been an importer of Japanese Kei trucks and Vans for some time.  We have discussed the possibilities of doing Roller shots for a while, but the stars finally aligned for us to give it a shot.  First off, I needed to test and see if the pieces I had would work for this.  To do that, I attached the whole rig up to my Subaru Outback before my buddy T0mmy even got to me.  If it wasn’t going to work, there was no reason to have him come all the way out to me. On top of the fact that I’d have felt REALLY bad if we attached the rig to the van, and it fell off and scratched the paint or broke a window….. SO I needed to make sure it was going to work as we thought it would.

So that’s my Subaru in our driveway with the pole and cups in place.  I put a sandbag on the end and let it sit for about 20 minutes before mounting my Z7 and 14-24 on there.  The blankets are there in case the suction cups popped off a prayer meant they would have not messed up the hood of my car.  Once all the pieces were confirmed to work, I mounted the Z7 and did a test in my driveway using the WR-10 as a remote to trigger the body.

That’s the shot of my Subaru in the driveway.  It’s not perfect, but keep in mind I was only idling and the car only moved about 4 feet to get that shot.  My lens was also dirty, my exposure was wrong, obviously, those towels/blankets shouldn’t be there….. the list goes on and on.  I did, however, prove that this was a viable solution to the project, and with a few safety cables and super clamps, I was ready to go for when Tommy arrived.


That’s the setup on the Toyota Hiace.  I originally posted that image on my Instagram along with the result at the top of the page.  I since have gone back and edited some more that I like better but I’ll get to that.  The final gear list included:

Manfrotto Avenger F1000 Pump cup with ball joint (x2)

Manfrotto Super Clamp (x4)

Manfrotto Magic arm with quick release camera plate (x1)

Steel Saftey cable for the camera to the pole

Aluminum 96″ closet pole 

Nikon Z7 Camera Body 

Nikon 14-24mmF2.8N

Nikon WR-10 Bluetooth Trigger

Before going any further, I would like to comment that the Z7 does, in fact, have wireless shooting technology via Nikon’s Snapbridge app on my iPhone.  The reason I didn’t use this functionality is because during wireless shooting you can NOT use the extended ISO range and in order to get the 1/4 of a second shutterspeed without an ND filter, I need to get to 25ISO.  This is why I had the images download automaticaly to my phone via Snapbridge, but I triggered the camrea via the WR-10.

(Nikon Z7, 25ISO, Nikon 14-24F2.8@14mm.  1/4th@F22).

And there we have it.  This is MY final image from the day sevents. Tommy has edited his own, and eventually, they will end up online with Okei.us.  He has a few different trucks available at any given time, this is just one of them and boy is it special.  Good one for a Roller.  Now I think Tommy is hooked and you may see more of these.  Until then though, now you know how we did it.  More soon.