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That ol' devil called "motion blur" again....

Tried getting good motion blur shots of scooters at a local event on saturday....the light was great for photography, but most of the shots were a little "soft" on the it just my panning technique, or was the shutter speed too long (ranging from 1/50th to 1/80th of a second on these shots).

I thought the photos were great. I'm not much of a photographer, but was the shutter speed the same for all of the pics, as some of them have varying degrees of blurring in the foreground and background. I really like Pics No 1, 2, 4. I like the photos with motion blurring in the background and no blurring in the foreground. Or blurring in both foreground and background.
The scooters are partly in focus and partly in blur, I am guessing it's because of the lens focal length you have on these shots.
Seems like 4 and 5 turned out the best, especially 4. I like that one the most. I don't know much about motion blur except it can happen with too long of a shutter speed. I'm not sure how panning works, if you were just following the subject for a few seconds and taking the shot. The focal length might be something to look into as well. So many things can impact a shot you really just have to play around with the settings.
Like TheGremlyn, photos 4 and 5 are the best. Really crisp, and the motion blur in the background works great.

What did you shoot these on?
Yeah, I think I'd go with a faster shutter speed. Maybe 1/120, or even a little faster. This assumes of course that you are using a 'fast' enough lens, which, given that you have a sunny day should not be a problem.
I would be tempted to have the talent do a static shot and then composite it over itself and apply the motion blur later in an imaging program so you can have complete control over it, its sharpness/crispness, its background and foreground complimentary lighting, it's depth of field/bokeh etc. If you use lots of layers, it could be a non-destructive process which you could add or deduct from at your whim. I would just use these or perhaps the ones you have been inspired by as reference. Some might call that cheating but I would disagree. The human eye doesn't capture still life against motional backgrounds anyway, so you're already using a kind of suggestive stylisation anyway. As much as I appreciate the skills involved to do this organically (as organic as a photographic device can get) I am firm believer that it's not important if it is real or not, it's just important that it's realistic and striking, and if the fake composition looks better (and I have the option of tweaking whatever part I chose), I'm going to opt for the drama/theatre of the contrived version every time.
Those are fair points made, and thanks for the time to put them forward.
A good photographer though should be able to get these sort of shots easily, given modern dslr's...I strive to be that, but am not there yet.
I've always found it impossible to plonk a cut-out over a backgorund (blurred or not) & really make it look as if it belongs there.
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