Sony NEX 6, 16-50mm Sony lens
ISO 100, f/10, 15”, Raw
Light Trails At Police Station Sittard
I love light trails and how awesome it is to capture all sorts of lighting effects by playing with aperture and shutter speed. It’s at late evening or at night when you can get some amazing effects shooting at longer exposures. All you need is a camera capable of shooting in manual or shutter priority mode, tripod, remote cable release and lens hood to help you block lens flare from ambient lights.
Find some good spot! You need a lot of light moving, it could be light created by cars or I like to shoot at Amusement parks where you have colorful lights flickering all over the place and moving roller coasters.
Shooting light trails its all about experimenting and finding the right setting. It comes down to three things:
I think the best time to shoot light trails is right after sunset. This way you will also get ambient light in the sky which can add atmosphere and drama to your shots. Experimenting is the key.
1) Set your camera to manual or shutter priority mode
2) Get your f-stop at around f/13 and higher. Shooting at f/16 and higher can create this beautiful light stars coming from street lights.
3) Set your ISO to 100.
4) Use manual focus. Cameras have tendencies to focus in and out in low light conditions. Last thing you want is to get your camera to focus all over the place before you hit the shutter release.
5) Try 5 second shutter speed at first and see what you like. I usually start with 5 sec. and end up at 30 sec just to see what works for me. You can also experiment with bulb mode. This mode lets you open your shutter speed for as long as you wish and therefore you can create some stunning light trails. Also take multiple exposures.
Quick tip: If you have Raw format in your camera I highly recommend you shoot RAW!!! This is going to give you a lot of room later in post processing work. Nothing is more frustrating than fixed white balance and some weird color artifacts in your shot.
When I was learning about long exposure photography I was hoping to find simple instructions that could give me basic idea from where to start. So I hope this introduction to long exposure photography was helpful. If you have any questions I will be more than happy to hear them and I will do my best to answer them. Please share it on Facebook, Bookmark it, like it.
Now go and have fun! All you gotta do is to get out there and shoot, experiment, shoot, experiment and shoot.