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Learn By Doing Photography

Learn by Doing – Slow shutter speed capturing light trails

Assignment #22 – Use a slow shutter speed to capture light trails from cars

I am super excited about how the pictures turned out. I have never tried to shoot light trails before so this was a first! First I had to get brave enough to climb over the rail and stand in the center of the street with my tripod. Once I was set up I felt safe, but as I walked to the center line I sure felt nerveous.

Here are some tips I learned on how to shoot light trails

1. Need a tripod for this one or at least something to set your camera on.

2. Use a remote or set your camera to self timer so you’re not touching the camera at all.

3. ISO at 100

4. I was in manual mode. For the first time I had too much light! So I set my aperture to 22 to let the least amount of light in. You can also shoot in Shutter Priority since it’s the shutter speed we are looking for.

5. Focus on something in the distance or the sky will work.

6. Your shutter speed depends on how dark it is. This picture above on the bridge was at 4 seconds anything longer was washed out with too much light. As the night got darker my shutter speed got longer. My longest shutter speed of the night was at 30 seconds.  So shutter speed depends on the light. Just set up on the tripod and try some different settings to see what you get.

7. Have fun! I thought it was great timing the cars trying to get the car lights coming and going at the same time. So there is a bit of patience on this one, but well worth it!

Related posts:

Assignment #4 - Bokeh at Christmas
Learn by Doing - Now to use Shutter Priority
Black and White Photography - Learn by Doing

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