Night Photography – shooting light trails

I am always fascinated by night photography particularly the light trails of speeding cars on the road.

Though I am interested to shoot night photography, I am not that keen to lug along my DSLR camera and the tripod and standing somewhere near cars whizzing by…  (^-^)

But tonight, I decided to give it a try. I read up first on how to shoot light trails and here are some important points to consider:

    1. A DSLR camera preferably with manual mode.
    2. A tripod.
    3. A place, street, or highway where a reasonable number of cars will pass by.
    4. An understanding of how the aperture and shutter speed work.
Night Photography - shooting light trails
Night Photography – shooting light trails

To have a good amount of light trails, there should be a good number of cars passing by. I chose a main street where the traffic is heavy, with stop light and with an overhead pedestrian foot bridge.

I positioned myself on the foot bridge and set up my DSLR camera on the tripod and started experimenting on the aperture and shutter speed. The stop light has a “go” duration of about 120 seconds and that gives me sufficient time to start and stop the shutter to catch a sufficient number of cars passing by.

I played with shutter speeds of 15 seconds, 20 seconds, and 30 seconds and aperture openings of f/22, f/20, and f/18. I used ISO 100.

Light trails - f/22, 15 seconds
Light trails – f/22, 15 seconds

The pictures above show the results of this initial experiment with night photography.

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