Wednesday, October 11, 2006

How-To: Light Trails

I thought I'd share a quick how-to with everyone. Light trails can make some interesting shots. To get them, all you need to do is get in as dark an area as possible and use a longer exposure, and then find (or make) moving lights. You could do this in a pitch-black room with a tripod and move a flashlight or, preferably, LED lights, or anything else like that (if you're moving the light yourself, you might want to use a timer on your camera so you can get in position before the shutter opens). Or you could go out on the street and find some moving cars, like I did on this shot:


Since you have a lot of leeway on creativity with this trick, you don't have to even use a tripod, or even stand still! If you want, you might try experimenting with moving the camera instead of the light source. That's what I did here, but my light sources (car lights) were moving as well. I used a two second exposure, held the camera in my hand, and just walked down the street with the camera pointing at the cars. My walking is what gives this picture its rhythm.

Have you ever tried this kind of shot? Share it!


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