Day +120: Light trails

Apart from your camera, there is one essential piece of equipment when it comes to night photography: a sturdy tripod. Unless you’re using artificial (additional) light- eg. flash, you will be using incredibly slow shutter speeds, and there’s no way you’re going to be able to hold the camera steady with your hands. To get sharp images, you’ll need a tripod (or somewhere stable to rest your camera) so there’s no movement during the entire exposure.

The featured image above, and the following image below, demonstrates this principle:

20150821-lighttrail-002

Both of these images were taken with my camera mounted on a tripod, after sunset, with an exposure time of 20 seconds. And you can still read the writing on the signs. The street lights make a nice star-shaped pattern, and the lights from the cars that were passing by create a “light-trail”.

Night photography requires you to experiment a little in terms of the correct exposure. Once your tripod is mounted, fix your ISO (I was using 100), set a decent aperture (to keep most of the image in focus- I used f20), focus to infinity, and then play with the shutter speed until you get an image you like. Try a coupe of seconds, all the way up to 30, and play with the light. And with rain forecast for the next few days, you’ll need to come up with some maybe unusual ideas for your photos. Happy snapping!