About to take my first light trail shots

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by SteveEllis, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. SteveEllis

    SteveEllis TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi Guys,

    I am going to try some light trails over the next few nights, got a few shots lined up that I think will be quite interesting.
    Theses are the type of shots I'm looking at:

    1 - Main point of focus is a lit sign (Speed Camera Sign) with light trails from passing cars.

    2 - Light trails off a bridge overlooking the Motorway.

    I have some ISO 200 film, is this good enough or should I go out and get some 100?

    I am going to experiment with the shutter speed and apeture settings, but I would like to know what settings 'Generally' make a good light trail shot?

    I am hoping to get a good enough shot to enlarge and frame, my uncle gave me the camera and I think it would make a nice thank you present :)

    Thanks guys,
    Steve.
     
  2. j_mcquillen

    j_mcquillen TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Northumberland, UK
    If you're thinking of making an enlargement, then i would be tempted to go for the slower ISO 100 film, as this will give less grain in the finished print.

    For even finer grain, you could go for slide film rather than negatives - something like Fuji Velvia will give really smooth results, with great colours. It's a bit trickier to find somewhere to make decent prints from slides, but if you know any good labs in your area, this shouldn't be a problem (If you're in the UK, then your nearest Jessops should be able to make fantastic Cibachrome prints from slides).

    As for the settings, it's hard to be precise for this type of shot without knowing the exact conditions you'll be shooting in, but try using a small aperture (f/19, f/22 etc) to maximise your depth of field. Take a general meter reading through your camera, and then bracket like crazy around it. For good light trails, you'll need exposures of several seconds at the least, and anything up to and over a minute, so a sturdy tripod is essential!
     
  3. Xmetal

    Xmetal TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,351
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    Newcastle, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Definitely use ISO100 film, Stick to using small appetures for the 'starry' effect and you'll go a long way. :)
     
  4. SteveEllis

    SteveEllis TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Cheers guys, I'll go with the 100 film and then maybe up to the velviaif I get some good results.

    J - What do you mean by "Take a general meter reading through your camera, and then bracket like crazy around it"

    Thanks,
    Steve.
     
  5. j_mcquillen

    j_mcquillen TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Northumberland, UK
    Bracketing is when you take a number of shots of the same scene, but at different exposures. For example, if your camera recommends an exposure of 2 seconds at f/22, then you would take 1 picture with these settings, then change your shutter speed to take images at 1 second, and 4 seconds (1 stop under, and 1 stop over your cameras recommendation). You can then repeat this procedure at 6, 8, 10 seconds etc, as much as you like.

    As night shots can be quite tricky to expose correctly (there are lots of dark areas, but also bright lights... this can fool your camera's built in meter), it pays to take a number of shots of the same scene at different exposures, to make sure you get one that works well.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

light trails with 200 iso film