Light Trails - Failed. What Went Wrong?

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by tomazws, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. tomazws

    tomazws TPF Noob!

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    I took the following pic while a car was passing by on each direction. Shutter at 5 seconds. Though, the light trails are not very visible.

    [​IMG]

    I'm thinking it might be because there were too less cars passing by? Or is it because of my shutter speed?
     
  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Longer shutter times won't get the light trails any brighter, but a larger f-stop or higher ISO will, but then again, that will also give you more exposure in the rest of the scene, so then it becomes a matter of timing and guessing how long those cars will be in the scene, setting the shutter speed accordingly, and then adjusting other settings to aim for the right exposure and an acceptable DoF. A trickly balancing act, to be sure.

    I'll say this though; In terms of composition, I really like the image. The post in the foreground is sharp and a great centre of focus; getting the light trails brighter would just add a bit more flair.

    All that said, I haven't been terribly happy with my experiments in trying to get light trails myself. That might have a little to do with the fact that I've only used improvised stabilization (that is, newspaper boxes) instead of remembering to bring my bloody tripod.
     
  3. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    agh well you got a beautiful image out of it

    i personally would go to a highway (never tried it yet but will soon)
    set the shutter to bulb
    Get your lens cap ready

    Shoot when there is a large amount of traffic (preferably with a remote)
    and keep it held in then place the cap infront of the lens to stop light getting in
    then when there is another load of traffic passing by, release the cap and let the light in until you get what you think to be your desired effect
     
  4. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You do have some light trails.

    Stop down your aperture to f/16 or smaller to increase the star affect on the street lights and expose for longer with more traffic passing through the frame.

    A hand on the Push Button would look cool.
     
  5. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    agh well you got a beautiful image out of it

    i personally would go to a highway (never tried it yet but will soon)
    set the shutter to bulb
    Get your lens cap ready

    Shoot when there is a large amount of traffic (preferably with a remote)
    and keep it held in then place the cap infront of the lens to stop light getting in
    then when there is another load of traffic passing by, release the cap and let the light in until you get what you think to be your desired effect
     
  6. Anubis

    Anubis TPF Noob!

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    That is it exactly, just not enough cars. It is a good shot now, it will be great if you re-do it when there is more traffic :)
     
  7. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    IMO it's the composition, there's so much going on, the trails just look accidental. I think you might need a different angle to make them more prominent.
     
  8. tomazws

    tomazws TPF Noob!

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    Whoa. I've never tried that before... I should see how the result would be!
     
  9. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    ^ That's what I've heard to do for fireworks as well.
     
  10. Moe

    Moe TPF Noob!

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    I think a reason they aren't as prominent is because the rest of the scene is so bright. A darker street with the same settings may help. A smaller aperture for the same amount of time would darken the street. However, this would also decrease the amount of light from the car (in which case more cars would help, as mentioned in other posts.)
     
  11. RJohnston

    RJohnston TPF Noob!

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    For Fireworks it depends on the number or frequency.
    Ive made shots just with 1/15th of a second sometimes faster.
    There are many places that fire off several at a time, they explode and you can catch three or more at once.

    I watch them a bit to see the pattern they are using. They you can hear the POP - POP - POP as their fire three, wait and when the third one is visible catch them all. Tried in the past using the lens cap trick with it on a tripod, but found at times it gets confusing looking with too many overlapping colors.

    Ive put together once a panoramic shot, with several groupings and like that one the best, as you get 6 or nine in the same one, but separated enough so it looks better.

    The 4th is coming... and if you live near Disneyland or Disney World, they have them nightly, so you really have some opportunities..
     
  12. Billhyco

    Billhyco TPF Noob!

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    not stomping on this thread, just thought i would share a couple photos i took the other night working on the light trails. Its not easy and definatley takes patience...




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