Night Photography | How To Photograph Car Light Trails
Night photography can be challenging, but inevitably gratifying when you manage to capture those “home run” photos. One of our favorites are photographing car light trails at night. If you plan it right you can capture a really engaging night photo as a result.
As you can guess, it is necessary to accomplish this type of night photography . A good SLR (Single Lens Reflex) Camera and some creativity will allow for even the novice to produce professional looking pictures. It is best that you are familiarize yourself with the camera’s exposure capabilities as well as shutter speed manipulation. Pick out a great place to shoot, which will allow you to involve as many trails as possible. Ideal locations should be somewhere with a high volume of traffic, and can provide an elevated viewpoint such as a hill, a bridge, or building, enabling you the perfect overlook at the cars in the night.
When choosing shooting angles remember that cars coming in your direction will provide yellow light trails, while those facing away will provide red, so keep that in mind when you decide what kind of effect you want with the colors.
Now focus on your exposure. A longer exposure will give you more trails, and extend their length, but if your exposure time is too long you will see the brightness of each trail beginning to fade, something you may want to avoid.
Use you viewfinder to find out how long a car needs to pass your scene, then add a couple of seconds on your exposure time. It is best to experiment with different shutter speeds to achieve your desired trail length.
Use a tripod if you want the trails to be straight, if you want some motion in the picture try holding your camera. Try different positions, zoom in and out, spin the camera.
Just be creative enjoy night photography and have fun with it. Good luck!