Sep 22, 2010

Photo Inspiration - Streaking Lights

Hey y'all!
I've only posted 2 "inspiration" posts, and yes I am quite ashamed. It's been a while since I saw anything awesome but wow here's something I found on StumbleUpon a while ago:

This guy is really creative, and I really applaud the creativity and how he managed to pull off such symmetry. Check out the whole gallery here:

If you're wondering how he did this, and how you can also do it, you'd be amazed to learn that most cameras (yes, even that Kodak or Sony you have) can do this, and DSLRs definitely can.

Yes, I used to have this camera, and it could pull it off!

So how?

First off, you'll need a tripod. Nothing fancy. In fact, if you can find a raised flat surface and some support for the camera, it's good enough. What you need to ensure is that your camera won't shake while the photo is being taken.

Next, go into the menu of your camera and look for something like "Long Time Exposure". If you're using a DSLR, go into "Tv" mode (Canon) or "S" mode (Nikon and others) or "M" or "MAN" for Manual. Use the wheel to set the exposure time. Preferably set ISO low to reduce noise, but also a higher means your lights will come out brighter and you can use a shorter shutter speed.

From that step on, depending on the lighting, you'll have to choose your exposure time between 5-30 seconds. I once used LTE at night with 30sec exposure and it looked like day, so I'd say use like 15 seconds if available. On DSLRs, increase until it reads 15".

Next, find yourself a light to use. A burning torch, a light, a mulika muizi (phone with torch), glowstick... basically anything that produces light. Note that the brighter the object is, the less time you'll need in seconds, otherwise it'll completely white out the whole image.

Now, you're ready!

 Place your camera at the spot you'll need, and press the shutter button. Now as you head away from the camera make sure the light is not visible, otherwise you'll leave a trail. Get in position and go NUTS! Wave that thing around like it's the end of the world for those 15 seconds. When you're time's up, the camera should click to respond. Now head back and see your creation:

Man, I'm good!
No I didn't actually do this, but this is a great example of how LTE can be used. Perhaps the most amazing thing for me is that ordinary Point & Shoot cameras can do this.

This technique is great for taking those streaking lights of traffic, fireworks, night shots of skyscrapers and towns... I don't wanna kill all the ideas, just get out there and experiment and mess around...

So what you waiting for?? Get to work! Send me a link to your images and we can show them off on a Photo Inspiration post :-D

I'm totally doing the same now!

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