Light trails: what you didn’t know about this night photography favourite

Light trails: all you need to know for this night photography favourite. Tips on where and when to shoot them, best camera settings and more.

3 ways to ensure you get light trails right


How to photograph light trails: composition

Think about composition
You need to choose a spot with an interesting backdrop that will complement the light trails and allow you to frame the shot so that the path of the traffic will flow through the picture. Set up your tripod in a safe position and frame your shot (discover the 9 secrets to using a tripod like a pro).

How to photograph light trails: select the right lens

Select the right lens
A wide-angle lens will help include light trails and the background (learn how to test your lens’ sharpness). Set an aperture of between f/8 and f/16 so the corresponding shutter speed is around 15 to 60secs. Adjust the ISO setting, but avoid going higher than ISO800 (find out when to increase ISO).

How to photograph light trails: avoid camera shake

Banish shake
To prevent camera shake, use Mirror Lock-up in combination with the two-second self-timer delay, or use a remote release. For exposures longer than 30 secs you will need to use Bulb (B) mode and a remote release to keep the shutter open.

PAGE 1: Where to shoot light trails
PAGE 2: How to expose for light trails
PAGE 3: 3 ways to ensure you get light trails right
PAGE 4: How to shoot light trails at dusk
PAGE 5: 5 tips for getting creative with your light trails


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