07. Shooting car trails

With the amazing backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, Karl and the team set up to capture the tail lights of cars passing by. With some simple equipment and not too much effort you too can create stunning images like this, all you need is the know-how. Expand your shooting skills beyond the magic hour by applying these simple rules to your night photography.

Comments

  1. I am enjoying the content of your vids so far but I would like you to talk us through your composition and show us what you are seeing in the viewfinder when you first set up. Explain what you are hoping for, where you are aiming/focussing. You do it better in some vids and not so much in others. You are very good at talking us through the process etc but I wish you would spend a little more time teaching. It all feels a bit hectic.

    1. Hi Maysie, keep going through our other content including the portrait, fashion and studio stuff and you’ll hear me comment on those details too. Describing the ‘why’ of composition is often a difficult process as sometimes it is intuitive via practise. Chapter 63 of ‘Light Source’ in the ‘Portrait’ section might give you some new insights.

  2. Hi Karl,

    Another fab video – thanks. I’ve tried this kind of shot too, and would like to somehow also have the vehicles visible as well as their tail lights/headlights. I thought of using a speedlight to capture & freeze the movement of the cars, but reckoned that pointing a bright flashing light at moving traffic was probably a bit uncool! Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Graham, a speedlite or flash would be the only way to do it but it would create a semi transparent ghost image unless you got the car to stop and then flashed it.

  3. Thanks Karl – a ghost image would do, but I think that I’ll have to set it up with some friends driving their cars so that they know to expect some flashes…..

  4. Thanks Karl, a good suggestion, and a good point about second curtain sync – I think that I know what I’m doing with that but I’ll also check out your tutorial – although I was maybe visualising triggering the flash independently of the duration of the shutter opening time…..

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