Night Shoot

Tuesday night was great fun. Unfortunately the early session on the riverside was not graced with great light. A problem that sometimes afflicts photography. However, everyone seemed to be shooting or having discussions with enthusiasm. You learn either way – so that is good. Ray was busy with people asking really useful questions. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and gained a lot – it is all about “having fun with your camera”.

Thanks for that session Ray. I think it was really good to get people together to do that.

I feel sometimes that when you go to a site to do something and the light is not right then it is time to try something else. So perhaps I should have done something silly like attempt a long exposure of the water dripping through the lock gates to grab a sort of dark misty shot. Or perhaps a long exposure with second curtain flash of a duck swimming past. A dim-light duck trail… Anyway, creativity is the name of the game. So, when doing a shoot of your own, don’t go home empty-handed. Try something different if the light is not as expected.

The light trails session was fun. The location was not the best for car light trails. However, other locations would have been impractical. The aim was to learn three techniques: 1. Light trails using long exposures. 2. Light trails using different methods of camera position or movement. 3. The bulb method to consolidate multiple exposures. These techniques are used in many different situations (eg. fireworks shoots). If you were disappointed in the light trails at this site try lots of different places or situations.

People either love or hate light trails. My first light trail shoot was in 1979 and I have loved the technique ever since. Some of the best shots are taken from the tops of buildings looking down. However, this is really creative photography. So let your juices flow. Try lots of different things : zoom blur; low-down shots; capturing light streams by panning the camera across stationary lights (no vehicles in this one); high up shots; slowly moving the camera up or down over the course of a long exposure… The things you can do are endless. I forgot to mention that you can also try turning the shot to B&W to make the trails more white. I have done this to good effect for one of my shots from Tuesday night. You can see it here…

I did a little handout for my session. I will put it on the website when I have a minute. So look at the handouts page.

As a resource on light trails try this link:
Light Trails images on Google

On Tuesday May 10th our meeting is to look at the shots we did in both sessions. Please make sure you send us some of your shots. We will be able to do a good round-up of the evening then. I will let you know how to do that nearer to the time.



Night Shoot — 1 Comment

  1. I knew I would learn some new things, but I didn’t expect it to be so much fun! Pity about the lack of sunset; however, the evening light was reasonable and, with help from a few ‘friends’, I got some shots I am reasonably pleased with.

    This was good, but the highlight was still to come: light trails! I wasn’t too sure I would enjoy this session, but I can’t remember the last time I got so excited about something! I experimented with my camera settings, and was thrilled when I captured red and a white light trails. Then I got a red and white dotted one. Nothing to write home about, mind, but I shall certainly enjoy more experimentation. I know of a superb place (I think) where I can be sure of material. The Old Severn Bridge from the bridge over the toll booths, English side. I’ve been there a couple of times before, but never with light trails in mind.

    Thank you, Damon and the others who organised this evening. (Damon, I have followed up the web links you have given. Wonderful.)

    Mary Ellis

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