Tips and tutorials

3 Basic Tips for Light Trail photography

In my last post, I discussed about 5 Long Exposure Photography Tips You Should Not Miss. This post is the basic tips you should follow when you experiment light trail photography. I have already recommended the basic requirements for long exposure photography and so the same should be used to capture light trails, too.

Light Trail Photography Tips To Get you Started

1. Select the right location

The location with appealing surroundings is the most important key for traffic light trail photography.Based on your perspective choose the proper location for it.

location for light trail photography

2. Choose the right timing

Timing is another important factor to add the vibrancy to an image. One may think midnight is the best time for shooting traffic light trails inside the city, but there will be less traffic light trails. However, very effective timing is just after sun set. So, ambient light in the sky can add atmosphere to your shot. But timing may vary according to the location of your choice.

traffic light trails -- light trail photography


timing and location for light trail photography
Choice of location and timing

3. Choose the right choice of basic settings

When you shoot light trails, basic settings such as Shutter speed, Aperture, ISO should be preset properly for the better outcome. Out of three parameters, shutter speed is the most important factor to frame the light trails. Aperture is considered for getting the crisp and proper structure of the light trail. ISO should be used properly if you want to cover more details like clouds, stars etc. in your frame. You can refer the below mentioned table for sample basic settings


basic exposure settings for light trail photography

long exposure photography in city

I hope you will find this tutorial useful. I would suggest you to follow this when you explore light trail photography. If you have any questions, please drop them as comments. In my next post, I will explain Post processing technique for shooting light trails.

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Srivatsan Sankaran

I'm Srivatsan Sankaran from Chennai.I have been pursuing my passion for photography for the past 3 years.. I began with Sony DSC-S600 and used it for landscape, portrait, etc. After 3 years , I transitioned to Nikon Coolpix and used it for 6 months. I learned a lot through a dedicated lifestyle for understanding the very nuances of photography.Currently I’m using Canon Eos 500D with kit lens and Macro lens.

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