Time and again, I have had requests and queries on how to take the amazing “trails” photos, today, I shall try to demystify them.
The technique is called Long Exposure. As the name suggests, we make the photo’s exposure long. In doing so, any light source, or lit up object, that is incident on the sensor, shall be registered by it. In technical terms, we extend the time the shutter stays open, by decreasing the shutter speed. This causes the exposure to be “long”.
Here’s an example:
Now, to achieve this, we need to have a shutter speed that is low enough to form the light trails, while the aperture has to be such that the photo does not wash out, all the while maintaining the ISO at a level where there is not a lot of noise.
We can get to this unique combination by fiddling in the Manual mode:
Or, by setting the camera in the Aperture Priority mode (AV mode in Canon).
The objective should be to have an optimal exposure, despite the slow shutter speed.
With enough practice, taking stunning photos shall not be difficult at all.
Long Exposure is amazing for smoothening out ripples in water, or giving the water a milky flowy look. Do try them out.
It is also useful to take photos in low light environments such as this dimly lit monument at the Lodhi Gardens, New Delhi.
I shall conclude by stating that unless you practice, you shall not be perfect. Go out there, and explore the amazing world of long exposure.