Recently, I have really found a love for Light Trails in my photography. Mainly at night time, I will venture out to a location and dance about light in hand in front of the camera while it captures an image for 20 or 30 seconds. I find that it adds another layer to an image that spices it up. I also find that it gives more of a ‘wow’ factor as some people don’t get how lights manage to travel down a path while spiralling around.
I also thought that while out on my most recent night mission around Hughenden woods, I’d make a little video explanation of how I created this effect.
What’s needed to create these spiralling light trails is a camera (obviously), a tripod (for stability), a light source (I use my phone’s torch), Remote shutter/timer (prevent shaking) and patience as this is a trial and error process. Set up the camera and tripod where ever you reckon you want your framing to be. Set up your settings using a couple of test shots and then turn the ISO down 1 or 2 clicks as you’re going to be adding light into the scene. Start your shutter then immediately start drawing what you want to have with your light, then as soon as you’ve done that, come back behind the camera and paint the rest of the scene in with your light to ensure that they aren’t under exposed.
That’s a walk through of how I go about it, you may have other techniques and methods, please feel free to share. If you’re like me and prefer a video explanation to text, find it here.