Night Photography - How to capture moving cars?


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snaplover

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Jul 31, 2006
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#1
Hi,

Im new to photography. I've just bought a 40DX.
Was trying to shoot moving cars but unable to get it right ;(
I cant get the car in my photo... only can see the lights.
How to take photo such that the car is in the picture and has trailing lights effect?

These are the setting used:-
Exposure Program: Shutter Priority
ISO Speed: ISO - 800
Exposure Time: 8 sec
F-Number: F/9
Focal Length : 55mm
Flash Mode: no flash

 

zac08

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Feb 21, 2005
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#2
Shutter speed is too long. What you got was the light trails.

You'd need to use a flash to freeze the car and capture it clearly. ;)
 

snaplover

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Jul 31, 2006
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#3
Hi zac08,
Oh.. i should you a flash huh... i'll give it a shot again tomorrow :p
Btw, what is the recommended shutter speed to be used here?
 

ziploc

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Jan 17, 2002
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#4
Hi snaplover,

Try shooting further away from the road. A good point to start is to try shooting a traffic light junction several storeys up. Time your release so that the cars have chance to drive up to the junction and stop. :)
 

snaplover

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Jul 31, 2006
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#5
Hi Ziploc,

You mean i need to half press the button, then release the button when the car stop at the jucntion?
 

huggable

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Nov 2, 2004
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#6
I think what he meant was that since your exposure time is 8secs, you can say, press the shutter when the car is about 4 secs from stopping, assuming that the car will be stationary for another 4 secs before moving off. With that, you 'll be able to capture the trail, as well as the car properly in your picture.
 

ziploc

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#7
Erm that's not what I meant. Ok, for example you plan to do an exposure of 8s. You should press the shutter release say 4s before the traffic light turns red. This way you are allowing 4s for the cars to drive up to the junction, hence forming the light trail, and then another 4s with the cars stopping at the junction so that there is enough exposure time for them. Try experiment with different timings & durations.
 

ziploc

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#8
I think what he meant was that since your exposure time is 8secs, you can say, press the shutter when the car is about 4 secs from stopping, assuming that the car will be stationary for another 4 secs before moving off. With that, you 'll be able to capture the trail, as well as the car properly in your picture.
Ya that's right. :thumbsup: :)
 

snaplover

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Jul 31, 2006
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#9
Ic. Thansk all.. will give it a try in my next attempt! ;)
 

simcooo

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May 22, 2005
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#12
how bout this
try a faster shutter maybe abt 2 s
lowest aperture
use rear sync flash to freeze the car at the end
 

cmeptb72

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Nov 25, 2006
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#14
Remember to set the curtain sync to 2nd curtain sync or else you'll have trail of lights in front of the car, not behind.

This is where the flash fires just before the shutter closes.
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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Feb 15, 2003
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#15
Use a flash, but beware of flare...

Use high ISO, but beware of noise...

Use fast lens, but beware of focusing...

worse come to worse... just buy stock fotos... ;p

Anyway, i recommend, iso 1600 to 3200 if you wish to take moving cars yet want to see its clarity at night, shutter priority is more effective than using aperture priority since you need to judge the car speed instead of the aperture reading. So if for eg, your distance is far, your shutter speed can be slow, if your distance is near, your shutter speed need to be fast. like wise for car speed, if a car traveling at 20km/hr, u can shoot slower, at 120km/hr, u have to pray hard... manual focusing prefered...
 

Kit

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Jan 19, 2002
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#16
For those who suggested using a flash, how would you feel if you were driving on the road and suddenly, a flash went off on you?
 

Kit

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#18
No but photographer using flash along roadside is both stupid and dangerous. If it happens to me, I won't hesitate to mount the kerb and take out both man and machine. I'll say I just got distracted by the dead man's flash and lost control. **** happens.....
 

zac08

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Feb 21, 2005
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#19
No but photographer using flash along roadside is both stupid and dangerous. If it happens to me, I won't hesitate to mount the kerb and take out both man and machine. I'll say I just got distracted by the dead man's flash and lost control. **** happens.....
No need full power, just 1/4 or 1/8 to get a fill light in to capture the car would be enuff...
 

Adelfin

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Dec 18, 2005
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#20
i'd actually suggest bulb mode with 2nd curtain sync flash... manually release the shutter as the car comes into view, so that u can control when the flash fires... much easier than trying to time everything correctly...

but in any case, using flash will probably scare a few drivers on the way.. haha...

another way, like how they do car adverts... use ND filters and low iso... and ask a friend to drive really slowly along the road...stop at the end and wait for the car to get exposed properly or use flash..
 

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