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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    London, UK
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    51

    Light Trails! (Taking into account what was said)

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    I listened to the advice given to me and I feel as if these are better than the ones I produced before.
    The first two were taken with my 18-55mm Sony zoom lens (kit lens)
    The London skyline was taken with my Tamron 70-300mm.

    I hope they are an improvement!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    9,560

    Right you are with that open shutter

    Challenged by long shutter exposure you are, I would say. Hmmm... more practice it will take, young padowan.

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    I had some fun with that, also... a few years back.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-23-2012 at 01:25 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    51
    What should I do now to make them even better?
    Haha awesome! How did you stop motion blur from your subjects and achieve such defined lines with the trails?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    2,346
    Fill flash set low power so as not to overwhelm the natural light levels.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    Second curtain flash (Rear Sync.)

    There are TWO shutter curtains inside the camera. The first one opens the in front of the sensor and begins allowing light to flow to it. The second curtain runs along behind it, delayed by the shutter speed setting. ONE - TWO ... picture taken.

    Normally, when you trip the shutter release on the camera, the flash instantly fires... and then the exposure takes place, no matter how long you have the shutter speed set to.

    So, let's say you have a 1-second exposure set, what transpires? This is the NORMAL flash flow of events:
    .
    1. You press the shutter release button
    2. the camera autofocuses on the subject (unless you are in manual focus)
    3. once autofocus is locked, the flash fires, as the "first" shutter curtain opens (the actual flash is about 1/600th second duration)
    4. the duration of the shutter speed takes place (in this case, 1-second)
    5. the "second" shutter curtain closes
    6. the image is buffered and sent to the recording media


    Okay, during that open shutter... all light movement was recorded AFTER THE FLASH. SO, you realize it kind of looks a little stupid and backwards, because the light trail are flowing FROM the subject... and not into it. Hmmm, that's a problem, right?

    What to do: In your camera's flash control menu, there is a switch setting called "Rear Sync." or aka second curtain. It's FLOW is this:
    .
    1. You press the shutter release button
    2. the camera autofocuses on the subject (unless you are in manual focus)
    3. once autofocus is locked, the "first" shutter curtain opens
    4. the duration of the shutter speed takes place (in this case, 1-second)
    5. as the "second" shutter curtain begins to close, the flash fires and "freezes" the subject
    6. the "second" shutter curtain closes completely
    7. the image is buffered and sent to the recording media


    What you have is the camera recording all light movement BEFORE the flash goes off... and then the light trails terminating into the subject being flashed.

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    EXIF: 28mm - f/8 - 1.3-sec - ISO-100 - Second curtain flash - Tripod w/ release

    In the menu, under "Flash control" or "Flash Mode", look for the "Rear Sync." setting and try it out.

    Remember, this is best done with the camera on a tripod and using an electronic release (cable or wireless), to keep the light trails straight and true. Also, time your event... to figure out, as close as possible, the duration (shutter speed) necessary to capture all of the movement involved. It will TERMINATE the action, even if you are not done, yet, because that shutter is closed after the flash takes place.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-23-2012 at 11:18 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    51
    Thanks Don for that in depth explanation; I get it now! haha
    The only problem I have is with my subject. It's illegal to fire flash at moving motor vehicles, especially on a motor way, someone might think they're getting three points on their license.

    I'm stumped on where else to go in London where you can get a high angle vantage point and not distract motorists from the road.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Jacko, the first two pics are simply too dark, sharpness seems fine but you need some detail in the background.
    At least, that's what I think.
    You could have achieved that by going to f/5.6 or f/4; you can still go for a low key image.

    The third pic comes down to a matter of taste, I suppose.
    I'd say it was overexposed on the right. A neutral grad could fix that or two frames at different exposures merged together.
    The WB is way too red and needs cooling down.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    51
    The background was a bit dull so I wanted to 'block' it out as such; it's just suburban London houses haha

    I agree with you on the over exposing and the white balance. How do I change that? Can I do it in CS5 for the time being?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Your turn at bat...

    Okay, Peter...

    I covered "Rear Sync.", you can tackle WB with PS.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Quote Originally Posted by JackoWilliams View Post
    I agree with you on the over exposing and the white balance. How do I change that? Can I do it in CS5 for the time being?
    Unfortunately, the image is heavily contaminated by the close by Sodium(?) light shining into the lens and is beyond rescue, I would say. You could apply a cooling filter in PS and mask off the areas unaffected but I doubt you would get very far because of the flare.

    In a mixed lighting situation, you can only balance for the main subject in the image. If it can't be got right in camera, correcting for WB and exposure is best done in a RAW converter, it's too late by the time the image is "fixed" and taken into PS. The tone curves for WB vary considerably at different frequencies so it needs correcting at the RAW level to be right.

    Fortunately, the human eye/brain doesn't need the WB to be perfect, particularly in a night shot. All we can aim for is a pleasing image without obvious technical flaws.

    Sometimes it can be effective to choose an incorrect WB for the main subject to achieve a more pleasing result. In this image I chose the WB for the pre-dawn sky and left the Castle illuminated by the warm floods from the car park which also cast pleasing shadows through the trees.

    As it happens, it would be quite easy to correct the WB for both sky and Castle because the two areas are quite easy to separate. In the RAW processor, develop a second image corrected for the car park floods and merge the two images using a mask.

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