See the city in a new light, as we show you how to mount your DSLR to your car and capture spectacular traffic trails.
Shooting a long exposure from a moving car might sound borderline impossible, but the results can be spectacular. The key is to mount the camera securely to the car first.
With the camera attached, the car will remain sharp in the shot no matter how much it moves around on the road, while any passing lights will blur into stunning light trails. This is great for showing off the bright lights of a big city from a totally new perspective.
The easiest way to attach your DSLR to your car is to use a suction mount, such as the Delkin Fat Gecko Triple (£55,$99). This features suckers at one end, and a tripod fitting at the other.
Once the camera is in place, you can shoot as long an exposure as you need to get the degree of motion blur required. It goes without saying that you don’t want to risk damaging your precious kit, so make sure everything is completely secure, and keep a tight hold of your camera strap while you’re shooting, just in case!
01 Suck it up!
Use the mount to attach your camera to the side of your car. Make sure the surface of the car is clean first, and check that the suction mounts are firmly attached. While shooting, wrap the camera strap around your wrist, just in case anything does come loose.
02 Go wide
Shoot with a wide-angle lens so the car is included in the frame. Drive through busy, brightly lit areas, such as city centres, or along motorways and other long, straight roads. If you haven’t got a suction mount, you can always set up a tripod in the back.
03 Go long
You may need to experiment with shutter speed, but 4-8 secs is a good starting point. To allow for the length of the exposure, set a small aperture at ISO100. This will also help to ensure good depth of field, so that everything ‘motionless’ within the image remains sharp.
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