Play with traffic
Combine multiple traffic trails in a single image with our step-by-step guide
We photographers have a bit of a love/hate relationship with movement. Sometimes it’s a real pain and we strive to keep it to a minimum. At other times, we want to celebrate it in all its blurry glory. The motion of traffic at night definitely falls into the latter category. By using a long exposure in the low evening light, the smooth motion of their lights creates wonderful streaks of colour through the frame.
This is one of those camera skills that reveals the magic of photography – and the best part is, it’s easy! Anyone with a DSLR and tripod can do it. As such, it’s a great way to get started with long-exposure photography as there’s no need for extra filters or even a cable release.
The challenge is finding an interesting composition for your shot. Winding roads and mountainous scenery work perfectly, but why not try a multi-lane motorway, city street, or a knotty junction? Another challenge is timing – we want a decent array of lights but at night, especially, traffic can be rather sparse. However, you can always shoot several frames then combine them with simple editing skills, as we’ll explain...
This is one of those camera skills that reveals the magic of photography – and it’s easy!