stangace20
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:11 pm

What Are The Optimal Settings To Get Light Trails

Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:49 am

I'm trying to take long exposure photos of aircraft passing over my house at night.....I'm basically trying to get the light trail effect.

The shot I'm trying to get right now, has me looking west towards a large mountain and air traffic passing over my house and going behind the mountain. I would like to get one w/ multiple aircraft to make the light trails really bright like I've seen in some photos

However while I have a remote timer and everything for my camera, I am getting generally too much light w/ any picture that was exposed for more than a minute, and the light trails aren't really very long/bright if I set the time for less than that. And of course confounding the problem is that it takes at least 2 min for the aircraft to pass over me and behind the mountain

[Edited 2011-04-15 20:50:43]
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: What Are The Optimal Settings To Get Light Trails

Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:26 am

Quoting stangace20 (Thread starter):
However while I have a remote timer and everything for my camera, I am getting generally too much light w/ any picture that was exposed for more than a minute, and the light trails aren't really very long/bright if I set the time for less than that. And of course confounding the problem is that it takes at least 2 min for the aircraft to pass over me and behind the mountain

Do you understand the relationship among shutter speed, aperture and ISO? If your pictures are overexposed, stop down your aperture and set the lowest ISO.

I recommend manual mode so you can control all three parameters.

[Edited 2011-04-15 21:27:41]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
stangace20
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:11 pm

RE: What Are The Optimal Settings To Get Light Trails

Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:45 am

a bit, I think the lowest ISO setting on my camera is about 100 and the highest 1400
(or those are at least the presets)
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: What Are The Optimal Settings To Get Light Trails

Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:14 am

It would help a lot if you would be a little more specific about what you have tried so far. What mode were you in? What settings? Knowing what your settings were and that they resulted in overexposure will help us determine the kind of environment you were shooting in.

If you don't fully understand the basics like the relationship among shutter, aperture and ISO, then this type of photography will be bit more difficult for you. It's not the same as a bright sunny day where you can have the camera do a lot of the thinking.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
damien846
Posts: 629
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:45 am

RE: What Are The Optimal Settings To Get Light Trails

Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:27 am

I think I can help here.....

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Damien Dyer-Air Frame Photography


This one, ISO2000, f7.1, for 47 seconds.
This set on flickr should help as you should be able to check the settings.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tupperware_pilot/sets/72157622868988969/
As has been already said, knowing your camera and how to use it is useful. But go and have a play. If you have a noise reduction system on your camera, "TURN IT OFF" as with my Nikon if you take a 60 second shot it take 60 seconds to process. And this is a pain. And not going to make that much difference, you can use it once you are up to speed with this type of shot.
Good luck.
 
codeshare
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Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 2:23 am

RE: What Are The Optimal Settings To Get Light Trails

Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:02 am

It's simple, you obviously have a digital camera, so practise practise and.... practise  

KS/codeshare
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