How to short circuit

Ever since I posted Short Circuit I’ve been meaning to post a small tutorial on how I did it. There were so many comments from people clamouring to know the secret of how I made traces of light dance around the picture frame.

Actually, nobody asked. Will was kind enough to suggest another title but otherwise it went unremarked. *sob* I’m going to tell you anyway.

The image is a long exposure shot, of at least 1 second and preferably 4 or 5 seconds. I simply stood in front of a construction site at night, lifted the camera, hit the shutter and rotated the camera around in my hands. Needless to say, I did not have the strap around my neck or I would have done myself damage!
At first I tried Aperture Priority mode, setting the aperture really small (big numbers, around F/22), but then I decided to do the obvious, and used Shutter Priority and simply set the speed(time) I wanted. Below are a few shots from that night, including the scene as it was on the night and some experimental shots as I practiced. The technique is really easy, but can create some really interesting and eye catching photos.


Aperture ƒ/3.5
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 800
Shutter speed 1/10s

You might also like

If you like this post then please subscribe to my full RSS feed. You can also click here to subscribe by email. There are also my fabulous photos to explore too!

3 Comments

  1. Will Knott Reply

    Of course the other way to do this is to have shaky hands…

    But you know those “light writing” pictures where a moving light is used to generate an image on a slow shutter speed type shot?
    Can you write a message by moving the camera on a still light, instead of moving a light on a still camera?

    http://WillKnott.ie

  2. Donncha Reply

    Like this writing on the tower? I’d suspect that it’s easier to move the torch rather than the camera :)

    http://inphotos.org/

  3. How Draw Reply

    You can also get this type of effect without the rotation with fireworks that stream (be careful!) with the same long exposure

Leave a Reply

Loading Facebook Comments ...
%d bloggers like this: