Oh, Shoot!|Long Exposures of Cars

Today’s post is going to be the 3rd installment of my ‘Oh, Shoot!’ series. In this series I share small tips for shooting or editing photos that I use myself. Of course, photography is subjective, so an aspect in my images that I really like may not be something you like, or it is not what you’re aiming for in a particular shot.

For this post, I will be talking about taking long exposures of cars. It is super simple and you can get some interesting images.



To take a long exposure, you need a camera whose settings can be adjusted manually and a tripod. I use a typical tripod, but you can use a stack of books if that’s what you have — you might just have to do the photos through the window if you use something like a stack of books.



For settings, you want to have a long shutter speed so you can capture the car for a long time; I put mine at about 6-8 seconds long. To compensate for this, you want to have the rest of your settings set as if it were brighter outside. My ISO was set in the 100-200 range and my aperture was around 13. I played around with the settings of course, so my photos all look a little different. One key thing is to have it very dark outside! When I did this for the first time, it was pitch black, but some of my photos looked like it was 3 in the afternoon.



For setup, I had my camera set up so it was looking down the road a bit; this allowed the car to be in the frame for a longer. I also had my camera in a place where I could see the main road and a side road. That way I got some photos with cars going straight, and some where they are turning. Play around with perspective and angles!



I think it would be really cool to crop images like these as a skinny horizontal rectangle to highlight the lines created by the light of the cars. I chose not to for these photos because I liked the colors in the sky; but I think I may try it in the future!

Like I mentioned before, photography is completely subjective, but here are some of the photos I really like from when I shot long exposures of cars:



Oh, Shoot!|Pan Photography

Welcome to the second installment of ‘Oh, Shoot!’ Last time, I gave some tips on taking photos of the moon, but today I am going to talk about pan photography. Before I jump in, I want to apologize for not posting last week! I had a last minute school event and I had no time to write a post. If you want to know anything about the equipment I use, check out the last ‘Oh, Shoot!’

Settings: Your shutter speed should be at least 1/2 of a second or longer. Then you have to adjust the rest of your settings depending where you’re shooting. Remember that because with pan photography, the background will be intentionally blurred, so your aperture won’t matter.

Grip: Keep your elbows together and close to your chest so the subject is as clear as possible. I haven’t tried this yet, but if you have a tripod, go ahead and use that!

To take a pan photo, have your subject move through the frame, and follow them with your camera. For example, in the photos below, the runners were running past me. I followed them with my camera and rotated my body. Comment if anything is unclear!

And don’t forget to keep practicing. Especially with pan photos, it’s all about practicing and refining your technique.



As you can see I still need to work on my pan a bit, but it’s getting there!

Oh, Shoot! | Moon

Welcome to ‘Oh, Shoot!’ (thank you to my friend, Marie for coming up with this title). In this series, I am going to give quick and easy tips or tutorials for shooting photos, as well as editing. I hope you enjoy!

Today I am going to do something a little different they my past DIYS. I am going to give you a few tips on how to take photos of the moon. Full disclosure, I am by no means a professional photographer, I am simply telling you what I have learned from my (not very extensive) experience.

First, a little bit about the equipment I use. I recently got a Nikon D3200 with the kit lens (NIKKOR 18-55mm) and a NIKKOR 55-300 mm lens. I also have an iPhone 5 which I will sometimes use. When I take an image of the moon, I always use my 55-300mm lens because it zooms really far (which is quite helpful when taking photos of the moon).

As far as settings go, I originally started using my highest ISO but soon learned that was not going to give me a good image. Even though it will most likely be night time outside, the moon is actually quite bright. So change your ISO to a lower one (100 to 300). For aperture and shutter speed, it really depends on the night. Just play around with it and have fun!

I have not tried taking a photo of the moon with a tripod yet (though I think it would be helpful) so I make sure to keep my arms close to my chest for a more steady shot. Do your best to be as still as possible so that way you see all of the detail on the surface of the moon.

Just remember, photography is not an exact science so just play around with your settings. I was not able to locate many of my moon images, but here are a few!

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Moon copy