Night Time Driving

Have you ever taken your camera for a drive at night? I definitely hadn’t until the instructor from my Night and Low Light Photography course challenged us to do so. It was an interesting experience as I felt like such a creeper having a camera on a tripod in the car. Thankfully I didn’t have my big telephoto lens on, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been! (Given the long exposure times used, the most you would see of someone is a ghost IF they stayed the same distance from you for the length of the exposure and your camera is facing them, but they don’t know that.)

Note: All of these photos are SOOC (Straight Out of the Camera). I can’t make these colours up!

Mr. Bean was driving (thankfully!), which made it easier for me to operate the camera while we travelled around town. No photography caused accidents for us! I couldn’t imagine trying to operate my camera and driving, especially on some of the bumpy roads we encountered! (Hear that city of Calgary? Some of your roads need to be repaved!)

The best place to do this is in a place with lots of different lights. We drove from the northwest of the city through downtown,  then south along one of the main drags and back up north along another main thoroughfare.

The trick with these type of photos is to use the smallest aperture, lowest ISO and longest shutter speed you can while not over exposing. Most of the time I used f/22 or higher, ISO 100 and 20 – 30 second exposure time.

It’s also interesting to take photos when you’re moving and stopping in the same exposure as you can see what was around you as well as the motion.

It’s also good to have a frame of reference, like the dash of the car, to show the motion of you driving past the lights. Or are the lights moving past you? I guess it all depends on your frame of reference. 😛

Another benefit of having Mr. Bean with me while taking the photos was his ideas on how to make lights look cool. I stack it all up to his amazing knowledge about physics and light. 🙂

The above photo was taken on an S curve. Neat, hey?

If your car isn’t changing direction enough, you can create that by moving your camera.

Unfortunately, driving your car in circles doesn’t create the most interesting looking photo…

Have you ever taken your camera for a drive?

*The photo of the sideview mirror is my submission for this week’s reflection themed Foto Friday.
Household6Diva FotoFriday


Filed under Photography

25 responses to “Night Time Driving

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog. You know how you said that you want to head downtown to take pictures? Guess what I want to do? GO FOR A DRIVE!!! =) These photos are amazing!

  2. Love these- I actually did try this on our way home from Vegas a few weeks ago. The lights from the strip came out very similar 🙂

  3. Great and so fun experiment and I have not ever taken my camera to drive:) But maybe after this I will.

  4. That looks awesome! I can’t wait to try that sometime.

  5. Now this would be great fun – your photographs are so inspirational.

  6. That’s really cool! I got a DSLR for Christmas – hope to take some classes this spring to figure out how it all works!

    • Good idea! I think it’s good to take classes, especially when you’re starting out as you they show you how to use your camera, so you don’t spend a frustratingly large number of hours trying to figure out what each button does and not knowing what half of the stuff means! I found my intro to photography course really taught me how to use my camera properly on manual or P mode as well as cementing my knowledge a lot of photography concepts. Let me know how that goes! 🙂

  7. Those are some really amazing pictures! I never would have thought to take pictures like that.

  8. Well sister, my response to your comment to the city of Calgary needing to repave their roads is this: Come to Quebec and drive on the country highways or the gravel road to Manawan, and you will see that Calgary is doing pretty well 😛
    Like your pictures and I hope you are learning lots in your class!

  9. Abi

    Oh, I just HAVE to try this! Your images are so fun!

  10. ostranderblog

    WOW WOW and… WOW this is SO cool. I just got my DSLR so learning apeture/ISO/ and shutter is finally sinking in. THIS is so fun. I love it and your blog along with it had me laughing, because I so felt the same way when I had my camera in the car, feeling like some creepy paparazzi sitting in the passenger seat, hadn’t thought about a tri-pod! Great idea. Subscribing to you so I can keep up on your class assignments 😉

  11. These are totally awesome!!!! I love the one that almost looks like lightning coming down!!

  12. Great shots. Very abstract.

  13. These photos are so cool!

  14. these are neat. love the first and last ones.

  15. I am a photographer too. I LOVE, L-O-V-E these photos. 🙂
    Thank you for your comment on my post. 🙂

  16. These are terrific! I am inspired to go for a drive tonight with my lens.

  17. What fun! My hubby has put up with my camera coming along for our car rides many times… I’m usually bundled up with my window down, shooting out the window (mostly just when we travel long distances – the beautiful rolling hillside landscapes and farms on the sides of the interstate through the mountains – on the way to the grandparents house). I have yet to try this though, wow, very very neat!! Your class has yielded some amazing shots. I have enjoyed looking back through your older posts.

    • Thank you very much for your lovely comment! I’m really glad I’m taking these courses as it teaches and challenges me to do things I wouldn’t think of myself!

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