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Author Topic: Strange light trails on long exposure night shot?  (Read 1311 times)

Redcrown

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Strange light trails on long exposure night shot?
« on: May 10, 2013, 12:27:10 PM »

I shot a bracketed set of a night scene and in the longest exposure I have some strange light "trails". I've never seen anything like this before and wonder if anyone can explain what caused them?

Here are two images from the bracketed set. The top image is a 5 second exposure and has the light trails. Bottom image is a 1.6 second exposure from the same set. It shows no light trails, nor do any other exposures less than 5 seconds.

http://kellyphoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-QDvBNwj/0/O/i-QDvBNwj.jpg
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Strange light trails on long exposure night shot?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 12:37:25 PM »

I shot a bracketed set of a night scene and in the longest exposure I have some strange light "trails". I've never seen anything like this before and wonder if anyone can explain what caused them?

Hi,

Since those are camera movement induced, are you sure that the shutter had closed when you removed the camera from the tripod (if that's what you were using)?

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 07:23:50 PM by BartvanderWolf »
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Schewe

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Re: Strange light trails on long exposure night shot?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 06:50:10 PM »

You kicked the tripod doode!
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Strange light trails on long exposure night shot?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 07:30:39 PM »

Absolutely.
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Gulag

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Re: Strange light trails on long exposure night shot?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 07:45:03 PM »

that can be fixed in Photoshop anyway. No biggies.
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Ken Bennett

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Re: Strange light trails on long exposure night shot?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2013, 09:27:04 PM »

One of my favorite photos resulted from my picking up and moving the tripod before the shutter was closed. That's what happened here.
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Equipment: a camera and some lenses. Images: Work photos. Personal photos.

Redcrown

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Re: Strange light trails on long exposure night shot?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2013, 12:19:40 AM »

Thanks, I was pretty confident there was no camera movement (tripod used). But you all may be right. I'll have to test again to be sure.

Reasons I doubted camera movement:

There is a significant trail in the lower left corner, apparently from the faint spectral reflection on the gray car. But there is a brighter reflection on the back of the red car that did not create a trail.

The bright light in the upper left corner did not create a trail.
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opgr

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Re: Strange light trails on long exposure night shot?
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 02:24:53 AM »

Does your camera have a shake-reduction feature?
Was it turned on or off when mounted on the tripod?

Did you use a timer, or cable release?
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Ken Bennett

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Re: Strange light trails on long exposure night shot?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2013, 08:56:24 AM »

The light trail by the gray car is a light, not the spectral reflection - as you point out, none of the others show that. This isn't "camera movement" the way we usually talk abou it -- this is opening the shutter for a long exposure, then picking up the tripod and walking away just before the shutter closes. (Or taking the camera off the tripod.) Looks like there was some twisting motion, too, as the trails on the bottom left are more circular than those on the top right.
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Equipment: a camera and some lenses. Images: Work photos. Personal photos.
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