Long Exposure Traffic

by Jack Pritchard

Hey! Just so you know, this article is over 2 years old. Some of the information in it might be outdated, so take it with a grain of salt. I'm not saying it's not worth a read, but don't take everything in it as gospel. If you're curious about something, it never hurts to double-check with a more up-to-date source!

After a long day of work, my friend and housemate Daniel had messaged me to ask if I wanted to go on a photography shoot with him to get some long exposure shots of traffic close to the city centre of Southampton city. Before setting off, we loaded up the camera, erase anything stored on the SD cards. We grabbed our travel mugs, mine filled with Americano coffee and his filled with soup (I know weird guy!). As we stepped outside we realised it was pouring down with rain, so we decided to bring along some duck tape and umbrellas. We loaded up the car and went on our way. After finding a spot to park at, we headed over to what I like to call a crossover spot, where you could easily access the bus stops, train station and main supermarkets. This spot was a hotspot for traffic as there were so many traffic lights and crossings nearby. We set up our tripods and taped the umbrellas over the top of the cameras to make sure no rain fell on to our lenses and ruined the shots. To capture the long exposure shots of the traffic we set our exposure time to anywhere between 4 seconds up to and including 10 seconds. These settings gave enough time for the car lights to be captured in a slipstream composure while minimising the inclusion of the cars themselves. I even experimented with capturing some long exposure shots of the traffic lights themselves which led to some very cool shots of all lights being on at once. It was a great photo shoot, and I will hopefully get to do some more long exposure photography in the future when I purchase camera hardware, to save renting out equipment from the university all of the time!