Capturing light trails per se is nothing special. But doing it without a tripod and fully handheld is. Venturing out on the nightly streets of the Rose City, I experimented with my new Olympus OM-D E-M1X.
To capture decent light trails, you need at least two seconds of exposure time. Which, if you want to capture light trails in a sharp environment, normally means putting the camera on a tripod. And as I normally don’t feel like lugging around a tripod (not so useful when doing street photography), I simply never shot light trails.
But wanting to test the further improved image stabilization capabilities of the E-M1X, I headed into downtown Portland to capture my light trails. So I dialed in 2 seconds of exposure, stopped down to f/22 to turn the traffic lights into star bursts and snapped away.
I have to admit though, I leaned myself against a lamp post for additional support. The lens I used was my trusted 12-100 F/4.
As expected, 2 seconds handheld still produced a sharp background while capturing the light trails from the passing traffic. Adding to that the star burst traffic lights (due to narrow aperture) I was quite happy with my first attempt to capture light trails. A big checkmark for the image stabilization of my new camera body.
I processed the RAW files in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and applied one of my night presets. Hope I could inspire you to go out and try to shoot some light trails yourself.
Wish you a great Wednesday!