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Easy_Target

Tutorial: How To Make Pictures with Trails

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Tutorial: How To Make Pictures with Trails

 

By Easy_Target

 

Things You’ll need:

  • Camera
  • Tripod (or any stable surface to put the camera on)
  • Glowsticks, photons, flashlights, LEDs, basically any source of light that you can easily move around

There are two major types of cameras and depending on which you’re using the method will be slightly different.

 

Camera types:

  • Point-and-shoot (will be referred to as P&S from now on)
  • SLR

Terms To Know:

  • Film
  • ISO/ASA aka film speed
  • Shutter speed
  • Aperture
  • Digital
  • EV – exposure value

Explanations:

  • Point-and-shoot Cameras – These cameras are the general type of camera that many people have. These cameras do not offer very much in terms of controlling how the camera shoots. It basically decides automatically what would most likely provide the best image.

  • SLR (Single Lens Reflex) – These cameras are a more advanced type of camera compared to a P&S in that the person has considerably more control over how pictures are taken. You can control the shutter speed, aperture and do things like multiple exposures and long exposures (on certain models).

  • Film – There are a variety of film formats ranging from the common 35mm you get at the store to types such as 120mm (used by NASA on occasion) to medium format 4x5 film.

     

    If you expose the film to light before it has been processed with the proper chemicals, they will be ruined. It is of the utmost importance that you do not open the actual metal container the film is in. This is also true for when the film is in the camera. If you open the back of the camera before the film has been wound into the protective metal container, it will be destroyed.

     

    A roll of film can have 12, 24 or 36 exposures to it. They can be “slow†speed films or “high speed†films.

  • ISO/ASA – ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization whose guideline provides a standard for things. In the case of film, it is ISO 5800.

    When looking at film or deciding when you’re shooting, it’s important to know that the ISO refers to how fast the film will develop and how clear it is.

     

    A “fast†speed film will need very little light to expose the film and capture the picture. Whereas a “slow†film will need more light to expose the film. There is another factor that has to be considered when choosing an ISO and that is the picture quality. The way film works is that there is a light reactive salt layer on the film. Faster speed films mean larger grains, slower speed film means smaller grains. This makes a difference when you’re actually looking at it as smaller grains provide a crisper image, but takes more time to expose.

     

    The slowest speed film is ISO 25, which is a very long exposure. On the other end is ISO 6400 film is very quick to expose. ISO 400 speed film is generally accepted as the best balance between speed and quality of image.

     

    ASA is an older standard used to measure film, to which the current ISO standard is based.

  • Shutter Speed – When you click the shutter, it opens and closes the shutter very quickly or very slowly depending what the setting is. To put it simply, your eye is a camera. Your eyelid is the biological equivalent of a shutter in a camera in that it regulates the time that light can enter.
  • Aperture – regulates the amount of light that enters, think of it like your pupil. If you set the aperture to f22, that means the opening is very small. If you set it to something like f1.4 then the aperture is very large. A small opening will cause the film to take longer to expose, while a large opening will make it very quick to expose.

  • Digital – these cameras use an image sensor built into the camera as a way to create an image, much like the way film works.

  • EV (Exposure value) – this setting basically compensates for the inaccuracies of a light meter. Bumping the value up will expose it more, dropping it down will expose it less.

How to make trails:

  • Point-and-shoot – Do the following:

     

    To do it manually:

    Set on stable surface or a tripod

     

    Set ISO as low as possible.

     

    Set the EV to 0 or higher.

     

    Set timer, start freehanding or stringing.

     

    Flash is optional.

     

    To do it automatically:

    Set on stable surface or tripod

     

    Set ISO as low as possible

     

    Set to Night mode or fireworks mode (consult your camera manual)

     

    Set timer.

     

    Flash is optional.

  • [D]SLR – Do the following:

     

    To do it manually:

    Set on stable surface or tripod

     

    Set ISO as low as possible (if digital, otherwise use film with ISO 100 to 400)

     

    Set aperture to f3.5 or lower if you can

     

    Set shutter speed to at least 3-5 seconds or as the situation requires

     

    Set timer

     

    Flash is optional

     

    To do it automatically:

    Set on stable surface or tripod

     

    Set to Night mode or fireworks mode (consult your camera manual)

     

    Set timer.

     

    Flash is optional.

 

 

 

Examples: (all of these were done with my Nikon D50 DSLR)

 

Manual, no flash

ISO 200 f 3.8 shutter speed: 1 second

http://www.flickr.com/photos/90374740@N00/...57600100550845/

 

 

Automatic, no flash

ISO 800 f3.5 shutter speed: ½ second

http://www.flickr.com/photos/90374740@N00/...57600100550845/

 

 

Automatic, with flash

ISO 400 f5.6 shutter speed: 1 second

http://www.flickr.com/photos/90374740@N00/...57601521056888/

 

 

 

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Thanks, I should hope it is, being a photo minor and all.

 

Maybe now we'll stop getting a bajillion threads about how to make trails.

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ehehe... i was shooting some pictures last nite of me and i just found out...

i was using prty much the exact OPPOSITE of what the easy just wrote.

 

 

i feel only mildly stupid, but at least i know better now XD

 

*edit*

 

oh almost forgot... nice tutorial, very helpful and understandable ^^

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WOOT!! I'm happy. I got a digital camera for christmas and thanks to this tutorial I just took my first ever trail pics. I was just testing it shaking my hand around with a bunch of led's attached to strings in it, and the pics look amazing. Thanks for posting the this. I cant wait to take my camera into a club now.

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it just so happens that daobobo is a genius.....

 

he has a t-shirt to prove it.

(seriously, it says

"im a fucking genius")

 

and easy......

geniuses can smell there own

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thanx so much

 

i needed this

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anyone have a CASIO EX-S10?

i need some help...

 

i have night mode,ISO 50,Timer 10sec., but the shutter speed is like fast

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yes i hhave

 

i've done night mode,firework mode. it seems the shutter "clicks" after about 5secs..

i can only get a full 1-3 Letters at Most...

 

any help?

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Oh youre doing that, well depending on your camera you might not even be able to get a slower shutter speed

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Oh youre doing that, well depending on your camera you might not even be able to get a slower shutter speed

 

doing what?

theres another method?

 

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