Tutorial: Alternative Seasonal Photography

Capturing Movement

At night exposure times are longer – the blur created by moving objects adds to the sense of movement.

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Champs Elysées, You Connect member Robert Köhler, Canon EOS 50 0D

This works extremely well with cars and other vehicles – the headlights and rear lights show up as long white and red streaks. You can combine this effect with static street lights and illuminations to fill your photographs with colour and movement.

If you have Manual Mode on your camera, movement can also be added to pictures of people. Stand your subject outside at night. They can be set against a dark night sky, an illuminated building or a dark building with illuminated windows.

Then give the person two small electric torches, one for each hand. With the camera on a tripod or sturdy surface, set the camera shutter to an exposure time of 10 or 20 seconds with f/8 aperture and ISO 400. With the torches switched on, fire the shutter and ask the person to move their arms around in patterns during the exposure. This will produce patterns of light. It is best to experiment and then review the results.

Night skies
Whilst you are outside at night with a camera, turn the lens towards the heavens. Crisp, cloudless winter evenings are ideal for photographing stars.

You do not need a telescope to capture interesting views of the night sky. It helps if you are away from strong urban light. Try to include a subject with an interesting shape in the mid-distance – a leafless tree is good, or a distinctive building. In Manual Mode, try a range of different exposure times with an aperture of f/5.6 and ISO 200.

You can include the moon in your photographs, but remember it is just a sunlit landscape and will be overexposed with exposures longer than about 1/200 second at f/8 and ISO 100. But do remember that although the moon appears quite large to the naked eye, it looks tiny to most camera lenses.

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