Night + Camera + Car = ART

If it’s dark outside, you have a camera, and you’re in a car, don’t make waste of your time — make art! I’ve got to give my Dad credit for this one, since he’s the one that mentioned it to me. Actually, he sent me a bunch of whacked-out pictures and made me try to guess how he took them. I got close, but not right on. So here are some of the shots he sent me:

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Making your own abstract light paintings is pretty simple, but you’ll need a few things: night, a car, a driver, and a camera that’s capable of long exposures. So you go out for a drive, set your camera for long exposure (4 seconds seemed to work nicely) at your lowest ISO, point your camera out one of the windows, and take a picture. Now that’s the basic part of it, but there are several ways to get creative here.

  1. Exposure times — lengthen for longer trails
  2. Apertures — stop down to make sharper light trails
  3. Focal lengths (I used wide, my Dad used telephoto) — or zoom while exposing
  4. Focus — blurry, sharp, random, or change during exposure
  5. Composition — bouncing, shaking, panning, and rotating are all allowed
  6. Lights — look for different colors, patterns, or blinking lights

This becomes an interesting experiment as you start to loosen up and forget about following any rules of photography — YOU’RE ALREADY MAKING BLURRY PICTURES, WHO CARES!!! EXPERIMENT!!! I’ve got to warn you though, it gets kind of addicting. This won’t be a problem if your driver doesn’t mind the constant clicking of the shutter — I ticked off my wife after about 45 minutes though. So next time you’re going out to dinner, take your camera and make somebody else drive. Here are some of my shots (all are untouched by editing software — just resized):

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