Tag Archives: night photography

How I Did It – the Tripod-less Night Shot

I thought it would be fun to occasionally show how I created a photograph, whether it has to do with taking the photo itself or a series of effects added later. Today, it is really simple — I’m going to show you how I captured the night shot from earlier this week:

Colorado and Mt Royal Drive at twilight

If you recall the title of that post, I didn’t have a tripod. In fact, I had gone out purely to capture the Pete’s Blue Chip sign from yesterday. But of course no photographer can go out to take a photo of one thing without being inspired to grab a few shots of something else too. It was just past twilight and I thought it would be fun to get shots of the traffic speeding by. But the whole secret of getting a photo of those headlight streaks is keeping the camera perfectly still. In lieu of a tripod or a platform on which to set the camera, I needed something to brace myself against to be able to remain still for the .6 seconds of the shot. I used the pole of a traffic light… but this pole had something special that really helped. In fact I went back the next day and took a photo of it:

Traffic Pole during the day

I squeezed myself in between the metal signs, and that helped keep me still. I also set the timer for a 2-second delay so I didn’t jerk the camera by pushing the shutter button when I took the shot. It took a couple of tries to match the delayed timing with the traffic, but once I got the hang of it, I was able to take a series of images that included the one you see above. Other than a few touch ups in Photoshop for slight cropping, color and such, what you see is pretty much what I got.

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