A very varied selection of pictures from this month’s theme. Lots of traffic including this rather good first shot from Dave, which follows all the rules for getting a good headlight/traffic shot:
Firstly and most importantly it’s a long shutter speed – here, it’s 15 seconds. You will not be able to hold it still for this, but you may not need a tripod – you may get by resting on a handrail or a dog poo bin. Use the timer so you don’t poke the camera and wobble it.
Secondly, you’ll need to find an aperture and ISO to suit the shutter speed (so, usually a higher f stop and lower ISO – here it’s f22 and 100ISO.
Thirdly, you need a good bit of road. Sleek and understandable, with traffic diverting smoothly. (Bumps in the road look awful). It’s crucial that the still stuff is really sharp – so a stationary car looks good too. Somehow if everything is moving we can’t pick out the movement of the subject from the wobbling of the lens, so it doesn’t work. We need to be holding the camera really still for these – use every trick in the book and you’ll be glad you did.
We did have a young chap on a course in Henley who was unbelievably good at holding the camera still – up to a second or more an perfect clarity – weird. Turned out in his day job he is a Royal Marine sniper – fair enough! For most of us the old rule of being able to hold the camera for the length of the zoom applies (so a 200mm lens can be held for 1/200th on a full frame camera, or 1/300th on a Nikon/Sony or 1/3200 on a Canon crop sensor camera. Much longer than this and you have to take precautions – and don’t believe the hype about image stabilisation either!!