Focusing on lighting
Since I found the lighting component of the above image most interesting, I wanted to specifically isolate and capture light in future shoots; in particular, capturing the notion of moving light, since moving light can overlay a static scene with a fleeting highlight potentially only ever seen by the photographer.
Trying to find my photography feet while in Munich, I experimented with some differing styles. In the first image, the abstract light takes the primary focus and isolates light from the scene from which the image is taken (Tollwood festival in Theresienwiese), though since it is not overlaid onto a scene, feels underwhelming in terms of overall composition. The second image overlays light onto the silhouetted background, yet while the river provides the sense of movement, it does not capture the sense of a fleeting instant that could have been provided by moving light. Although the composition of the final image does not place the moving light as a central focus, it is a hint at the type of image I wanted to try and capture.
Jumping past my photography hiatus of a couple of years, and I now live within close proximity of a railway station: an excellent opportunity for capturing some moving light. Setting up on a bridge just above the station, it became obvious quite quickly that I would have to be ready with camera setup and positioned on the tripod to capture the image before a train pulled into frame.
I set the camera to use 100 ISO, zoomed to about 55mm, focussed to the mid-ground of the frame, and experimented with the exposure and white balance until I was capturing a reasonable image (I think I ended up settling on +1.4 stops of exposure and used the in-build auto WB since it was doing a better job than I was!).I took a practice image on a stationary train (see above), then waited for several trains to pass until I got an image I was satisfied with (see below).In my final couple of attempts, I moved slightly to the left so that the converging parallel lines would move diagonally across the frame.Aware that the trains were passing through the station at a much slower rate than the vehicles on the road behind me, I took a few shots of the road – and got lucky. Only a few shots in, I took the image below.The ghostly image of floating light overlaying a sharp gritty background finally matched up to the style of image I was looking for.I will continue to carve out my photography style, and if you’re interested, this journey will be documented on my site here. If there is sufficient interest, I will create a short video tutorial series in taking similar photographs to the style above.Thanks for reading!
Keywords: Long Exposure Photography, Train, Station, Cars, Traffic, Paris, Munich, Coventry