I’ve had the Minolta Dynax 5 for a few months now and seeing that it was capable of a shutter speed up to 30 seconds I was intrigued by what could be achieved. So I loaded a roll of Kodak ColorPlus (I really love this film), picked up my tripod and made my way to central London.
For the first few shots my initial temptation was to stretch an exposure out to 30 seconds for a collection of combined light trails from traffic but in central London traffic rarely flows freely for 30 seconds, even at night. With the usual stop start of a busy road, a large part of a long exposure could be taken up exposing to an empty stretch of road or stationary traffic which would diminish the strength of whatever light trail I found. So I shortened the exposure time to between 3 seconds and 15 seconds at about f/11 or more. This made the light trails more pronounced.
There is a noticeable cast to these images. This is possibly due to the effects of reciprocity failure or perhaps the colours of the street lights, I don’t really know for sure and I like the effect so I’m not too fussed.
For this shot, to get all three traffic lights on at the same time I had to time the exposure to start just after the red man went out, and end just after the green traffic light went on.
Having two busses pass at the same time was cool although I would like to have had a bit more definition from each one.
This next exposure was about 7 seconds long – I’m grateful the couple kept still long enough for me to set up and take the shot. Some people don’t like lens flare but in this shot I think it adds to the scene!
The lights here might be a bit overblown but I’m not unhappy with the effect! Again, some people have a problem with lens flare but each little hexagonal disk is individual and gives the shot a bit of character, I think.
As the vehicle slowly passed, I wondered how much of it would actually be in the shot. Here I had to guess how long it would take the car to pass, allow enough time but try to avoid the frame being over-exposed. I had to think on my feet but I think it worked out O.K.
I may have over exposed in order to capture long enough light trails but I’m happy with the colours.
This is not a high end SLR but It was a lot of fun shooting long exposures without a filter.
You can find a curated collection of thought provoking analogue art and info about a range of workshops and photo walks on my Instagram – londoncameraproject
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