Michael Bosanko

What are Light Trails?

Light trails are created by long exposure photography. Long exposure photography is when we are using a much longer shutter speed, and it’s usually used as a specific technique to achieve a certain effect.  There’s no defined transition point at which a shutter speed becomes slow enough to define your shooting as ‘long exposure photography’.  Generally speaking, I tend to think of it as when we are talking about our exposure times in terms of seconds, rather than fractions of a second.  These kind of long exposure times (shutter speed is the same as exposure time), are often used to blur something in a photo, for example running water in stream, or the movement of stars across the night sky.  A long exposure helps us to trace the pattern of time and render things in a different way to how we are used to seeing them.  When we see things differently, it naturally fascinates us and that’s a significant factor in creating a compelling image.

Light trails can produce a range of different effects.

 


Light Trail Photographers

There are several photographers you could explore for long exposure photography:

 

Michael Bosanko – is known for his light art, using the long exposure techniques.

 

 

Task 1 – Artist

Select a light trails artist, research their background and there area of interest and what they are known for. Identify some images they have produced.

 

Checklist – Michael Bosanko

Then start to think about the following:

colour – the use of colour in the image.

line – what lines are there, are they actual or implied?

form – the composition and framing of the image – the rule of thirds.

tone – the use of light and shadow and what it conveys.

texture – what is being photographed and how would it feel? consider the difference between a metal object and a tree for instance.

 

 

You must make sure to analyse in detail the use of colour and light within the images you are analysing and explain the impact these have on conveying meaning and to the viewer, these will add to the tone and feel of the image.

 

Really Important

The two images you analyse should use the same style and techniques that you want to create for your light trail photography.


 

How do you create light trails?

The camera can have a range of settings however the most important for achieving this is to set the camera for a long exposure to start with some where between 10-15 seconds. You can then set the aperture to help with exposure you ideally want the object of light exposed and not bleached out, try starting with F8 and close down if needed, ISO you want to keep very low ISO – 100. You will need to experiment with settings but make sure that the ISO is low the shutter is set to at least 10 seconds.

Starting camera settings

This is a starting point to begin with on the camera but will need to be refined depending upon what exactly you are trying to achieve for example you might want to darken the environment more.

Camera starting settings

  • Exposure – f8
  • ISO – 100
  • Shutter 10 seconds.

 

 

Tutorials

 


Light trail Experimentation

 

What are you planning to create?

Brainstorm

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 10.31.47.png

Complete this short plan of what you are trying to create with your light trail photography, a reminder it should refer to the style of the images you have already analysed.

Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 14.09.23.png

 

You can download the word version of this template here – Five minute Plan

 

Here is an example of the image plan completed.

Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 14.09.36.png

 


Contact Sheet

You can produce this in Photoshop and it allows for a single document to contain all the images you have taken.

Step 1 – Open Photoshop and follow the path in the images below.

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 08.22.21.png

Step 2

In the choose option select the folder with the images in.

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 08.22.56.png

Step 3

This will take some time but will produce you the image below with all your images which you can upload to your blog.

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 08.23.40.png


Images

Select three image you are happy with from the shoot. You should call these you selected images.

 

 


Review

You need to review you shoot and consider:

  • What went well?
  • Did the images turn out as you expected?
  • What have you learnt from this technique?
  • How would you develop the skills you have learnt for a future shoot?
  • What would you do differently?
  • How might you use edit manipulations with the images you would take in the future?

Additional points

  • Compare the images you have selected to the images that inspired you.
  • Consider how the theme of colour and light is being reflected in the image.

 

 


The final shoot and Edit

This is a page break between the first shoot and the next shoot which will include a edit manipulations.


Inspiration for Final Image

 

You need to select an image and analyse that image explaining the techniques it uses and how it will inspire you. You need to explain the way you will produce the image including what you will need to do in the studio as well as how you will edit the image. Make sure to focus on the theme of the project and discuss how colour and light is being used in the image.

download

 

 


The Final Edit

The video eblow suggests some more advanced techniques you could try out and experiment with for the final image:

The Final Edit

Here are some suggestions of ideas for the final edit of light trails.

NightSkyPhotography22.jpg

Editing the final Image

Once you have completed the final shoot in the studio you need to complete the final elements listed below to evidence as well as manipulating the final images in Photoshop. Even if the final image is not being superimposed or over-layed it will still need to be adjusted using:

Vibrancy , levels, sharpness etc in Photoshop.

maxresdefault-1.jpg

 

Order to upload for for the final images

Tasks to complete for the final image in order they should be uploaded

  1. Contact Sheet – You can create this to evidence all the images you have taken in Photoshop.
  1. Review the contact sheet for the final shoot / contact sheet.
  2. Create the final Images and upload high res versions of them to the blog.
  3. Take frame grabs from Photoshop and explain how you manipulated the images and what your intention was, the layers in the right of the software will show this.
  4. Upload the final images
  5. Evaluate and compare with images that inspired you.

 

 

Evaluation

Analyse the final images – You MUST be detailed in your review – this is one quarter of the mark self evaluation.

  • Compare the images you have selected to the images that inspired you.
  • Consider how the theme of colour and light is being reflected in the image.
  • What went well?
  • Did the images turn out as you expected?
  • What have you learnt from this technique?
  • How would you develop the skills you have learnt for a future shoot?
  • What would you do differently?
  • How might you use edit manipulations with the images you would take in the future?

 


Example Light Trails

Here are some examples of some light trails I have experimented with.

Light patterns

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Light Writing


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Edit Manipulations

 

Final Edited 

 


Example Light Shapes / Patterns

I wanted to recreate the Metroid from the original Metroid 8 bit game. The images below are the original design of the Metroid from that game I was inspired bay.

 

The plan of how to create that create. I had to consider how I could make this creature as it uses different colour has several additions to it like the grabbers and the eyes inside the bubble. I would need to break it down into components that I could then add together in Photoshop.

The plan

image1.jpeg

 

The images

I experimented with creating elements of the creature with both LED lights and using the portable light bulbs and colour changes, I also decided I wanted it too look more menacing and so went with the red ‘fireglow’ bulb for the eyes of the alien.

 

The final Metroid Image

 


Lesson Plans and resources

lesson 1

 


Checklist

Checklist – Michael Bosanko

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 14.22.39.png