There are many ways to shoot beautiful light tracks. In addition to car track shooting, we also carefully consider the changes in light track shooting. Here are 5 ways to shoot creative light tracks.


Note: This article mainly introduces composition and subject shooting. If you want to learn basic light track shooting, students are strongly recommended to read the following articles first:

  1. Track shooting tips
  2. Track Photo Shooting Tips-How to Use Black Card and B Shutter
  3. Light Painting

Once you know the basics, you can start to look at some advanced techniques!

(1) If You Want to Shoot, Take a Large Light Track

If only a small part of the photo contains a light track, it is too much to highlight the beauty of it! It is also more difficult to make the light track stand out in the photo. To take a photo of a track you must take a large one. Do not try to use a wide-angle lens, shoot the track on a roadside, and let the vehicle (especially a large bus) pass through the entire photo so that the light track can be larger and more prominent! Of course, you can also use a telephoto lens to capture the distant light track. The previous question is that the light track should be large enough and rich. Use black cards when needed. Low-angle shooting can also make buildings or people “zoom in”. Use these elements to make the light track larger and more prominent!

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(2) Think About Composition Before Shooting

Like taking other subjects, we must also consider composition when taking photos of light tracks. Therefore, when shooting, you can use the light track as a flowing river. The focus of the viewer should be from the beginning to the end of the river. Sometimes, we can also place the light track on both sides, with a stationary object in the middle of the photo. This will not only make a symmetrical composition, but also a dynamic and static contrast. HDR (not necessary), the effect will be outstanding!


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(3) Bring the Light Track Out of the Photo

I discussed in the first point that zooming in the light track can make it more prominent. Another method is to use light and dark to enhance the effect of the light track. Find a place where there is only a car or other moving object as a single light source. When you shoot, imagine that the final product is similar to a “drawing”, so pay more attention when framing. Use arcs, lines, and radiation effects. After shooting, you can darken in the post-production software (Photoshop) to make the light level more prominent. One simple method is to pull the curve into S in [Image]> [Adjustments]> [Curves]. Shape, as shown in the figure below.


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(4) To Shoot a Light Track, You Don’t Necessarily Need a Car!

Although living in the city, cars can be seen everywhere, and it is very convenient to shoot, but you can find some other things to shoot, such as trains, bicycles, moving lights, playgrounds. It will also be very interesting!

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(5) You Can also Create your Light Track

Just like Light Painting, you have a lot of freedom when shooting light tracks. You only need a camera, a tripod, and something that will glow. On the contrary, the most difficult thing is to paint the pattern in your head. After getting familiar with them, create more complicated effects! If you want to know a little more “Light Painting” shooting skills, you can refer to this or this teaching.

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(Ref: dPS)


Author: Alex Tam