Friday, November 18, 2011

Light Drag

Light Drag, like Flash Drag (more on that in another post) is about moving the camera during exposure. There are a number of ways you can do this and the effects can be stunning, pretty cool or perhaps just worth the value of learning something new. You never know exactly what you might come up with and for that reason alone it can be a lot of fun.

The significant difference between Light Drag and Flash Drag is that with Light Drag you would be using ambient light, one light source. With Flash Drag you would be using two light sources flash and ambient light for exposure and effect  

Light Drag is the more difficult of the two because camera movement must be segmented into (at least) two distinct steps otherwise all you will get is a streak of light and no defined subject. Light Drag would also be used with longer exposure speeds, for example 1 second or longer.

The Technique:
If you want to focus on a subject matter in your image there will have to be some delay in your exposure movement. So for example during a 4 second exposure you might want to delay your movement a second or two before you move your camera to distinctly capture the subject. This delay could be placed anywhere in the exposure, but I’ve found it would be best placed at the beginning or end.

Also movement can be achieved in a number of ways including horizontal, vertical or diagonal panning or zooming. A tripod is an essential tool for this type of work. Following is one of my zoom shots...........

Zoom at the Rooms

Zoom at the Rooms

Like I said one fun things about this is that you never know exactly what your going to come up with and with a little practice and a unique location you could create some captivating images.

Please share your experiences, it would be great to learn and hear from you!


  1. I do that with Christmas lights all the time and never thought about signs...Brilliant.

  2. Thanks Phonse, I love creating bokeh with Christmas lights. Lots of ways to have fun and be creative with photography. :-)


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