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Ambulance Light Trail

By ahern
This was a lucky shot in that the camera and tripod were ready and the ambulance came by with its blue lights on.

Tags: Night photography Edinburgh Light trail Flash and lighting

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SueEley 15 279 96 Wales
29 Jun 2012 6:35PM
The trails are great, but the stationary objects are not that sharp. Possible causes are: vibration through what your tripod was placed on, vibration caused by you pressing the shutter button or by the mirror (a remote is better if you have one, or time delay but that would have been useless here; you can use mirror up setting to avoid the mirror problem if you have it), having inappropriate image stabilisation set (I have had a problem with this), or possibly using a very small aperture which I am told can cause problems, but I haven''t actually seen this myself. There are probably other reasons, too, which other people will tell you about. My money is on vibration through the tripod or when you pressed the button/the shutter fell. Like the composition!
banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4264 Canada
30 Jun 2012 4:54PM
Welcome to EPZ Alan.

An ambitious first shot. One thing you may not know being a new member is that during the process for re sizing, theres a step for sharpening, as follows:

Resize image: Image>Image size> set pixels per inch to 72; then set the longest side to what the site allows; then during the save as process, you will adjust the quality slider to get the right file size, then save.

Next: Open the new image. Check for sharpness at 100%. It will very likely need to be sharpened. You can use whatever method you prefer; here is a reliable method you can use:

Filter>sharpen>unsharp mask; set Radius = 0.8; set threshold = 3; now slide the Amount slider all the way to the right, which oversharpens the shot; then slide it slowly back to the left until it doesnt look soft, and doesnt look too sharp. You can view your image and turn Preview on and off to see how youre doing. When your happy, press OK, then SAVE. Now upload.

It looks like you didnt sharpen the re sized image, - which Ive done in the mod, which improves it quite a bit.

Your exif data doesnt appear correct, - your lens is shown as the 18-55, but the focal length used for the shot shows 70mm, - so something wrong. So Im not sure if I can trust the rest of it, - but Ill assume its OK.

Using f/29 was likely to give you a long exposure time, but you can find, as Sue alluded to, that using an aperture smaller than f/16, - depending on the lens, can result in a less sharp image (an optical phenomenon called diffraction, so using a larger aperture would also give a shorter exposure time, so you likely dont have an option when youre shooting an ambulance coming towards you, - you need the longer time. Shooting traffic trails from the side, or down onto a motorway though can do with less time and a wider aperture, - which reduces the chance of any vibration. It needs a VERY heavy tripod, preferably weighted down with a kit bag or the like, and using the remote release as suggested (or the self timer, so youre not touching the camera as the shutter opens, and to go one step further, use the mirror lock up feature, - this raisea and locks the mirror before the shutter opens, to ensure any slight vibration from the mirror movement is eliminated.

A good effort, - remember to sharpen,

Hope this helps, and enjoy the site,


paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
30 Jun 2012 8:51PM
A good interesting attempt. I, too, think you should have opted for a wider aperture and thus faster shutter speed. That would then give less chance of movement blur, of which there is quite a bit.

ahern 9
20 Jul 2012 10:55PM
Thanks for your comments. Many interesting points to consider.

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