Painting with Holiday Lights and Long Exposures



As I swayed my camera from side to side, up and down, I felt like a music conductor, or an abstract painter of sorts. My exposure times were very long at 1.6 seconds, with an ISO of 100, and aperture of f11.  Besides the slow shutter speed, these settings aren't really important.  Sometimes technical details need to take a back seat to good old creative fun.  No tripod was needed, just imagination.  



These were all taken at the Bryant Park Christmas Tree in midtown Manhattan about 1.5 hours after sunset.  I used a Canon 40D and a 50mm f1.8 lens.  You could achieve similar results with just about any camera that has long exposure capabilities. 



Try moving the camera in different directions.  Remember, there are no rules here.  For some of these photos I started the composition as a horizontal frame, and ended in a vertical.  Shoot a lot of frames until you get the desired effect.  



Above: Patterns created by moving the camera in little circles.


The holidays can be a magical time, so I encourage you to get out and create something unique of your own.  Have fun, and be sure to break some photographic rules while you're at it.  'Tis the season!


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