Following my post on the night cityscape of Singapore yesterday, I've actually tried out zooming light burst effect of the cityscape and it turned out to be amazingly creative.The equipment and setup is no different from taking a night cityscape shot as shared in my post yesterday. However, a zoom lens is definitely needed. In my case, I've used my EOS EF24-105mm F/4L IS USM lens to create the zooming light burst effects.
Equipment and Setup
How to Create the Zooming Light Burst EffectThe zooming light burst effect is created by the manual zooming of the lens when the shutter opens for the duration of the exposure. Here are some consideration factors when trying it out:
Smooth ZoomingZooming in or out create different perspective and effects. Whichever the case, you need to practice on a smooth zoom i.e. meaning turning the zoom lens at a constant speed. If the zooming is not smooth, the picture may end up with jerky light trails that may not look nice.
It may be difficult to maintain a smooth zoom if you have a zoom lens with wide focal length (e.g. 18-200mm) that require turning the lens barrel for almost a full round. So in this case, you don't have to zoom all the way - work on a more comfortable focal length range where a smooth zoom can be maintained.
Pause and Hold the ZoomThe camera will collect more light when a pause is made at any point of the zooming (e.g. at the start of the zoom, halfway during the zoom or end of the zoom), making the light burst at the point of zoom appears stronger in the picture taken.
For example in the picture below, I took a 1 second pause at the end of my zoom which will allow more lights to be collected at that point, thus making the cabin from Singapore Flyer more visible.
Aperture and Exposure Time RequiredI typically work on the exposure time required which is made up of the time needed for a smooth zooming and the pause time required - in my case, 2 seconds for the zooming action plus 1 second for the pause at the end.
Knowing that my exposure time, I switch to Shutter Priority (Tv mode) and let the camera meters the aperture needed at for a 3 seconds exposure @ ISO-100. If the camera cannot meter the aperture because a wider aperture beyond what the camera can handle is needed (i.e. you see the aperture value blinking), I will then step up the ISO to a value that can be metered by the camera.
This will gauge my starting point for further adjustment which in my case, the camera metered a value of F/4 for a 3 seconds exposure @ ISO-400.
Fire Flash to Freeze Part of the ImageYou can also try out firing a flash during the exposure time to freeze part of the image along with the light burst. For example, you are trying to create a zooming light burst effects on the lightings of a Christmas tree with a person next to it and you also want to capture the person vividly along with the light burst, you can fire a flash to "freeze" the person in your picture while zooming.
Note: This technique can also be tried in broad daylight, not necessary only at night with light sources.
Go try it, it's fun!
Visit http://jefzlim.smugmug.com/Destinations/Singapore/Bay-East-Garden for the higher resolution pictures ...