Shoot Blurry, Blurry Lights!
Have you ever wondered how beautiful lights look when they are out of focus? Here are a few ways you can go about capturing these ethereal beauties.
Look for Irregular Reflections
If you wish to shoot beautiful blurry lights around you, try to observe reflections. Can you see a street lamp’s reflection on the bonnet of a car? Or do you see the setting sun in the rear view mirror? Reflections of light sources take on a chaotic look. The glass may have cracks or stains that give the light a blurred, diffused look, while a water stream will create patterns of light due to its flow.
Move the Lens Rings
For DSLR users, there are two simple ways of photographing light blurs. Either set a slow shutterspeed and move the zoom ring during the exposure, or simply experiment with the focusing ring. The former is called the zoom burst technique, and is effective while shooting Diwali decorations, lanterns or lamps. The latter, on the other hand, is all about using manual focus to reveal the different forms that a light source assumes, as it gradually goes out of focus.
If You Have a Compact Camera
It is not easy to shoot out of focus lights with compact cameras because compacts produce images that have a large depth-of-field. However, you can try this trick to get past this constraint—switch to the Macro mode and focus on a subject that is really close to the lens. Now, while keeping the shutter release button pressed, change the frame and shoot a street light in the distance instead.
This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of Better Photography.Tags: bokeh, lights, reflections, manual focus, patterns, glass, out of focus, diffused, beautiful, focus rings, slow shutterspeeds, street lamps, bonnets, sunsets, cracks, stains, blurred, water stream, diwali decorations, lamps, lanterns, zoom burst, macro mode