Traffic Light Trails

Traffic Light Trails

Photo by Mark

Tonight we had a totally fun meetup, shooting traffic light trails on the highway!

At 7:30pm we met at the Park and Ride on Mountain Road, crossing I95, “shot the breeze” for a while, waited for everyone to arrive and for sunset to come.  And what a glorious sunset it was too!  Someone smart in the group (can’t remember who exactly) printed out some tips for shooting traffic light trails, so we passed that around and quickly absorbed the information.  Then we gathered our gear and headed for the bridge which crosses I95, getting one or two strange glances from passing cars and the state patrol in the process.  That’s always fun 🙂

In my opinion, the camera process itself was relatively simple – shutter priority, long exposure (10s or more), tripod, delayed shooting or cable release.  The most challenging aspect for me was navigating the fence wire!  Turns out that if you take off your lens hood (seemed obvious once a helpful Mark pointed it out to me!), squish your tripod against the fence and use a zoom lens, you get better results, without unsightly wire across your treasured memories.  Jake and Mark walked around, making sure we were all getting the hang of things.

We had at least 2 new members join us for this meetup, but in fact there may have been more because more people arrived after it got dark and we’d started shooting…and I can’t see that well in the dark.  Anyways, a warm welcome to our new members!  We hope you enjoyed yourselves…come back again and bring your friends.

On a personal note, I shot RAW for the first time tonight, in an effort to force myself to learn how to process them.  I’ve been shooting RAW and the highest quality JPG for a while, but always concentrate post-processing on the JPG, because you know, it’s there and it’s simple.  So I figured as I’m an “all or nothing” kind of gal, I’d go for it.  No JPG’s for me tonight!  I managed to do some kind of processing on the RAW’s…although I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.  Mmmm, maybe I should suggest that as a meetup idea…a “help-Natalie-do-RAW” class… Anyways, my 3 best shots for the evening can be found on Flickr.

Make no mistake, I am not a pro, so I can’t tell how good these really are, in comparison to the pro’s.  But I like them nonetheless and in my book, that makes the evening was a wonderful success!

Thanks to Mark and Jake for organizing this fun event!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the Harford County Photography Club Meetup web page for our latest events.

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