I would like to achieve this effect using my Nikon P510:


Are there any suggestions or tips that would help me do that?


2 Answers 2


Based on how the second photo looks, my guess is that it was extremely dark and that they took a flash photo with a bulb exposure and then tilted the camera upwards to create the trails from the only lights in the room (which would have been the audio gear).

This would leave the DJ well developed since he is only exposed during the flash and then expose the light trail from the gear over the top of the initial exposure.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm hairsplitting, but "turned the camera" sounds better than "moved the camera". The word "moving" sounds like "from eye-level to waist-level" or suchalike, at least to me, even though a tilt/turn/pan is moving the camera just as well. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 5:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EsaPaulasto - you're right, that is more clear. Updated, thanks for the suggestion. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 5:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ any idea of the settings I should use? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 10:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LuisValenciaMunoz - do you have a Bulb exposure setting, set the flash as necessary for a standard exposure using metering and then play with the length and speed of exposure. The exact amount of light available is going to be a key distinction in achieving the effect and it's really impossible for me to give more detail without knowing too many factors that you are not going to be able to quantify here. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 16:42

Could you be talking about the lines of light, they are commonly called light trails. You can get that effect using a torch. This page has a nice looking example in medium sized room.

The basic way to get that is with a tripod and a long exposure. This post has some more tips on it.

Depending how long the exposure is you will either see a dj with motion blur or they will be totally hidden, that will also depend on how much they are moving.

Edit: a comment made me realize that my example above is slightly misleading. It's better described with the more specific term light painting.

  • \$\begingroup\$ yes light trails like some pics here djresource.eu/Djsets/display/8199 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 5, 2013 at 23:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think they must use a different method. In the book The Complete Digital Photo Manual (Page 174, ISBN-10: 1847327400) they talked about creative use of flash while moving the camera or zooming out. The examples on that page look sharp though, it could have been done in post-processing using Photoshop or some other image editor \$\endgroup\$
    – Kioshiki
    Commented Apr 5, 2013 at 23:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ amazing, I just played with the settings on that blog and I could make a single one, I guess I just have to find nice spots, these light trails are usually for cars, but for small areas with dj equipment and its own lights where the equipment doesnt move, I just have to press the button and move a little the camera to generate a trail \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 5, 2013 at 23:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not seeing an example of light painting on the blog. At least not in the way you described it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Commented Apr 5, 2013 at 23:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I cleaned up the original question to reflect the desired image, so feel free to adjust your response. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 3:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.