It wasn’t until the clocks went back in Autumn and it became dark when I left work that I realised just how brightly lit Newcastle was. Usually when it gets to Winter I don’t tend to enjoy the darker nights but this year I’ve been taking advantage of them. One good thing about less hours of daylight is that I can photograph light trails earlier!
This year I’ve became really interested in photography and I’ve even ventured outside of Automatic mode. I’ve adapted my Twitter and Instagram to follow local photographers for inspiration and I’ve attended lots of Neil Atkinson’s photography courses, my favourites have definitely been photographing birds of prey and light trails.
For a long time, I’d admired light trail photographs as I always thought they looked so cool and colourful and at the start of 2016 I booked onto one of Neil’s night light courses.
As the course wasn’t until November I looked online to find out other people’s suggested camera settings for photographing light trails and set out one night to have a go. Sure enough the settings worked and I was pretty chuffed that I’d managed to set my camera and tripod up properly; however the photographs themselves weren’t that interesting.
November finally came around and I met the rest of the group one bitterly cold night at the top of Manors car park, somewhere I’d never been before! There’s a great view of Central Motorway from the 4th floor, it was perfect for catching trails from all the traffic. The dashed orange lines are from indicators!
Next, we walked along to the iconic Northern Goldsmiths. We stood at the bottom of Northumberland Street in a line waiting for a bus to appear as they create some of the most impressive light trails. We caused a lot of curiosity and confusion as we stood photographing the closed jewellers, if only they could have saw the light trails…
We continued down to Theatre Royal where again we stood waiting for buses to pass and were asked a few times who we were waiting to see come out of the Theatre. The timing and direction of the traffic can make the trails look really different!
After photographing moving traffic we then headed to the quayside to photograph stationery subjects such as the bridges. I found using a tripod and being told the ideal settings really made a difference, the water looked amazing.
Once we’d photographed the Quayside at Ground level we then made our way up onto the Tyne Bridge. I don’t know why I’d never thought to photograph the Quayside from up here, it made for some great views!
I loved this course so much I’ve booked on to the second part already. It’s exciting waiting for the light trails to develop, I even photographed the fairground rides at Edinburgh’s Christmas Market last week!