A14 Light Trails

I thought I would do something different this week and head out of the main city centre to show you a shot from my collection which some might call controversial (in relation to this blog). Why controversial? Because technically this is not a a shot of Cambridge, but of the main road network which weaves its way past the outskirts of the city. It is known as the A14 and is one of the busiest roads in the area. I spent a long while trying to decide whether to include it or not. Eventually I decided to mainly, well, because I like it; but also because the A14 is an important element of the city. A very large percentage (I haven't worked how big) of the people who head in and out of Cambridge will use the A14 at some point. An even larger amount (myself included) will spend time each day queuing along it! 

This was my first attempt at a long exposure image. It also gave me a chance to try out my new Manfrotto tripod (and remote shutter release cable) at the same time. The collection of photos which this image was taken from (you can see the others on my flickr page) were taken early in the morning back in November 13. There is a footbridge which takes you over the A14 to the villages on the other side. Arriving at around 6.30 in the morning, I set up my tripod in the centre of the bridge and tried several test shots with various exposure and light balance settings. Too long an exposure and the smooth lines of the car lights become more like a block and not long enough and you just get dots and spots of colour instead. I also tried facing both directions down the road to see which produced the most interesting shot - soon settling on this view as the one I wanted to concentrate on.

This photo was taken just after 8am and by this time the number of cars on the road had significantly increased as rush-hour began. This really helped to get as complete trails of light as I could. The later time also provided some colour to the sky as dawn approached.

The photo was processed in Lightroom to increase the brightness a touch and also to remove a small amount of erroneous light specks in a couple of areas.

Taken with a Canon600d with a  Sigma 18-250mm lens / iso100 / F5.6 / 15sec / Exposure Manfrotto Tripod