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Long exposure shot of the streets of Hanoi

Impulsive Photography

Long exposure shot of the streets of Hanoi

Busy Hanoi at night
Busy Hanoi at night

Long exposure overview of a busy street in Hanoi with lightstreaks of mopeds and cars

This picture was shot during a holiday in Vietnam. We had arrived that morning in Hanoi and went on a walk through the city. Due to the jetlag, we were more active at night as during the day. Hence it was a perfect moment to do some night photography. When we were at a restaurant on the first floor I went outside and put down my camera to make a shot of the street.

If you have ever been to Vietnam, you know that all cars and mopeds move in a chaotic way over the streets. With a long exposure shot I thought I would show these chaotic motions. I took a couple of shots of the same scene with different durations of exposure. It was fun to see that all the mopeds and cars were creating all those light streaks however the light streaks were getting more and more orderly the longer the exposure was set.
Also, the lanterns in the front were all on and were ruining my long exposure. Then, suddenly, the lanterns in the front went off and were not hindering my shot any longer.

Having that moment that the lanterns were off, gave me the opportunity to really focus on the mopeds and cars. Due to the fact I already made some test shots, I was able to quickly make the final settings and make the shot. Well quickly… in the end it was a shot of 15 seconds (shutter priority) with an F-number of 22 and the ISO as low as possible at 100. The lens I used was my 50 mm lens and did not use any filter in front of the glass. I did use the little stone fence as my tripod to stabilize the camera.

In post I did not do anything other than adding the watermark. So, the picture was made on the spot, without any fancy settings and without any post processing. That made this shot a great impulsive photo!

Camera settings:

Camera Model Canon EOS 1100D
Lens Model EF50mm f/1.4 USM
Accesoires used None
Exposure 15 seconds
F-number 22
ISO 100
Focal Length 50 mm

Location