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Mostly Photos Photography Blog. Tips, tricks, reviews and location guides focused on Fuji X system cameras

Fuji X-T2 - Traffic Trail Tip - Blending Multiple Photos

Regents Street Traffic Trails

One trick that I like to use when photographing Traffic Trails is to blend multiple exposures into a single frame. The result is a composite photograph that features the best of the light trails from the individual images.

The three photographs shown below are JPGs taken in Fuji Velvia Film Simulation mode on my Fuji X-T2 and the location is London's Regents Street.

I mounted the X-T2 on a tripod and framed a composition to capture the beautiful Christmas lights and the road and buildings to the side of the central reservation.

I took three images with the same exposure settings (f22, 8.5-9 seconds) and aimed to capture interesting traffic trails for both sides of the frame.

Regents Street presents many challenges due to the busy traffic and high number of pedestrians passing through the frame. The sequence of the traffic lights meant that rarely was traffic moving on both sides of the frame at the same moment so separately timed exposures were necessary.

I wanted to keep some light in the sky and as I didn't plan on using an ND filter I was limited to fairly short (around 9 second) exposures as minimum aperture of f22.

I opened all three JPG's as layers in Adobe Photoshop. Selected them all and changed the layer blend mode to 'lighten' you can see this step in the vide clip below

Adobe Photoshop Layer Blending

The resulting image is shown here with no additional editing

Fuji X-T2 - Traffic Trails - Three Photo Composite using 'Lighten' Blend mode in Photoshop

Photoshop has done a good job of blending. The Traffic Trails are better than I was able to capture on a single 9 second exposure.

I think that the color version looks a little busy so have converted to black and white in NIK Silver Efex Pro and used the transform tool in Adobe Lightroom to straighten the tomb-stoning of the buildings. A 16x9 crop brings more focus to the Angel Lights.