Taking the picture

• Pack a pocket flashlight so you can see the camera's controls in the dark.

• Try to find a vantage point high enough to provide a good overview of the scene. A nicely lit building, bridge, or monument in the background provides a good contrast to erratic lights created by the cars passing through the scene.

• Put your camera on a tripod or some other steady surface, and set it in shutter-priority mode (Section 1.8.3). After you've composed your shot, set the shutter for four seconds. (The camera controls the aperture automatically.)

• Use your remote control, if you have one, or your camera's self-timer mode to prevent camera shake.

When you see cars coming into the scene, trip the shutter. Review the results on the LCD screen. If the streaks aren't long enough, then add a couple seconds to the shutter setting; if the streaks are too long, subtract a second or two. With a little trial and error, you can capture beautiful, dramatic taillight shots just like those postcards you always see.

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