23 Photos Of Car Comets

Long exposure photos of cars at night look like comets shooting down the highway. And for this week’s Shooting Challenge, you captured them in all of their stellar glory.

Winner: River of Light


I was doing my first cross country drive and made a lot of scenic stops. This one is a scenic exit in Southern Utah that I had to pull out the camera and tripod for. It was around 8:30pm and very dark but definitely happy with how the picture came out! Shot with Sony a7s, Canon 16-35mm, f/11, 10” exposure, ISO 640.

Brandan Gajic

Roller Rink Street


We had our usual late spring snow in Denver and I took the opportunity to take some shots. The wet streets and falling snow really helped out the look. In Photoshop I combined three light trail shots with a fourth to make the snow visible. Canon T2i, f/10, ISO 100, 8 sec exposure.

Eric Burnham

Lonely Road


Just past dusk, I found a winding road near my house with a good spot to pull over and set up the tripod. I set a 10 second delay timer and a 25 second exposure, and set the aperture by focusing on the dim sky and adjusting the f-stop until the camera’s light meter was centered. I jumped in the car, and then drove past the camera and over the hill. My favorite part of this shot is that you can see the wave in the light trail caused by shifting gears, which creates a slight pitch forward and back in the car. Equipment: Canon G7X (25 sec. exposure, f/10, ISO-320), tripod, and Porsche 911 Post processing: Cropped and slight blemish correction. No color alteration.

S Wootten

Over Steel


The setting is from a lookout over Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. In the background are the flames from chimneys in the industrial area. Steel manufacturing. I try to do these shots every so often and keep looking for more interesting angles. I just discovered this specific lookout this past week. My camera setup is a Canon T2i and I’m using a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Art series prime lens. I don’t have an ND filter yet(its on the list of purchases) so the shot is using f/14 at 30 seconds. The traffic in this area isn’t very heavy at this time so I had to time my shots when I noticed a bunch of cars headed my way. Takes a bit of work to get them in both directions.

Sean Hodgins



I thought it would be cool to try to get light trails from cars going around the roundabout in front of the new recreation centre down the street from my house. Shot with a Canon Rebel SL1 with the 18-55mm kit lens. 20 sec exposure, f11, ISO 100. Edited in Lightroom to bring down the highlights.

Chris Avery

Philadelphia Art Museum


Took these pics last night, Saturday April 19th, on the top steps at the Art Museum in Philadelphia looking down the Parkway directly at City Hall. Used a Nikon 7000 with 50mm prime lens, 30 second exposure. Not as much traffic as I would have liked for the effect I was going for, but the stop and go in the foreground caught my eye.

Michael McKee

Green Streak


I went out last night with a friend, we did few tries, then she got really cold even I borrowed her my sweater, I would wait longer for more cars on the bridge to get more light trais but... u know, safety first...so I just chose one image. Location: Kosice, Slovakia. Canon 5D mark iii, 70-200 2.8 lens + extender 2x.

Lubos Micek



No description given.

Ryan Castre

Delancey Street


I took this shot on Saturday, April 18 as the sun was setting on Delancey Street with the Williamsburg bridge directly behind me. This poor girl was waiting for a tow truck for an hour and a half when I took this picture. Thought the contrast of the stand-still ‘65 Chevrolet Chavelle against the light trails was a great effect. Came back to this spot about 30 minutes later and she was gone. I was lucky to get this shot and definitely in the right place at the right time. As far as settings, I used a Canon 5D Mark III with a aperture setting of f/22 and an ISO setting of around 500. Some minimal post production done to get more accurate coloring and reduction of some shadowing.

Alex Berger

Table Mountain


My initial plan was to shoot Table Mountain in Cape Town with a ring of car light trails around the mountain. Unfortunately the cars were too small in relation to the mountain to do so. Instead I zoomed in and went for a diagonal shot. Nikon D3200, Nikon 18-200mm at 200mm, f11, 20s. Also used a Manfrotto tripod and remote release.

Andrew Beard

Illustrated Lights


I took this about a half hour after sunset on Saturday night with a 15 second shutter speed. The camera’s Picture Effect was set to ‘illustration’, but I didn’t use filers/photoshop, etc., this is the picture that came out of the camera. Taken with a Sony A7, 70mm lens, 15 second exposure, 200ISO. Saw Mill River Parkway, Chappaqua, NY.

Wayne Laakko

TCAT Comet


I took this photo while visiting Cornell University, my alma mater. It’s a TCAT bus which is the county bus that serves the university and City of Ithaca. The set-up is nothing fancy...just a random tripod borrowed from the school, Canon XSi DSLR with the kit lens stopped down to f/10 only to keep it sharp throughout a decent depth of field. Also there was a good deal of ambient light.

John Mueller



They come as they go, in a flash of light. Shot on Sony NEX-5T, M42 adapted Asahi 55mm, 𝘧/16, 39 seconds, ISO 100.

Christopher Bates

Dark Angles


Here is my entry for the car light trails. This was shot with an iPhone 4s using a the SlowShutter app. This was a 20 second exposure with some editing in Snapseed to darken the image a bit.

Bobby Gutierrez

California Incline


Took this photo of the California Incline in Santa Monica before it closes on the 20th. It’s closing down for a major reconstruction that should take a year to finish so I just had to drive down it one last time! Taken with a Sony NEX-6.

AJ Sian



As the Eau Gallie Causeway connects to the mainland, the eastbound and westbound lanes diverge. Between the lanes, there is a small park, aptly named “Triangle Park”. It happens to be the perfect place to take pictures of the cars that go sweeping by. Not only can you photograph cars as they virtually come right at you, you can do it from behind a concrete barrier, which is always a bonus. Canon EOS 60D — f/11 — 21” — ISO100 — 18mm.

Mike Case



Long exposure photo of car lights on Lake Shore Drive (South Chicago) next to the Museum of Science and Industry. The view by itself is incredible and the light trails from cars zipping down LSD bring it to life. Canon Rebel T1i and a standard tripod 10’’, F10, ISO 100. Photo taken from a building observation deck on Saturday night and it was cold and windy.

Louis Serranito



I always bring my slr whenever I’m going out for a walk. Then we suddenly passed to Roxas Blvd. Manila. We have to cross the highway so we took the over pass. I was thinking to take a shot of car trails from there, but I’m in doubt cause the city is prone to snatchers etc. But i really want to take a shot of it . So i did very quick, took a few shots and left the area safely.

I’m glad i got a shot. Lol. Photo taken by a Canon eos rebel t5i without tripod (sat in a concrete side of the overpass in our city)


Marco Barcelon



I thought that since living in SoCal I would have this challenge nailed we have freeways and freeway overpasses galore. Due to also the heavy traffic we have even at night, I wasn’t able to capture anything that I really loved. I’m sure that also has to do with my amateur status in photography. I tried my hand with fewer cars and at a much different angle. I kneeled down to curb level of a side street and took my photo looking up at the cars driving past. Since there were only a few driving by at a time, I had much more success. I love that it looks like the lights are floating. I did have to use an app and tried a few. The only one I liked was Long Exposure Camera 2 which I downloaded on my droid maxx phone.

Kristin Erling



This picture was taken from an I-25 overpass just north of downtown Denver. Taken on a Canon T3i using the kit lens, tripod and remote. ISO 100, 55mm focal length, f/11, 30 second shutter.

Shane Sosh

Samuel Beckett Bridge


This was taken on a quiet Sunday night on the Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin. ISO 100, 18mm, F16, 15 sec.

Damien Crossan



Parked in sketchy neighborhood and crossed the pedestrian bridge over I-440 in Nashville, TN. Equip - Nikon D5300, 35mm Lens. Tripod on Shutter Priority. 10 sec shutter speed.

Will Compton

Arlington Memorial Bridge


I went out to the Arlington Memorial Bridge late last night in the middle of a downpour, and found a great spot getting the traffic zooming by the Lincoln Memorial. I used my D7100 and 35mm f/1.8 lens (which almost never leaves my camera) and set the exposure for 10 seconds at f/22

Ian Shedd

As an entire collection, this might have been the best group of Shooting Challenge submissions we’ve had in a long time. Pat yourselves on the back! And look for the new challenge announced every Wednesday.


Find the big images here.

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