Making the Most of the Bulb Setting


Want to experiment more with that bulb setting on your camera? Want to take some awesome, easy to achieve light trail snaps! I'll show you how! perfect for beginner or expert!

When I received my Holga 135 from my other half this Christmas, I was over the moon when I saw it had a cable release function for use with the bulb setting and I just couldn’t wait to try long exposures out.

So on a cold January evening, me and my girlfriend put on our coats and set out. She with her Diana Mini, me with my Holga 135, and a tripod for each of us, and went to go take some long exposure shots on a bridge overlooking a dual carriageway near her house.

Credits: mikeydavies

What you will need:

  • A Camera With a Bulb Setting and Cable Release Connector (Cable Release is optional but will prevent movement opening the shutter)
  • A Tripod
  • A Cable Release (Optional, but as i said before it will probably help you achieve better pictures!)
  • A Light Meter (Optional)
  • Low ISO Film Is Preffered!

When we reached the flyover, I only had about 3 photos left in my roll of Fujicolor 100, but with no worries the roll was quickly finished, so I loaded up a fresh roll of Fujifilm Superia 200 and attached my Holga to the tripod, as it was dark and I wanted to have the shutter open for as long as possible without the film getting too over exposed, so a low iso film is preferred as you will be able to open the shutter for a longer period of time without that worry and leaving longer light streaks. I also used the cloudy F/8 setting on my Holga to give optimal longer time to expose.

Now my camera had a fresh roll of film in, I attached it to my tripod and connected the cable release, then I looked through my viewfinder to see I had the shot lined up and when I was ready, I used my light meter to read how long to expose the shot for, and it was reading around 15 – 30 seconds. so I began shooting!

These were some of the results I got!

Credits: mikeydavies

I also used my Holga 135 Fisheye Lens and came up with some really cool snaps!

Credits: mikeydavies

This was one of the only I shot from my Fujicolor 100 Roll

Credits: mikeydavies

With my light meter I was reading around 15 – 30 seconds on each shot and I’m really pleased with the outcomes, but I feel when I take more of these snaps I am going to go on a less lit road and with more cars, so I am able to open the shutter up more and achieve more outrageous trails!

You can essentially acheive the same effect without the use of a cable release and light meter, but to acheive perfectly still and correctly exposed snaps i would advise! I would love to see your attempts at this quick and easy tipster, so please post your pics in the comments below!

written by mikeydavies on 2012-02-06 in #gear #tipster #light-streaks #light-painting #cable-release #fujifilm-superia-200 #long-exposure #lights #light-trails #holga-135 #camera #tipster #fujicolor-100


  1. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    thanks for the likes guys!

  2. djramsay
    djramsay ·

    We did a similar roll with the clolorsplash, no tripod though so the cars and streetlights look a bit like a heartbeat

  3. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    awesome dude, they look super cool :)x

  4. stevebarberoffice
  5. li4mc
    li4mc ·

    I've been wanting to try this with my LC-Wide for a while now and I have some CN100 in it at the moment so I'm going to get out there and try it! Thanks for the tips!

  6. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    try it! its a win!

  7. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    @stevebarberoffice wicked pic!

  8. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    oh and thanks for all the likes! :)

  9. leetiffy
    leetiffy ·

    I've also been making use of the bulb setting to capture the different colors of the traffic light! it's awesome :D

  10. redarrow
    redarrow ·

    hey what light meter are you using?

  11. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    @leetiffy post your pics here! :)

  12. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    @redarrow Gossen Sixtomat flash, but you dont need one that is so advanced :)

  13. leetiffy
    leetiffy ·

    it's my first trial! :)

  14. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    @leetiffy thats awesome dude, keep it up :)

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