M25 motorway at night: Updated for 2020!

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“I’ll be back within half an hour darling,” I said as I dashed out the door with my camera to go and get this long-exposure image of the M25 motorway. I arrived back home considerably later than this to find dinner going cold on the table and I was in a spot of trouble. Oh well, you have to suffer for your art, right?

long exposure image of the M25
The M25 motorway, photographed while my dinner was going cold, using a black ND8 filter.

Anyway, having recently published a couple of long-exposure images I recently took on a family break to Oban in Scotland (see here and here), I was keen to test myself. If you’ve been a reader of this blog for several years you may have seen a very similar picture I took back in 2017 (see below and also this link). The 2017 picture was taken using the same technique and from exactly the same location.

Three and a bit years ago I was still a relative novice at taking long-exposure photographs. I was happy with the result at the time, but as I’ve developed my photography skills over the subsequent years, I felt I could do better. The white headlights in the original picture were just too bright and lacked detail and it bothered me.

M25 at night photographed in 2017
The original version, taken almost four years ago.

Earlier this week I tried again (Getting in trouble with my wife in the process!). I think my second attempt is better. There’s more definition and detail in the picture.

There’s one big difference between how I took the two pictures. On the updated version I used a black ND8 filter on the lens. This reduces the amount of light that gets in to the camera. I didn’t expect it to work in these conditions but it did exactly what I wanted.

Oh, and should you be curious, dinner was curry. It was slightly colder than it should have been, but it was worth the wait.

Photography lovers may be interested to know I’ve added this picture to the #MySundayPhoto blog link up, hosted by the Darren Coleshill blog. This link will take you straight to the blog if you’d like to find out more.

18 thoughts on “M25 motorway at night: Updated for 2020!”

  1. Curry can be nuked in the microwave (common in our household) …that photo is stunning, you’ve definitely improved, even though the first photo is impressive.

    1. I thin you should! You’ll need a tripod and you might want to set a timer for the shutter. This is all to avoid camera shake.

    1. haha!! yes, my photographic skills have come on a lot over the years and I have ot thank the #MySundayPhoto linky for encouraging me to improve.

  2. Darren Coleshill

    Great shot John, I love how vibrant the red is, it makes the photo pop so much better.

    Thank you for linking up to #MySundayPhoto

    1. Yeah, the red does pop out more doesn’t it? And of course like a div I forgot to take the filter of the lens so next time I was taking pics I couldn’t figure out why it was so dark.

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