How I Shoot: Capturing Light Trails with Slow Shutter Cam

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about the set-up and process behind their photos and videos. This week, Vlad Babushkin (@vladviper5) shares how he captures light trails with Slow Shutter Cam. To see more Slow Shutter photos, browse the #slowshuttercam and #slowshutterapp hashtags.

Vlad Babushkin (@vladviper5) is a 16-year-old living in Tokyo, Japan, who documents the striking architecture of his city on Instagram. Many of his photos are taken after the sun has gone down, when he uses long exposure photography to capture the city’s frenetic activity.

Vlad offered these tips for capturing the light trails created by the lights of moving cars on an iPhone:


iPhone 5.

Vantage Point

I use Slow Shutter Cam primarily to shoot city views at night. The app is great not just for cityscapes, but also for capturing the activity in a city after dark. Try staking out a high vantage point to capture the light trails from moving traffic.


You need a tripod. It’s important for your phone to be still, and a tripod prevents it from shaking. Use the timer to give your camera a moment to stop moving once you hit the shutter.

It’s also important to find a dark place to shoot. If there is a lot of light around the subject you’re capturing or in front of your phone, the photo will be too bright.

Experiment with shutter speed and sensitivity to see what different effects you can achieve.


Sometimes the photo you capture could use some editing. I usually use PicsPlay Pro (iOS and Android) to adjust colors and tones before sharing to Instagram.