After taking pictures of the Lights at the Brickyard recently, I headed downtown Indy to make an idea come to life

Any guesses what the above photo is?

This is an aerial view directly centered over the Soldiers and Sailors Monument/Circle of Lights downtown Indianapolis taken with my Phantom 4, using a 4 second exposure while spinning around the vertical axis pointing the camera straight down.

I got the idea for this photo from Tom Jones after he sent me this photo as I was leaving the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

He looked straight up while standing on the ground under the Monument and did a 180° turn during the long exposure to make the bulbs on the tree trail around the center.

The idea immediately triggered in my mind.

I have the quad with me.

I took a top-down aerial the previous weekend.

What would it look like if I spun like Tom did, but instead of looking up, looking straight down at the Circle?

First, I had to make this photo underneath:

hi-res/photo prints: photos.tmahlmann.com

I love how the bulbs each burst out at f/14 and it leads you directly to the top of the monument, top center.

Now, for that idea.

I tried many times, spinning a little faster with each attempt.

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In the above two attempts, you can still make out the two pools on the East and West side of the Monument.

As I begun spinning faster with the same duration exposures, they began to blend together.

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To spin around the vertical axis on the Phantom 4 how I have it set up, you push the left stick all the way to the right or left. Sometimes you mistakenly push it slightly up or down, resulting in the light trails not meeting up seen below:

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But after 6 tries I had gotten it pretty close:

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and on the 7th try, I nailed it.

Indiana; circle of lights; monument; sailors; soldiers

hi-res/photo prints: photos.tmahlmann.com

Here is the stationary shot I took last weekend at the Tree Lighting:

Indiana; circle of lights; monument; sailors; soldiers

hi-res/photo prints: photos.tmahlmann.com

and a blend of the two, so you can see what is making the light trails.

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If you would like prints of any of these pictures, you can click on the link underneath the photo or find  them here on my website!

I am always exploring new ideas… Follow me on social media for more of these throughout the month!

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