If there’s a city that’s more synonymous with driving in the world, I can’t think of it. For better or worse, everyone in Los Angeles drives a lot in bad traffic and on some of the most incredible roads anywhere. Also, it makes for very pretty photos at night.
- Car: LA Traffic
- Location: Arroyo Seco Parkway, Los Angeles
- Photog: Chris Rosales (me; @chrishasacamera on IG)
- Camera: Canon 5D Mark III w/ EF 16-35mm f/2.8L
I took this one many years ago, around 2018. I just started to actually get some decent gear and really explore some photo stuff but I never really had the wherewithal to journey to the more basic LA photo spots until I had some friends who were down to accompany me. This spot on the Park Road bridge over the SR-110 near Chinatown is definitely one of the most basic in the whole city.
On any given night, you’ll see at least one shooter doing a long exposure here. On weekends, you’ll see at least four. For this shot, I was that one guy on a Tuesday night. It’s an easy enough shot, so let me walk you through the basics.
I don’t remember the exact settings I used for this, but I’d call it around 15 seconds shutter speed, and I made the aperture and ISO follow that shutter speed. The long shutter speed makes the camera expose for 15 seconds, capturing all of the light in frame for that entire time, causing the light streaks. For some extra spice on an otherwise common image of Los Angeles, I edited the colors exuberantly, adding some pink, red and blue tones to make the image a bit more surreal and romantic.
It’s a small twist on a pretty typical photo, but one of the best tips I can give anyone who’s starting is this: do the basic stuff first. Then do the basic stuff and make it interesting to yourself. Eventually, you’ll get some extremely cool originals. Bam.
As big as we could get it: