In search of the perfect curve

Light trails in traffic are an often-photographed subject. Tricky to get right however, because you won’t really know what the shape of the trail will be until after you have made the exposure. Some trial and error is needed, because properly composing and pre-visualizing the images is not easy if you don’t have all elements in view yet!

Finding a good location is essential, and it turns out that the 6th Street bridge over the railway in downtown Los Angeles is one of those spots. The road has a slight bend in it leading up to the bridge, leading to nicely curved light trails. On top of that, the frame of the bridge provides context and structure. Another plus: there are many buses and other high vehicles passing by that have lights at multiple heights.

And finally, I found that it is best to shoot light trails when it is not fully dark yet: it gives much more depth to the image if the sky still has some color.

Light trails in downtown Los Angeles

6th Street Bridge Series IV

Light trails in downtown Los Angeles

6th Street Bridge Series II

Light trails in downtown Los Angeles

6th Street Bridge Series VI

© 2011-2015 Laura Jewell Photography. All rights reserved.

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