Every photographer has a photo that is a personal favorite. For me, there are many personal favorites, but this one is towards the top.
It’s a view of I-270 from the Dempsey Road Bridge after rain during the afternoon rush hour and a combination of techniques that end with a vibrant tableau of motion, capturing the essence of urban life and its constant movement.
It combines multiple exposures and slower shutter speeds to slightly blur the taillights and headlights of cars streaking along the highway, transforming them into ribbons of light. It creates a sense of urgency and flow, reminiscent of the pulse of city life.
Modern cameras, that is digital cameras, allow for multiple exposures automatically combined into a single photo. That was possible in the days of film but required much greater effort and there wasn’t a way to review each attempt by looking at an LCD screen. The photographer had no idea if it worked until the film was processed.
The blue hour lighting comes from being made at dusk, when ambient light balances with the artificial lights creating an interplay of colors.
Shooting across the curve of the highway creates a partial S-curve that makes the photo more dynamic.
A photo must turn on other senses when you see it. For me, I can hear the sounds from both inside and outside the cars, the sound of the radios playing music or talk radio or news, feel movement flowing through me, and hear tires floating on the wet roadway.
There is strength and weakness in this photo.
It's a snapshot of everyday life, but with a twist that turns it into something more abstract and artistic transforming a mundane moment into something visually special.
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