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Wall of Fame Winner • Drema Swader
Los Angeles, California, USA • Canon 5D Mk IV, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III, f/16, 31sec, ISO 100

So often we head to the mountains or to the coast for our landscape pictures, but sometimes great landscapes can be found in the busiest of places. As the lights are switched on, the city comes to life and the traffic rushes about in all directions at once. I quietly stood my ground against the buzzing traffic to capture this long exposure on a busy Saturday night in downtown Los Angeles.

I combined three exposures using luminosity masks for this picture to help even out the highlights. The leading lines of the overpass seem to carry the viewer into the city, while the freeway traffic below crisscrosses the road and alludes to the sense of everyone being in such a hurry.

After an evening of walking and shooting the sunset over the freeway, then we went downtown to shoot some of the art structures there, and finally on to capture several other iconic spots – this was the last stop of the evening.

Tired though I was, I immediately knew this was going to be the picture of the day. I set up my tripod and inched closer to the edge of the road until I got just the angle I was looking for. I fired off several bracketed frames before I got the red car trails just as I wanted them, adding a few extra leading lines to the image.

For me, the hint of graffiti along the railings added a touch of edginess, letting one not forget that for all the beautiful lights and architecture, it is still a big city with a touch of grunge.

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