The Story Behind the Shot: Car On A Seattle Highway

Posted on December 9, 2014

This one brings back some memories. I made this image back in 2006. Another one of those periods when I had too much time on my hands and decided to kill it by taking some atypical pictures.

I figured it a good idea to use gaffers tape to attach my tripod to the bumper of the car I had at the time. I used an infrared remote to trigger the camera that would only work if I bounced it off the mirror on the drivers side door.

For the setting I chose a secondary highway in Seattle just around the corner from my house. The main reason for this location was a huge neon Pepsi billboard just off the road. It also had an exit one block after the entrance for hopefully a safe, quick on and off for me and my gear.

After pulling over in a parking area to set up my rig and find an angle I liked, I settled on an exposure with a six second shutter speed. This gave me enough time to get on and off the highway with a slow pan across the bright sign. After waiting at the stop sign for a large enough gap in traffic, I tripped the shutter and slowly made my way onto the highway. The shutter was open as the camera panned across the sign resulting in the streaks of bright color in the top left of the frame. Most of the exposure was made as I was driving on the highway giving the impression of the car traveling down a straight road. This ended up being one of those rare occasions that a complex shot worked out on the first attempt!


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