Passing through



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Behind The Lens

Location
I had just moved into a new apartment in Stockholm, Sweden, and this was taken from the balcony. The sun was setting as we were having dinner on the balcony, and as the lights started coming on in the apartment buildings, I thought the scene would look great with the right light streaks from the cars passing through our new neighbourhood. I grabbed my camera and tripod and after a few tries I got the perfect light streak from a passing car.
Time
This photo was taken during sunset, which in late August in Sweden means around 7.30 PM.
Lighting
I wanted a single light streak from a car as a leading line. Not that many cars turned onto the street to the right in the photo, but I waited with patience until the right car came along.
Equipment
This was shot on an Olympus OMD E-M1 MkII. The lens is the Laowa 7.5mm f/2. I used Olympus live composite mode, which is a mode where the camera takes multiple exposures and blends the highlights together. It is great for light streaks like this where you can keep exposing new streaks from the passing cars without blowing out the rest of the image.
Inspiration
It started as a spur-of-the-moment shot where I wanted to catch the colors of the sunset in our new neighbourhood, but I soon saw the potential for strong leading lines from the car lights, so I changed the composition to focus more on the lights and less on the sunset.
Editing
I processed the shot in Lightroom like I do with all my shots. My main idea was to emphasize the s-curve of the light streak from the car combined with the bright sunset sky in the top left. I did some dodging and burning to accomplish this, but most of the work is just getting the colors the way I wanted them.
In my camera bag
Olympus OMD E-M1 mk II is my go-to camera. The Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 PRO lens is probably my most used lens, closely followed by the Laowa 7.5mm F/2. I almost always carry my Benro tripod and a set of ND-filters and polarizers as well, but overall I try to keep the entire kit small and light. There is usually a longer lens in there as well, such as the Olympus 75-300, but it gets used so rarely that I could probably start leaving it behind most of the time.
Feedback
Most of my shots are landscape shots that are planned in advance (weather forecasts, hiking routes, the works!), but don't forget to look for interesting conditions and compositions in more mundane situations as well. With really good light, a strong composition and some patience, even a shot from a balcony in a residentual area can be quite interesting.

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