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Hotshots: Stuck on the Highway at Night

In this series, we present
look-book of authentic photographs collected
by the writers and editors here at Envato Tuts+. We hope these pictures inspire
ideas, help kindle new projects, and give you a better understanding of visual

Today’s Image: Panama City Traffic Cars On
Highway And Streets At Night
. This image is by diego_cervo
it’s available on Envato Elements.

Panama City Traffic Cars On Highway And Streets At Night
Panama City Traffic Cars On Highway And Streets At Night

A Closer Look at This Image

Car headlights at night are always an interesting
subject for photography. High vantage points are popular too – in many ways this image is like a hundred others, but there’s still something that makes it
stand out. Let’s take a closer look.


Even though photos of cars at
night are popular, they do tend to be long exposures of light trails. For that you
need moving cars, so even though this image is a long exposure (you can see some trails) the majority of the cars
are stuck in tailbacks.

Ordinarily this
would be fairly boring, but I think the combination of some trails and then
lines of car headlights works quite well. It accentuates the shape and tangle
of the roads

Leading Lines

Few perspectives
work better for highway shots than a high vantage point. It gives us a great
view of the traffic and the road layouts.

Flyovers always
look good because you see a jumble of criss-crossed lines and lights, and the
traffic going in conflicting directions – it’s chaos but in the best way
because you’re above it all, literally.


Here, we have three
roads with traffic going from the top to the bottom of the frame. Three is
always a pleasing number and it works well here, particularly as the traffic
going in the opposite direction is sparse, so it doesn’t distract.

The curve of
traffic on the right would frame this image nicely, so it’s a shame that the
image doesn’t end there – the few lanes of traffic to the far right is a little
off-putting and makes me feel like there’s more happening out of sight which is

Reading a Photograph

We’d love to hear your take on this photograph, and
if you’re not sure where to begin, then How to Read a Photograph will
get you started with how to analyse photography. Mostly, it’s just saying what
you see and how you feel about an image!