Photos: Traffic Lights Illuminate the Night | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian

Photos: Traffic Lights Illuminate the Night

Photographer Lucas Zimmermann puts his lens on the beauty of fog lit by the mundane

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Fog creates dangerous driving conditions; most people would try and get off the roads as soon as possible when a heavy dose of fog rolls in. Lucas Zimmerman did just the opposite to create this series of images titled Traffic Lights. Inspired by the photography of Lukas Furlan, Zimmermann braved the freezing cold and fog searching for beautiful light. 

To perfectly capture the light, Zimmerman experimented for two hours with exposures between five and 30 seconds, all while dodging oncoming traffic. After cars drove by, he had to wait about five minutes before taking another picture. SLRLounge, a photography site which spoke to Zimmerman about the challenges he faces, writes, "A too short exposure was giving too much noise, and a too long exposure washed out the colours. It also posed an increased threat of cars. Lucas goes on to mention that he often had to wait minutes between shots of the same set-up because each car had a profound effect on the exposure and color due to the fog."

In an email Zimmerman says, "It felt more like Russian roulette than photography."

This spring, Zimmermann and his partner Maria le Quang at Luma Visual Creations will be having their first show in Nürnburg, Germany.

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