I was hoping to photograph a few more long exposure light trail scenes when we were in China but the views from our hotel rooms were not the best for it and we did not get too much time to spend up in the city towers after sunset. This is one opportunity I got, right at the end of our stay in Shanghai and China. I saw possibilities from our hotel window, however, I could not get full view of the intersection so I walked around some of the staircases with windows to the outside to find a reasonable spot.
I managed to find one on either 17th or 18th floor of the hotel. It took a bit of fiddling around to get the shot set up, as I had to position the lens at an angle to the glass and that meant the light around me was being reflected in the shot. I placed a jacket over my camera and held another one out to the side to block out as much of the reflections as possible. Holding a jacket while trying to avoid touching the camera or getting it in the actual frame is not as easy task as it sounds, especially when you have to do a few long shots to get the exposure right. To help I also used a polariser and dialled it so that it removed more of the reflections in addition to my other more crude measures. In the end, I think it all worked alright and while it is not the most technically perfect photo I am still happy with the result.
It feels great to use a long exposure in images like this one to bring to life the streets glowing with the light trails of passing vehicles. It may not be everyone's perfect scenery but cities with their good and bad sides are integral parts of out lives and I learned to embrace the urban chaos in my photography as well. Not as much as the landscapes where I really feel I belong but still I look forward to photographing cityscapes and urban scenery whenever I get a chance.
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