Los Angeles Without Cars

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Some of you may or may not know this, but our Los Angeles Steve's readers are bracing for what's locally known as Carmageddon.  10-miles of the 405 freeway, one of LA's main traffic arteries, will be closed for the entire weekend (7/16-7/17) in order to safely tear down an old bridge.  The city has spent the last six months trying to warn residents and potential out-of-town visitors of the mass gridlock that may or may not take place if they try to drive around the "west side" of Los Angeles that is now missing a giant 8-10 lane thoroughfare.  In relatable terms, if too many people are foolish enough to head to the roads over the next two days, it'll be like trying to drain your bathtub when it's being filled by a fire hose gushing at full blast.  

It's gotten so silly here that Jet Blue even offered a special earlier this week -- $4 flights from Burbank to Long Beach on July 16th.

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Since we've been enjoying some fantastic, dSLR-shot time lapse videos (here and here made with a Canon 5DMKII, and here with Nikon equipment), I thought it'd be fun to take a look at a very well done time lapse portraying what Los Angeles could be like without any cars (which, mind you, will be the complete opposite of what this city will most likely experience this fateful weekend).

'Running on Empty (Revisited)' was ceated by Ross Ching.  He made the short film on a Canon 60D using multiple layers in Final Cut Pro, and color timing via Adobe After Effects.  This version (below) is actually the second edit of the time lapse, done in honor of this weekend's Carmageddon.  For the original version, and some behind the scene information, check out Mr. Ching's website.

Running on Empty (Revisited) from Ross Ching on Vimeo.


Pretty cool, right?  By the way, it never ever looks like this, even early in the morning.  There are always cars on every road.  So, awesome Steve's Readers, here's a fun challenge for you (especially if you're in Los Angeles this weekend, July 16-17, 2011):

Let's get our most creative...most artistic...most epic shots of either GRIDLOCK (traffic jams) or EMPTY STREETS (doesn't matter what city or town), and toss them all up on the Steve's Facebook wall.  Let's see how innovative we can be with lighting and framing and color in celebration of what is one of life's more frustrating situations. 

I can't wait to see what we all get.  Good luck.  Have a safe weekend.  And we'll chat soon on Steve's Facebook page.

JULY 18TH UPDATE: As it turns out, it was a beautiful, quiet weekend in the city of Angels because everyone stayed home as requested.  Oddly enough, for much of the day, the streets were almost as empty as the short film above.  Regardless, we here at Steve's HQ would love to see some artistic empty roads or gridlock photos if you have them.  Cheers.