Matt Logue’s ‘Empty L.A.’ pictures <br> are a visual breath of fresh air


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Matt Logue’s self-published photography book ‘Empty L.A.’ leaves an Angeleno light-headed. Others might think post-apocalypse, but for residents of this traffic-choked city, his pictures of the freeways and city streets sans cars can evoke a blissful solitude -- one perhaps unequaled since Henry David Thoreau gazed out on Walden Pond.

One wants to believe that somehow Logue magically caught the city during that elusive car-less moment. But such moments don’t exist, Logue says. And so, as expected, these pictures are digitally crafted.


More images and how he created them after the jump.

It took Logue several tries to realize the images he envisioned. Eventually he settled on a method he describes as a digital mosaic. Using Google Maps’ street view function, he chose recognizable locations he wanted to see without cars or people, then photographed them during low-traffic times -- like Christmas Day, or very, very early in the morning.

Over the course of 20 minutes, he would shoot hundreds of digital photos, so if a car besmirched a spot of pavement in one frame, that spot would likely be clear during the next click of the shutter. At home he digitally fused all the blank spaces together to create one uninhabited whole. (It sounds like extremely tedious work, but Logue is a film animator by trade, so he’s used to it).

Logue’s book is available on his website. He’s sold about 200 copies so far, and his server crashed under the weight of online interest.

To see more from this ongoing series, visit, and click on the images. Next stop to get the Empty L.A. treatment? The San Fernando Valley.

-- Deborah Netburn

Photos courtesy of Matt Logue