Matt Logue's "Empty Los Angeles" photography book


Matt Logue says: I just completed a self-published book depicting an uninhabited Los Angeles, and it got an honorable mention in the competition at!  The photos were made over a period of 4 years, beginning in 2005, at a variety of locations around LA.

Empty Los Angeles


  1. Ah, typical human arrogance. One of those photos clearly has a bird flying in the sky. Not so empty LA!

  2. I was in LA during the riots in 1992, and I thought to myself that it would be a good time to film some stock footage of empty LA street scenes for future use.

  3. I’ve lived in LA on and off since 1990 and once in a while, while riding around on my motorcycle, the streets are so empty Morrissey’s “Everyday is like Sunday” comes back to me. It can look like a ghost town at times, like when the Lakers are in the playoffs or on Thanksgiving morning. Eerily stark and somber, especially to someone who grew up in Manhattan…

    That photo of the 405 is most amazing. Usually it looks like a parking lot.

  4. in fact yes, i think if you take enough pictures of a scene and the stack them with enfuse, you’ll remove everything that moves as “noise” and be left with the static scene. its a neat idea, and takes a lot of patience.

  5. There are two options for doing this. The first option would be to use filters and do long exposure during the day. It would take hours of exposure with a film camera but it could work. The second option is doing it with photoshop. I actually did something these lines for a final project, but did them as night exposures with out manipulation. If you want to see empty L.A. go out there at 3 am Mon-Thurs.

  6. Japanese photgrapher Masataka Nakano published a similar book in 2000, titled “Tokyo Nobody.” Highly recommended.

  7. So, are these photos altered, or did he just take the pictures really early on Sunday mornings or somesuch?

  8. mesrop is right. I’ve always been a night owl, and, weeknights at 3 am, LA is astonishingly quiet (except in the residential neighborhoods with trash pickup the next morning – those have a constant parade of scavengers taking the deposit bottles from the recycling bins).

    I’ve gone out for walks at 3 am, and I can be out for an hour and never see or hear anyone else. Just me and the coyotes.

  9. As Anonymous #9 said, Nakano Masataka did this in Tokyo and that book is clearly the inspiration for Matt Logue’s effort. And as Anonymous #9 said, Nakano’s book is highly recommended. I’m sure Logue’s is equally fascinating.

    Portrait of the post apocalyptic megalopolis …

  10. That’s pretty evocative. When I saw that, I thought of every “collapsing society/deserted cities” movie I’ve ever saw, because just as calamities tend to destroy New York on film, depopulation seems more likely than not to be exemplified by an empty LA.

    I wonder if there’s a gestalt-y subtext going on there.

  11. there’s a section of town in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that looks *just* like that. I knew they captured the feel of SF and Vegas with the other parts of the map but having never been to LA I didn’t know they did such a nice job with it as well.

    true story.

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