Light Trails at the Monterey Motel

During my November 2022 trip to New Mexico, my plan was to visit old motels and other Route 66 attractions.  I was hoping to photograph them as well as their neon signs.  I would stay close to Route 66, moving from Albuquerque east to Tucumcari.

In Albuquerque, I stayed at the Monterey Motel.  The motel opened in 1946 and has been welcoming travelers along Route 66 ever since.  The motel has recently been renovated, and the sign restored.  The motel is near other Route 66 classics like the El Vado Motel and the El Don Motel.

The motel sits along a curve in the road, and while photographing the neon sign, I realized that with a wide-angle lens I would have enough room to incorporate light trails from car headlights coming towards me.  This technique is pretty easy to do, normally you need a shutter speed long enough for the car to move through the entire frame, so the lines are smooth and not chopped off.  This can be 15 or 20 seconds, so you need to take these sorts of photos when the ambient light has gotten quite low.


Light Trails at the Monterey Motel


This was probably my favorite of the 15 or 20 images I took.



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