Architect and photographer Leon Krige takes you to the underbelly of Johannesburg’s highways through his rich, stark and utterly beautiful images.

Leon has been capturing Johannesburg at night for many years, taking long-exposure images of desolate buildings and streets after dark.

These images are taken below and around Joburg highways where herbal traders, trolley pushers and the homeless have taken the underside of structures as their own. Leon’s words accompany the images.

There are many different scales to the city, linked to the sleepy countryside by highway. Car lights flash shoot past at high speeds on the highways.

Below them, however, it is a different story. The shadow of the highway looms over the civilians of Johannesburg below. Here pedestrians engage with the city; the gear shifts and slows down at this level.

Close by breathes the Mai Mai witch-doctors market, filled with animal parts, herbs, smells and textures. Inhabitants of the modernist blocks face onto mine-dumps and the highways.

The perfect curvi-linear arcs evoke a great white shark swimming above the dark bottom of the ocean. The meeting of fast-paced city and slow, intimate street is sharp and clear.

Find more of Leon’s work at