photography from the ground up

The Road And The Sky-Vol. II

When I was a much younger man, I spent a great deal of time standing by the side of a road with my thumb in the air spurred on by the likes of Jack Kerouac and Edward Abbey. Some of those roads were paved and four lanes wide; some were dirt or gravel and you couldn’t really tell how many lanes wide they were. I guess it really didn’t matter as long as they seemed endless.

These days I’m somewhat tamer in my ways, but I still get a feeling of expectancy when I look through the windshield and see nothing but the road, the sky, and a wide open or unknown landscape. Until recently, however, I would not allow the hand of man to enter the world of my landscape photography, so the roads were banished.

Now that I’ve overcome my phobia of including anything that smacks of man in an image, I am free to express my love of the open road in my photography. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I am working on a project; I am making images of highways and byways as I travel around on my photo excursions. I hope to accumulate enough good photographs to publish a book. The images in this post are ones that have made the cut; some have been displayed in previous posts, but most of those have been re-worked to bring them up to snuff.

My expectations of my own work have been becoming higher lately and because of that, I have been forced to either discard or re-process images that I was, at one time, happy with. Evolution.

The only down side to all this road photography is that I seem to be spending a lot of time standing or kneeling in the middle of some very busy highways. Most of the time though, I’m on a road like Indian Rte. 13 or NM 16 which see very little traffic.

And, at other times, I find myself on unpaved roads such as BLM 1103 in the Rio Puerco Valley, or small access roads like the one in the photo of the Shiprock Lava Dike below where I could stand for hours or even days without being in danger of becoming road kill.

No matter if it’s a paved four lane or an unpaved ranch road, the idea is to get on down the road, maybe to a place where you’ve never been before, and that’s where the magic lies.

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10 responses

  1. Your skies have so much depth – how do you achieve that? It is so easy for the sky to just appear flat.

    Like

    June 4, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    • I use a wide zoom on an FX body so I get the full coverage of the lens. Other than that, just normal post-processing in Lightroom and Photoshop.

      Like

      June 5, 2012 at 7:10 am

      • I see that I will need to play around a bit and have a lot of learning to do. Anyway, I really like the effect you can achieve of that sky disappearing into infinity.

        Like

        June 5, 2012 at 7:17 am

      • Thanks Melody.

        Like

        June 5, 2012 at 7:19 am

  2. Makes me ready for my next road trip. There is such a sense of freedom and possibility in these shots.

    Like

    June 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm

  3. John P. Meyer

    Stunning photography, and a great idea for a book. (Wish I’d thought of it!)

    Like

    June 6, 2012 at 5:42 am

  4. amazingly beautiful 🙂

    Like

    June 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm

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