Think of all of those Route 66 photos; abandoned gas stations, derelict cars at the side of the road, ordinary "folks" sipping malts through a straw at the local drugstore. Porches with swings, empty porches, clothes lines with dancing frocks, an abandoned toy tractor overturned in a scrappy yard. American flags everywhere, a few Confederate ones in certain locales. BBQ stands with folks lined up, spilling out onto the street, old movie marquees displaying "Easy Rider". This is the "real" America, as depicted in so many photographs.

    The freeways, the Interstates are cold and without heart, bypassing all of those small towns helping to turn downtowns


California 04/13 2010 1:43PM

Nebraska

Nevada

Utah

Wyoming

California

click on each image below to see more from that state

Arizona

New Mexico

Texas

Oklahoma

Missouri

into ghost towns as Pilot's, and Flying J's sprout at exits to convey gasoline, diesel, soda/chips/coffee. Now bananas are making an appearance as homage to "fresh and natural".

    But the freeways/Interstates transverse spectacular scenery, much of it void of towns and car dealerships. There are farmhouses and barns, often at quite a distance and cows, but mostly open, native America to be glimpsed between the billboards announcing the next exit's offerings.


    This is the America I am sharing through my photo-bases images taken from a moving car's passenger window.

        I took a series of photos out of the passenger window while on a 6,000 mile road trip with my husband during the spring of 2010 from Missouri to California and back using a point and shoot camera. I used this type of camera deliberately to capture images in a very spontaneous way. Many times we passed so quickly (at 70 MPH) I missed shots, but other times I was able to anticipate and shoot before I really saw and was surprised by the captured image.

        I was mesmerized by the changing landscape and, since this was April, we also encountered vast seasonal changes, from the dark gray sky and flat leafless planes of Nebraska, to snow closing the freeway in Wyoming. Once over the Donner Pass, the brilliant green of early spring in Northern California was almost blinding. Upon return, I set about to sort through my 4,000 photos and pick those that best captured the feeling of motion and change. I took these base images and manipulated them to heighten the motion and the emotional attachment I have to this vast land.

Road trips are the things of legends. Documenting road trips has become cliché.

ellen jantzenHome.html

point & shoot @70MPH

Vacation Photos With A Difference


Road trips require daily stops to sleep in some manner. This portion of one's vacation is rarely documented; rather most select scenery, amusements and fellow travelers as their source of inspiration. As in my Banal series, I wanted to focus on what I had never paid attention to; to see what I had overlooked. I recently traveled across the US from St. Louis to California and back… Ahead of time, I prepared date cards to place on each bed I slept in. Trip started on April 5th and ended upon my arrival back home on April 24th. 

Each piece is titled with its date and location of motel room. Click the image at left to see the whole series.