Monday, January 23, 2012

DC to Big Sur -- in Feb 2012

Hi Jamie,

I am a French artist photographer, and I am planning a month road trip in February starting from DC to Big Sur CA.

The purpose of this trip is to explore the American dream at it's best, through the remnants of the glorious years of the 1950s - 1970's.

I imagine it being a bit nostalgic, and being a bit like traveling in time.
This is a photo project that I am working on with a French publisher.

I think I ll go through the 66 of course, but since it's been already treated a lot, I d like to go off the beaten paths.

Any insights from you would be very welcome.

Thank you for sharing your experience,




Hello Claire --

Many thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA -- I like the sound of your American Dream road trip tour, and hope I can help you find some good subjects for your photography. Starting in DC in January you may have to deal with some wintry weather, and you'll have shorter days to capture the scenes along your way. But I suspect you'll still find some good scenes.

Though the weather will be better the farther south you veer, for visual stimulation the best route is probably US-50, my "Loneliest Road" trip. This sounds like it would be a natural path for you to follow (maybe on your way back east from California?), and I think you'll find a wide variety of subject matter along the road. Especially if you like rust and dust, which I suspect you do!

If you like seeing the remnants of 1960s heavy industry and factories, cities like Cincinnati and St Louis and Kansas City have a lot to offer -- and at St Louis you could a cruise along old Route 66, which I think would confirm your suspicions that there is better, more "under-exposed" material away from that famous highway. Or, if the cold weather or other reasons send you further south, there are some great scenes in Louisiana and Texas, too -- all very much like the world described in the "Last Picture Show", which captures in cinema the feeling I think you are looking for in your photos.

Big Sur is of course a completely different world -- but it will be a nice treat for you after all the other places you pass through.

Let me know what you think, and if I can help in any more specific way.

And "Bonne chance" !

With best wishes,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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