I absolutely love an 'empty road' shot, there is wonder in an empty road, a mystery to be solved, a journey to be chosen or declined. I find a kind of beauty in an empty road that I do not find elsewhere, it's an invitation to a place known or unknown, to a new horizon or familiar ground, a new adventure or old friends.
It's not about the visible, it's about the invisible and how the image makes you want to see beyond the disappearing highway. It makes you want to travel into the image, it's not just the obvious leading lines, it's something more for me, it's a feeling that makes me want to get into my vehicle and drive.
It may be caused by me being born and raised in England where empty roads are scarce at any time of day. It may be that they invoke memories of my great american road trips. Personally I think it is the offer of adventure that I see along an empty highway, it's a voyage of discovery just waiting for momentum. I have a number of road shots and perhaps it's time I made a series of them for the site.
For now I thought I'd share a recent shot from Death Valley California, taken last week just after sunrise on Beatty Road facing south toward Badwater Basin.
Regular readers will know that I haven't posted for a while (sorry about that) I've been on the road for a couple of weeks driving south to Arizona and have had little time to make a post. But, I'm now ensconced in a nice hotel in Tucson and finally have the time to share a little 'cowboy classic'.
This shot was made in South Mountain Park just outside Phoenix and what a fantastic little park this is. There are spectacular saguaro cacti scattered throughout the park, wonderful hikes and stunning viewpoints over the city and the surrounding area.
If you find yourself in the area check out Dobbins Lookout at South Mountain Park which is where I made the image below. You won't have the place to yourself so try to get there early, at least an hour before sunset and then move a few hundred metres away from the actual lookout position. This will leave you clear of the crowds and still provide plenty of opportunity for images.
Once the sunset is over you can make your way back to the lookout position close to the car park where the crowds will have dissipated. You can then make some great images of the city of Phoenix at night using the stone lookout as a foreground, or it's windows as a frame, or by standing right in front of it and having a direct view over the city below.
However you choose to shoot this location you will not be disappointed. There are great views all around, wonderful vegetation and plenty of foreground elements for the wide angle. I have to say there are also some perfect shots to be had using the 70-200 mm and isolating cacti against the sunset. However you do it, if you're in the Phoenix area make sure you go there and give it a go.
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