The principals of American Road Trip Photography are the husband and wife team of Craig Roderick and Sara Beck. Sara's interest in photography began with her work as a photographer's assistant in California. Shooting primarily outdoor amateur sporting events, she gained an appreciation for action photography. She later worked in a professional photo lab which provided the opportunity to view the work of others and develop her own style.
Craig began his photographic journey as a detective with a major municipal police department. Utilizing large format film cameras, crime scene and traffic accident photography led him to view the camera as a tool. Accurate representation of the observed conditions was the goal of his initial photographic efforts.
The creative possibilities of photography opened for Craig and Sara with the birth of the second generation of digital photography. They combined their love of travel with the creative possibilities available with digital imaging to record the beauty they encountered. This exposed a new appreciation for the beauty all around them in what used to be mundane circumstances. Photographic possibilities have expanded because of this new appreciation for the natural and man made aspects of our environment. Our mission is to promote the exploration and appreciation of our environment by capturing the interests and imagination of those who view our photography.
Night and Low Light Images
As you explore this site, you will see that we shoot almost exclusively at night or in low light conditions. Our mantra is almost everything is more interesting at night. The confluence of darkness and light, both natural and artificial, offers unique perspectives we try to capture through our photographs. Night photography is a totally manual process involving a lot of trial and error and is technically difficult for that reason. When we are in the field, we explore possible locations during the day and then return to the most promising ones during what we think will be optimal lighting conditions. We spend many late nights and very early mornings trying to re-locate places that seemed so easy to find during daylight. Daylight surveying is important for safety reasons but can be misleading. So often scenes that looked promising are totally different at night. Our images are post processed on a computer, but we attempt to achieve our desired artistic interpretation through camera technique as much as possible.
Urban, Industrial, Abandoned
Our subject matter is wide ranging, but focuses on urban scenes, industrial equipment, and abandoned artifacts. Our goal is to photograph what many consider to be decayed or discarded in such a way as to reveal its continued beauty or to provoke contemplation about how it ended up in its current condition. Our interior shots of abandoned buildings and churches were mostly taken during the day as there needs to be some source of light and it is too hazardous to be in these locations in total darkness. We consider these images as low light since the only available light was what was coming into the building from collapsed walls, holes in the roof, or unsecured windows as the case may be. For our night shots we use available light supplemented by light painting with LED flashlights where necessary. Again, we endeavor to portray our urban scenes to convey a mood or experience. Even though we are not landscape photographers, you will find some landscape images in our Natural World gallery. As we move about the country seeking out industrial, urban or abandoned subjects, we come upon aspects of nature that we simply cannot pass up. Some of these images have things nature has tossed aside which leads to an entirely different discussion about continued worth and beauty. So, this is not your typical road trip. Enjoy the experience because that is the essence of art.