Travel

May 18, 2017

Blue Skies and Red Sunsets from Louisiana to Arizona

This is what a seven-week road trip through America’s Deep South looks like

  • Written by Samira Larouci
  • Photography by Luke Flanagan

When driving from New York to Los Angeles there are two routes to choose from. You can either head through the dry grasslands of the Mid-West, or you can drive through the desolate swamplands of the deep south coming out on the arid, mountainous deserts of Arizona before hitting California. The latter is what 29-year-old London-based photographer Luke Flanagan did.

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On a 7-week journey from New York to Los Angeles, Flanagan—whose short film Mind The Gap premiered at London Short Film Festival in 2015—took three friends and a Space Wagon across the stretch of southern states and shot a series of photos from Louisiana through to Texas and then Arizona.

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“It was an endlessly shifting terrain and sky, almost like those Sega Megadrive games where the levels would gradually change as you progressed further,” he says, “[shooting conditions were] perfect nine days out of ten. Blue skies and red sunsets. The whole thing looked like a John Ford movie.”

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The endless appeal of America’s open road will always be of fascination for photographers, something that Flanagan says is, “Etched into movie history. It’s the great frontier. It’s Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone. You can drive a whole afternoon on a completely straight road and not see a single human – you could fit two England’s into Texas alone. It’s got the kind of scale and spectacle I’d only ever seen on cinema screens.”

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