ISSUES WITH ROADTRIP PHOTOGRAPHY
By Matthew Flores
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A dusty stretch of road, cleaving its way through far-off, majestic spines of snowcapped mountains. An open vista of turbulent ocean, battering against rugged cliffs and foreboding boulders. A heroically battered vehicle, practically bursting at the seams with tents, surfboards, sleeping bags, and clear-eyed young adults (always the coolest kids you know) sporting a perfectly positioned cigarette and a pair of gleaming Ray Bans. Few things are as synonymous with summertime as the road trip, and, likewise, few photographic genres resonate as clearly with the season as the road trip series.
Because of its visual allure and popularity, road trip photography has become almost ubiquitous in contemporary visual culture. While certainly not a new development, this genre of photography has recently delved into occasionally troubling thematic waters. If it can be taken seriously, these issues need to be addressed and considered when analyzing a body of work identified with the road trip.