photographer Paul Hadley grew up in the small California town of Barstow – the current population is about 21,000. i’ve driven through Barstow (off of route 66) many times and it is definitely a desert town if i ever saw one. Hadley’s recent project called “The Road Trip Collection” includes a series of out-of-focus images. i think the purpose of these photos is not to show people what the American landscape looks like – instead, his intent seems to display colors, shapes, and the mood of the landscape.
i have always had a soft spot for the open desert, maybe it’s because i’ve been going there since i was small, and Paul Hadley’s interpretation of roads and the open desert is unique and very fitting. an interesting fact about this photographer, is that he never stops or pulls over to shoot an image – he always shoots while driving.
” I never stop, I shoot while driving. Roadsigns become paintings, police cars become toys – everything becomes simple, cleansed of over-detail and shaped softly with buttery-like watercolor.” shooting while driving – dangerous? maybe. but i guess it’s not that hard when you’re on an open road and your only direction is straight-ahead. really though, this man probably has the best job ever. he gets to drive around the US and take photographs. i am jealous.
he loves his photographs to look like paintings – with soft strokes and soft lines, and colors that merge together. i definitely feel like i can relate to his images and do feel that they are very real to road trips. i drove across the country last summer (and plan to do it again… and again… and again) and looking at these just makes we want to do it over!
All photos belong to Paul Hadley