Spanning more than 6,500 miles between Boston, MA and Oakland, CA and passing through 22 States, British photographer Daniel Freeman reflects the sporadic nature of the road wherever it leads, from east to west coast America.
For the most part there were no plans to visit specific towns or locations for his series, American Nightscapes. Daniel just stopped driving when the sun went down and that place became his canvas for the night. There are no big cities in this collection, no busy highways and no homage paid to tourist attractions. This is the real America; behind-the-scenes portraits documenting the untold story of ordinary places in everyday (well, night) small town USA, void of any people.
Daniel has a fascination and fixation with small towns at night, lured by how visually they appear, both deserted and yet alive when people head home to recharge from their day. With far fewer chains compared to British towns, many shops are independently-owned boutiques, giving a feeling that community is built around these local businesses. This forges the charm of photographing them at night, in that despite a lack of people, something of a personality transpires through the visual of the building or business. There is a sort of peaceful disposition created by a lack of human presence in something so manmade.
Driving in the darkness, the adrenaline flows with anticipation for the unknown night ahead, the mind itself in overdrive thinking about compositions and outcomes. Daniel scours the surroundings for familiar visuals to adhere to: "of them all, the 'Main Street' sign is my favourite."
This photo essay is part of a larger, ongoing project. Daniel stages his first solo exhibition in London in June 2017 before returning to the USA. Find out more at danielfreemanphotography.co.uk.
Main image: Courtesy of Daniel Freeman | Caption: "During the Trump/Clinton election everywhere I stopped people’s views on which candidate to vote for were mixed, but everyone seemed to justify their decision under a banner of patriotism – 'for the good of this great country' etc. It was the same country – but divided."
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