In Pictures

Night-time in America's small towns

Two benches Image copyright Daniel Freeman

Photographer Daniel Freeman made the ultimate road trip across America to follow in the footsteps of photographers such as Stephen Shore, William Eggleston and Robert Frank.

Starting in Boston, on the east coast, and ending on the west in Oakland, California, Freeman deliberately avoided the big cities, instead visiting the small towns of everyday America.

In order to show the USA in an novel way, Freeman took his photographs at night, often using his car headlights to illuminate details in his nocturnal portraits.

Industrial towers Image copyright Daniel Freeman
A photo booth caravan Image copyright Daniel Freeman

"Travelling the darkened, seemingly endless highways of America is vastly more rewarding than travelling in the UK, largely because one can travel great distances between towns," said Freeman..

"This allows clarity of the night sky with minimal interference from light pollution."

A car in garage Image copyright Daniel Freeman
A shop front Image copyright Daniel Freeman

Desert locations became a particularly good subject.

One photograph of an art installation of cars deep in the Nevada desert saw Freeman risking bites from coyotes, snakes and scorpions to get the perfect shot.

Car art in the desert Image copyright Daniel Freeman

One image taken in Joshua Tree National Park captures its distinctive trees against the backdrop of a night sky with no light pollution.

A tree Image copyright Daniel Freeman

Freeman also photographed the towns he passed through at night, when they were empty of people.

A street corner Image copyright Daniel Freeman
A store Image copyright Daniel Freeman

He enjoyed the atmosphere of these small towns.

He said: "Many shops are independently owned boutiques with fewer chain shops than in our towns, and there is a feeling that a community is built around these businesses."

A store front Image copyright Daniel Freeman
A garage Image copyright Daniel Freeman

Capturing the power of lightning in the state of Utah was a triumph for Freeman.

Setting out to photograph with no real plan, he came across a huge bolt of lightning.

He said: "Within minutes, I pulled on to the forecourt of an abandoned petrol station."

A petrol station Image copyright Daniel Freeman
A petrol station Image copyright Daniel Freeman

"Flashes appeared at least once every 10 to 15 seconds, and this storm lasted about an hour, so by the time I had finished, I had gone from being under pressure to capture the shot, to a more blase approach.

"Instead of shooting several hundred frames, I shot about 40 frames, of which around 25 had lightning in some form."

"The following day, I passed both petrol stations as I was leaving town, both looking utterly bland in the light of day, void of all the magic the night sky had bestowed up them."

Industrial towers Image copyright Daniel Freeman

Returning to what he sees as the UK's "congested roads and limited views of extensive darkness", Freeman is already planning to go back to capture more of America's nocturnal views.

A building at night Image copyright Daniel Freeman

All photographs by Daniel Freeman.

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