Today's FlakPhoto: Rob Hann
Rob's road trip pictures are expansive, colorful, offbeat, funny, occasionally bleak, and always beautiful. This week: a story about the Bonneville Salt Flats!
Last month, I mentioned that I wanted to publish photography stories in the New Year. I’m sure this will evolve, and based on your feedback, many of you liked the idea, so here we go! I know some of you are photographers. Please drop me a line if you have a photography story to tell and want to collaborate. You can email me anytime.📸
Today's FlakPhoto is from Rob Hann, a British photographer based in California and New York.
I love it when I can instantly tell who made a picture. You know Bob Dylan when you hear his voice. It's a signature sound, a way of being in the world. That's how it is with Rob's photography — you know it's him behind the camera. Rob's road trip pictures are expansive, colorful, offbeat, funny, occasionally bleak, and always beautiful. He definitely has a point of view!
Rob shared this image on Instagram a few weeks ago, and I asked if he'd be willing to tell us about it. He replied:
In October 2001, I took a big road trip through the desert states of the American Southwest. I photographed whatever I found interesting along the way. Since that first trip, I've taken to the road, camera by my side, whenever I can. A few years ago, I stopped off for a few days at Bonneville Salt Flats in western Utah, close to the Nevada border. I'd seen Gus Van Sant's 2002 movie Gerry. The final scene in the film takes place on the salt flats. I saw it was a beautiful and intriguing place and wanted to check it out.
I flew into Salt Lake City and headed west for about 100 miles. When I arrived, there was an annual event taking place called World of Speed, where mostly amateur enthusiasts race their cars and motorcycles against the clock, aiming to break speed records or enjoy the thrill of driving as fast as they can across the salt. I found I could get the best pictures to suit my aesthetic by isolating the vehicles and sometimes the drivers against the beautiful landscape. With the image of this car, I love the small touches of orange and red within the surrounding silver and blue.
I'm continuing to take road trips whenever I can. A few years ago, my partner and I bought a house in the desert in Joshua Tree, where we spend our winters and visit now and then. It's beautiful to be amongst the nature out here, and it also allows me to take day trips shooting what I find in the area.
If you like this picture, you will love Rob's book, Diesel Fried Chicken. From what I can tell, it's sold out, but I'll bet you can find a copy online. DFC is a road trip book, which means there's romance in its pages. At the same time, it’s a story about America, a place ripe with mythology — it's a weird place, and Rob's pictures make that clear. I love how he sees. Please make some time to explore Rob's website. Thanks, Rob!
About the photographer
Rob Hann is a self-taught British-born photographer. After a career as a portrait photographer shooting over 900 commissions for numerous magazines and record companies, he turned his attention to traveling the roads of rural America and shooting what he finds there.
Rob now makes his living selling prints of the work he shoots on the road through galleries in the U.S. and Europe and selling affordable prints from his table on the street in SoHo on weekends. He has seven photographs in the permanent collection of The National Portrait Gallery in London. The Artist Edition published his first book, Diesel Fried Chicken, in 2018. His second, as yet unnamed book should be published in 2024.
That’s all for now — Thanks for looking! Until next time…
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