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The Loneliest Highway in America

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 6 February 2009 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

U.S. 50 through Nevada - east of Austin

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Scott Schilling from San Martin, United States

Beautiful image and composition - this image scares me because I feel like I am right on the road and I am going to get run over from behind - so it has a lot of tension for me - wonderful sky and mountains!

6 Feb 2009 5:43am

@Scott Schilling: It was so quiet - so still. You would hear a car for two minutes before it arrived on this particular day.

shroom from DFW, United States

That's a really cool pic. I've always wanted to drive around Nevada and experience the desolation.

6 Feb 2009 5:53am

@shroom: It is amazingly beautiful, shroom - especially this time of year.

Michael Skorulski from Cigel, Slovakia

Lonely but beautiful. I like the lowdown perspective and the lovely rolling landscape, Steven

6 Feb 2009 6:03am

@Michael Skorulski: Thanks, Michael.

Marie LC from Voiron, France

Composition perfect. I like perspective and angle of your shot.

6 Feb 2009 6:35am

Alun Lambert from cheshire, United Kingdom

Fantastic image, just love that long road, i just want to get on it and drive

6 Feb 2009 6:38am

@Alun Lambert: Hey, Alun - "Happy Motoring !" ...we are waiting for you.

dobbino from Cape Town, South Africa

Stephen - you have just blown me away with this shot. For me this without question surpasses your normal superb images.

6 Feb 2009 8:36am

@dobbino: Thank you very much, Dobbino, for the kind words.

k@ from France

That great yellow mark on the violet road, wow !

6 Feb 2009 8:53am

Francesc B. from région parisienne, France

Wow.... stunning angle and perspective... ready for the adventure ?

6 Feb 2009 9:51am

@Francesc B.: Just about always, Francesc - "...headin' down the highway, lookin' for adventure in whatever comes our way..." (Steppenwolf)

Anthony Lambert from Bielefeld, Germany

Fantastic shot !! You have so much talent Stephen,it makes me green with envy :-)

6 Feb 2009 9:52am

@Anthony Lambert: Don't go green my friend - grab the camera!

Betty from New Jersey, United States

It may be lonely, but he scenery is just incredible! Excellent composition!

6 Feb 2009 10:44am

Veronelle from Lens, France

woua the way is long long long ! beautifull capture

6 Feb 2009 12:10pm

Giovanni from Milan, Italy

A fabulous image! Love the POV and the composition. The landscape is simply stunning!

6 Feb 2009 12:58pm

DenisSm from Prague, Czech Republic

Maybe The Loneliest but really photogenic....and you captured it nice..

6 Feb 2009 1:30pm

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Hey Stephen, the angle and composition on this one are just wonderful!!! You've really managed to capture the openness and emptyness of the area!!

6 Feb 2009 1:31pm

vu@granby - Wolfgang from Granby, Québec, Canada

Great low angle shot, bravo!
PS: Maybe the lonliest in the US, but in the "True North Strong and Free" we have lonelier roads....

6 Feb 2009 1:48pm

@vu@granby - Wolfgang: What is surprising about this - is that it IS a major U.S. highway. Driving along, I found it a little ironic that you were as likely to see a UPS, FedEx, DHL, or the like - interrupting the stillness - as anything else.

dogilicious from Millerstown, PA, United States

Wow! A beautiful wide angle. You can probably see 3 miles of road here. an excellent perspective also.

6 Feb 2009 2:30pm

@dogilicious: About 5 miles (8 km) here. After the road snakes through the mountains ahead there is a section that goes more than 30 miles (48 km) without a dip or bend. I have pictures but they're not as interesting as this one.

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Simply my favourite landscape for quite a while!!! Each and every element in this image is perfect... Wow!

6 Feb 2009 2:44pm

@hugo poon: About as far from Hong Kong as one might imagine without chasing DJ over the arctic ice. Thanks, Hugo.

Jeff from Pembroke Dock, Wales., United Kingdom

I read that this is a very dangerous road for ladies to drive down, after seeing this shot I can understand why..

6 Feb 2009 2:46pm

@Jeff: Oh my, Jeff - I never thought about that - but it makes perfect sense. This would be true even more so on the side highways. I was on the road that connects this very spot with the town of Tonapah - on U.S. 6 to the south. After awhile I noticed the fences had disappeared. The were no phone or electric wires to be seen. True open range. I drove for over an hour without seeing another vehicle. And I could clearly see some of these 'good old boys' who would see great sport in chasing a woman driving alone. ("...but hey sheriff - I thought she was lookin' for some roadside assistance.")

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

wow... simply best photo.. your perspective is fantastic!!

6 Feb 2009 3:14pm

@Sarito: Thank you, Sarito.

Chris from South Jersey, United States

wow - this is an awesome shot - I love the perspective and colors. Really stunning.....

6 Feb 2009 3:51pm

@Chris: Not exactly The Jersey Turnpike, eh?

Observing from West Cheshire, United Kingdom

A super cool shot Stephen, I've given it 5 stars because it has such a surreal quality. Magnificent shot.

6 Feb 2009 4:14pm

@Observing: You are very kind, Mike - thanks.

Diane Schuller from Hythe, Canada

excellent image for many reasons. Great perspective and how perfect that you were at just a slight angle rather than just straight on (as it almost appears) but enough to demonstrate the periphery. Great clarity and long dof. So many textures. Great photography.

6 Feb 2009 4:41pm

@Diane Schuller: Thank you for the kind words and observations, Diane. Here was a spectacular day. I hope to repeat this trek soon. My dream is to document all of U.S. 50 - from Sacramento, California - to Ocean City, Maryland.

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Wow! I think it has to be lonely you to dare to put the camera just there.
This apart, it's a beautiful composition very wide: from the asphalt to the snowed mountain in the horizon.
Very good.

6 Feb 2009 5:07pm

@Paco Díaz: Bless you, Paco - your words mean much to me.

Judy from Brooksville-Florida,, United States

Wonderful and yes, lonely, shot, with great perspective.
We took 80 our of SLC so we could have a 'little' company on the road in case we ran into trouble. The only 'trouble' we found was at the Donner Pass, closed due to snow and ice for about three hours, so we just picked up with the 18 wheelers and headed west over the pass. Parts of NV are like a moonscape to me.

6 Feb 2009 5:21pm

@Judy: It occurs to me - that if it weren't for the mountains - Nevada would be exactly like Florida - except for the ocean, sea, lakes, vegetation, farmlands, homes, resorts, towns, cities, and people. I mean exactly the same.

zahai from Berlin, Germany superb capture. love the colors, composition, everything. amazing.

6 Feb 2009 5:22pm

@zahai: Thanks so much, Zahai. This is a good place for a camera!

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

It is lonely but beautiful. My wife and I drove a stretch last summer. You've captured that beauty so well here. Love that perspective.

6 Feb 2009 5:22pm

@Steve Rice: Hey there, Steve - thanks. Where were you two heading for?

Mirko Herzner from Mühlheim am Main, Germany

I am sure you know by now that this image is to be part of my VFXY collection. So amazing!

6 Feb 2009 5:38pm

@Mirko Herzner: Thanks so much Mirko - for the thought and the reminder. I have been so busy lately that I'd completely forgotten about VFXY. It has been well more than a month since I've spent time there - maybe next week...

peter from new york, United States

i absolutely love this shot! frame it and put it on a wall. this is excellent work!

6 Feb 2009 5:43pm

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

Wow that is one majestic photo how in the world did you manage to compose it in such's a work of art, almost an illusion

6 Feb 2009 5:59pm

@Lorraine: Thanks, Lorraine. Many have suggested that 'Illusion' is the place I dwell.

EYES WIDE SHUT from United Kingdom

Utterly stunning composition and perspective. Superbly captured, Stephen

6 Feb 2009 8:02pm

Cricket/Tammy from Huntsville, United States

Wonderful contrast between the blue sky and the long road.

6 Feb 2009 8:29pm

Suzanne from Huntington Bch, California, United States

Interesting POV. It may be lonely but I think the scenery is lovely.

6 Feb 2009 8:48pm

zecarlos from Lisboa, Portugal

Stunning angle and perspective. Very well done.

6 Feb 2009 9:31pm

roentarre from Melbourne, Australia

Wow, this is an amazing landscape to view. Great view and perspective here.


6 Feb 2009 9:36pm

@roentarre: I didn't mean to trip you up. Thanks for the support!

Kurt from San Francisco, United States

Nice shot! Love that part of Nevada and the town of Austin--and the fact that the road's so empty out there you really have time to set up a shot like that.

6 Feb 2009 9:55pm

@Kurt: Thank for the comment and visit Kurt - I look forward to visiting with your images, neighbor.

Yonatan from Bronx, United States

Stunning shot. The perspective is so captivating...I'm worried a car is going to come out of nowhere and flatten me like a pancake! The clarity throughout the picture is wonderful and the variety in the mountainous terrain in the background makes this image. I'd have to pour back through your photos but this is definitely in my top 3 from your collection.

6 Feb 2009 11:10pm

@Yonatan: Thank you = Yonatan - for the visit and kind words.

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

You laid down on the road:-) It was worth it:-)

7 Feb 2009 3:30am

@sherri: Well, Sherri - no tire tracks all across my back - so, I'd have to say 'yes'.

Liang from San Francisco, United States

wonderful angle from where you're at on the road. great clouds shown here too!

7 Feb 2009 5:10am

yz from Budapest, Hungary

cool perspective

7 Feb 2009 1:08pm

@yz: Hey - yz - it is good to hear from you! Thanks for the many looks and comments.

grant from kansas city, United States

fantastic shot, angle

8 Feb 2009 2:38am

Mike from Lichfield, United Kingdom

Wow, the snow capped mountains are stunning in the background. Love the low angle you've taken this from. I'm guessing the camera was placed directly on the road?

8 Feb 2009 8:33am

@Mike: No, Mike - a bit of the bottom is cropped away leading to that effect. I'm guessing the lens was centered about 30 cm ( 1 foot ) off the asphalt.

willow from Chelsea, United States

Awesome perspective - I love the texture of the pavement against the smooth sky.

8 Feb 2009 11:50pm

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

There are some long stretches of lonely road out west Texas way between Texas and New Mexico. Frankly though, I think the fewer people there are, the less the risk. For one thing, bad guys aren't likely to be out where the pickins' are so slim --they prefer a more target rich environment. In the second place, as far as the odds go, if 1 out of 100 is someone to worry about, and 100 people pass by, you're ten times safer than if you're somewhere that 1000 people are passing by. And finally, in a place like this I think a predator is more likely to find his victim to be armed.

9 Feb 2009 12:35am

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

Your point of view is very impressive. It makes me think I'm the car driver in the Spielberg "Duel" :-)

9 Feb 2009 7:09am

@Calusarus: 'Duel' is one cool film, my friend - thanks!

Lesley from Lincoln, United States

Stunning shot, Stephen. My first thought was that you meant Austin, TX. I've driven from Austin to San Diego and there are a few stretches that look much like this. Not a car to be seen for miles and miles. Why, one could almost read a book propped up on the steering wheel if one were young and foolish!

Your photo reminds me a bit of the cover for Neil Peart's book, Ghost Rider, although I think yours is much more beautiful!

9 Feb 2009 9:39pm

@Lesley: How very kind, Lesley - thanks.

MAGDA from Canada

Love it!!!! Amazing shot! The perspective is fabulous. Did I say that I love it!??!!! (grin)

19 Feb 2009 2:45am

Cyril from San Francisco, France

Great picture. I like the feeling of loneliness and depth.

13 Jul 2009 11:03pm