National Geographic photographer Sam Abell has defined his career with patience. There is no dull section of a Sam Abell photograph, the frame is layered from back to front with compelling imagery. This can be a slow process, it can take days, weeks, or in some cases months for the right opportunity to present itself.
We live in a frame of mind which is determined by where and when we’re born and the kind of culture we are exposed to. Seeking what we might be outside of this frame is what I’m trying to do in my solo trips.
Q&A is a photographic project that explores the semi-fictionalised, hyperreal version of America that people hold in their heads.
Behind many of my most worthwhile images there was a journey leading up to it that involved some sort of hardship, whether physically or mentally.
I perceive my photographic work through a director’s eyes, however, the difference in my vision, is that the whole world is a stage. It’s an intense sensation of “limitless”. I like to recreate a fantastic universe of dreams and travels.
After driving through so much of the country I was fortunate to see dozens of different environments and lifestyles and meet many new people, some of whom I was able to photograph. This collection of images is a sample of the America I saw during those two weeks on the road.
When friends or family ask why the hell I would sell everything I own and move into a school bus to travel full time, this is the story I tell them. Of course, not every day living the life of a dirtbag traveler is as amazing as this one.
I love a road trip. I’ve been on dozens of them around the world and in 46 states. The American road is a bit over-romanticized. That Kerouacian idea of finding yourself is overplayed, but there’s something out there in the mountains, deserts, plains, and cities that I can’t explain.
For me, leaving the easy things behind, getting into situations that I’m not used is where it all starts. Maybe you’re not ready for it, or even intially interested in, but you go. And you figure it out along the way.