I am a huge fan of Flickr. There are so many things to see, so many beautiful photographs in every genre. Some categories I have never even thought of before, and ended up obsessed later on. Which is what happened when I came across road photographs on the site.
These are pictures that have been taken specifically of roads, or that are relevant to roads all over the world. Whether they are freeways, suburban streets, urban corners or back roads away from civilization, this site has a ton.
While some might not understand the value of road photos, others know better. It is a way of illustrating the beauty of changing landscapes. A metaphor for what has been or what is to come. A way to show you are moving on, or expressing wanderlust.
No matter what road photography means to you, there is plenty of inspiration out there. Here are ten great Flickr groups to alleviate your craving.
Anything having to do with roads are welcome in this group. From closeups to far off shots, black and white or colored. They just love pictures if streets if all kinds. Which has led to a ton of great photos in their pool, with more than 12,000 already there. It has been awhile since a conversation has been updated there, but they are regularly accepting photos. The members are very active in comments.
This is a great group that focuses on a more specific genre: back roads. Anything that is country, abandoned, lesser known or just not usually used is welcome here. Which has led to some incredible photos. Admittedly, the photos in the group pool are not always that well regulated. There are a number of them that are completely irrelevant to the purpose of the group. But that shouldn’t put you off.
Image via Dobovo
We learn about vanishing points early on in life, as we learn about art. But we don’t always recognize them in photos when we are grown. This group is dedicated to bringing back that focus. All photos should make you feel as though you are looking at the end of a tunnel, or seeing a point so far in the distance that it seems to have no end. Some of the shots here are truly stunning, and can actually make you feel dizzy.
Here, it isn’t enough to take a photo of a street. Instead, the focus has to be on the pavement itself, creatively captured. Which is a lot harder than you might think, when you are dealing with a subject that is primarily done in black and gray tones. But there are more than 60,000 examples to show you how to be successful.
Less sinister than it sounds, this is a place for showing picture you took while you were driving past the subject in your car. What you take a photo of isn’t important, nor is the tone. As long as you were in the car when you did so. There is everything from urban photography to street signs here. You can be driving, parked or waiting for a light.
One of the most glamorous cities in the world, London is a focal point for culture and history. There is always a lot to see, and so a group dedicated to it isn’t a surprise. This one is very active, especially lately thanks to the 2012 Summer Olympics taking place there right now.
7. Route 66
Referred to as “The Mother Road”, US Route 66 is the most popular highway in America. Sparking a great deal of nostalgia and fond references, it will always be a symbol to travelers in the country. This group has photos dedicated to that route itself, as well as thing around it.
Not the most well known or large group, but this one is still really cool. It has photos taken while in daily traffic and commutes, from cars, trains and buses. Anything that you see as you go about your life are welcome, as long as you were in some form of transportation when you took it.
9. Ghost World
By their own admission, this can be a hard group to be featured in. They have no real set of rules, or even a real concept of what qualifies as “ghostly”. But the basic idea is the eerie qualities of the world of shadow. Don’t know what that means? Neither do I, but you can get an idea by going through the group pool. This isn’t technically a road group, but there are a ton of photos of roads. So I thought I would include it.
Nothing screams change like a highway. This group is full of pictures of the freeways all over the US. There are more than 8,000 currently there, and for the avid traveler it can be fun to go through a slideshow and see how many you can identify without reading the description.
Do you know of any good groups on Flickr about roads or related subjects? Let us know in the comments!