CNN Photos

From Boston to Las Vegas in 3 months

Jamie K. White, CNNPublished 31st August 2015
(CNN) — When Danish photojournalist Andreas Beck embarked on a three-month American road trip with his girlfriend, he had some expectations, but he didn't have much of a plan.
"We just took each day as it came," he said.
They started in Boston, rented a car and just started driving.
"We experienced wonderful, fiery red colors of the fall," he said.
First they drove to Vermont, and then all the way north to Niagara Falls. Then they headed west. They drove through Buffalo, Detroit and Cleveland. But because of the time constraints, Beck didn't get to spend as much time with each destination as he would have liked.
"We were constantly on our way," he said, "All these stories left behind, with unemployment and hopelessness -- it was hard not to get into."
Photographer Andreas Beck
Photographer Andreas Beck
Sophie Keil
But they forged on to the Great Plains, at which point Beck says he became very overwhelmed. They were so in awe of the terrain of South Dakota, they stayed there for an entire week.
"We have nothing in Denmark you can compare to those landscapes at all," he said.
Miles and miles of sunflowers without petals, a horse carcass on the side of the road. Big sprawling, open land.
"It was overwhelming," he said. "Every day we just rode in the car with our mouths open."
As they drove toward the western part of Montana, something else came into their view: the Rocky Mountains.
"They just started rolling through our front window," Beck said, "rocketing up from the earth."
They continued from the Pacific Northwest onto Highway 1, the ultra-scenic route stretching the length of coastal California. From there, Beck captured the valley of Los Angeles and the outstretched arms of the Joshua tree in Death Valley.
They ended their expedition in Las Vegas, Beck's least-favorite stop.
"We had just seen all this nature, and then -- consumerism," he said.
Beck used an old Hasselblad -- a Swedish camera, the same kind that went to the moon -- to shoot all of his pictures.
"It's basically just a workhorse, fully mechanical," he said.
And being in a car for most of the time was a good thing.
"The car windows made small picture frames for us."