Philip E. Griffith

Fine-Art Photography

Road Side Project: 2011-13

The southern roadside landscape is, in an odd way, a thing of both beauty and heartbreak. And since my college days (University of Montevallo), images from the roadside have always been a part of my portfolio. Although my footprint now includes explorations into both Kentucky and the great state of Illinois (my birthplace), I still see the world from a mostly southern point of view. My work now involves photographing roadside environments and found situations along our lesser-known highways. This series is my attempt to show both structures and discovered situations, as they are found, in varying states of habitation, decline and abandonment.


part one “The Eldorado Motel”

Images from my exploration of an abandoned, yet relatively intact motel near Nashville, Tennessee.

part two “One Night in Nashville”

I was visiting my sister and she kept mentioning the neon sign at The Drake Motel, so I decided to go see it for myself. It was not the best neighborhood to be in, especially alone at night, but it was at least entertaining.

part three “Road Side Explorations”

These were the very beginning of my on-going road side exploration series.  “Thank you David” was on the road somewhere in Tennessee and the other images are from my very first roadside exploration along US51 through Illinois. I have always felt that this trip was the starting point of my current roadside environment series. “39” is a signature image in my portfolio and “408” is a personal favorite.


This was the year I began the planned and structured runs (highway explorations) to find my roadside environments. The trip to Illinois a year before laid the foundations for it, but it was during this particular year that I started to figure out what I was looking for and the best ways to find it.

March and April

These images are from the first 3 roadside runs of 2012.  My March 24th run was along US 11 and then back to Birmingham, while April was dedicated solely to exploring along US 411 and US 278 through Alabama and into Georgia.


Returning home from the Skellie family reunion in Long Beach, Mississippi, I chose to make a run up US 11 as I made my way back home to Birmingham.


This was a busy and successful month for me on the road because I was able to get out on the road a little more than usual. This was by far the largest part of my 2012 portfolio.

07/08 – North on US11.

07/09 – US411 and US278.

07/15 – To Meridian, Ms.

07/15b – A late afternoon run south from Meridian on US11.

07/16 – US11 from Meridian, Ms to Birmingham, Al.

07/29 – South toward Demopolis and back to Birmingham.


Although I continued to work in both Mississippi and Alabama, my 2013 portfolio features images from a spring trip to Illinois and an unexpected overnight stay in Cairo, Illinois. Read about it here: Post #3: One Night in Cairo

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