Capturing Kitsch: Neon Signs Across America

Like photographing a Roadrunner in the wild; one must think quick and have a long lens.

The window of opportunity closes fast when we spot a sign on the side of the road. So the real challenge becomes photographing them as we drive by. If Dennis can’t turn the motorhome around, I make do. And while most of my sign photos are shot from the Yeti window, some I’ve darted out into traffic to get, and others we’ve taken on uncharted sign shooting excursions. National Geographic, watch out!

Burro Motel with Stanley, AZ
Burro Motel with Stanley, AZ

 

The Lucky Pork Store, Mission, San Francisco, CA
The Lucky Pork Store, Mission, San Francisco, CA
Canyon Lodge, Panguitch, UT
Canyon Lodge, Panguitch, UT
Pioneer Cafe, Susanville, CA
Pioneer Cafe, Susanville, CA

Still, I miss so many of  these great old neon signs as we wander past.

I use my iPhone because it’s readily available, but it lacks a long lens and that sucks. Having a split second to capture a cool old relic, taking my one chance opportunity, and bam– a light pole, box truck, brick wall, or just sky… and no trace of the sign in the frame.

 

Americana Motel, Tom's River, NJ
Americana Motel, Tom’s River, NJ
Oregon Trail Motel - taken from our roof. OR
Oregon Trail Motel – taken from our roof. OR

 

Drifter Motel, SilverCity, NM
Drifter Motel, SilverCity, NM

 

Moon Motel, Tom's River, NJ
Moon Motel, Tom’s River, NJ

 

Horseshoe Bar, American Falls, ID
Horseshoe Bar, American Falls, ID

 

Stardust Motel, Redding, CA
Stardust Motel, Redding, CA

 

It’s not that we don’t have time to stop–it’s just that we’re already driving incredibly slow. We like photographing neon signs from our motorhome window because setting up a tripod would take the excitement out of it.

 

Cocktails, Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA
Cocktails, Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA
The Dude Motel, West Yellowstone, MT
The Dude Motel, West Yellowstone, MT

 

New York System Weiners, Providence, RI
New York System Weiners, Providence, RI

 

We hope you enjoyed this little slice of Americana and offbeat roadside art, captured by us, aboard the Cheddar Yeti. So, if you too find yourself enamored by these kitschy roadside sightings, go ahead and check out our growing Neon Sign photos page.

We love comments, so go ahead and tell us about your road trip hobby.

hashtags: #signgeeks #neonsigns #vintageneon #typevstime

2 thoughts on “Capturing Kitsch: Neon Signs Across America”

  1. HI guys, been a while since I had time , and have some news of our own, looks like my bus deal is off !!! BUT, a better deal is in motion and looks like its a done deal, we found a guy that wants our 01 dodge dually cummins and our fifth so we are trading him straight up….its a 92 Firan(original manufacture) Champin Europremier diesel pusher , just what we would have built, now I cant sleep till its in the yard, wish the dam snow would stop so we can go meet him half way.Nice thing about these coach’s is , I know something about them, spartan chasis , 8.3 cummins, and alison trans…….oh boy ….look out world here we come…….give us a shout when you get a chance …happy camping…Rich and Cher

    1. Hey! Glad to hear you have things in the works. Bus or not, hitting the road is exciting. Thanks for stopping by, giving us an update and saying hello. The snow IS melting… but then again we’ve been driving south for three days now! 🙂

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