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Photographing Empty Streets of America— Iconic Moments to Preserve in History

Adam Schluter

As the world adjusted to a new way of life with face masks and social distancing, one person, in particular, had a hard time accepting this reality.

Adam Schluter, a National Geographic-featured photographer, had no idea that life around him changed so much when he returned from his 19 country-trip. He was traveling and capturing people from all around the globe and was unaware of the situation back in the US.

Back to America

Photo/Adam Schluter: Adam Schluter back to a locked-down America

When Adam reached Chicago, he realized that COVID-19 has taken over the country, and now everyone was to stay home for an indefinite period. Nothing is worse for a travel photographer than staying in one place for more than a few hours or at most a day.

So, Adam’s anxiety and restlessness were justified when he was stuck at home.He wanted to travel once again and capture everything that was going around.

Lack of Inspiration

For someone who travels most of the time during a year to gain inspiration for his work, he had no choice but to stay in one place. This was becoming very depressing, and soon Adam had to find something to change his state of mind.

Photo/Adam Schluter: Adam Schluter traveled around the US to get inspiration

Luckily, a creative thinker never runs out of ideas, and the photographer had just figured out a new one!

Historic Idea

Photo/Adam Schluter: Adam Schluter wanted to preserve the pandemic in history 

Adam knew that he couldn’t travel internationally, but road trips weren’t off-limits. He could go around different cities to capture how America was doing during the pandemic.

It didn’t start as a road journey, though, the photographer couldn’t get one thing out of his mind – Las Vegas!

This is what inspired Adam to get out of his house in such a dire situation. But the thought of an empty Las Vegas strip was something he had to capture with his camera, and so he went ahead.

Precautionary Measures

Taking care of all the necessary measures to stay safe and keep others protected from an outsider like him, Adam wore his blue mask and purple gloves wherever he went, regardless of the weather conditions.

He took the road to Salt Lake City and stayed there to click a few beautiful photos before continuing his journey towards Las Vegas.

New America

Photo/Adam Schluter: A country empty of crowds and cars.

A place that was never empty despite the time of day was now drowning in silence. Anywhere Adam went, he saw no soul roaming around. Everything from the boulevard to the casinos was empty.

The strangest thing that happened to him was whenever he took out his camera to take a picture, security would arrive in less than a minute and then police afterward— the situation was more like living in a dystopian world!

A Road Trip Worth Sharing

Photo/Adam Schluter: Empty airports of America

After satisfying his curiosity concerning an empty Las Vegas, Adam traveled to cities like LA and San Francisco, completing a drive of 3,100 miles within eight days. The scenes in the other cities were no different from the ‘City of Lights.’

A place like Los Angeles had no traffic, even the LAX airport’s departure area was empty enough to park a car sideways!


Adam knew that this was a once-in-a-lifetime event,and he was capturing it for the world.Besides, his experience of connecting with strangers who were desperate for a conversation was humbling, to say the least. He stored everything in his camera and showed us how America suffered through the pandemic by staying together and away at the same time.

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