(In)Frequently Asked Questions
(stuff you might ask if you were to think about it)

Page Questions:
What kind of photos am I looking for?
What would I like to show on the website?
Which endpoints do you especially want?
Which formats do you accept?
Under what conditions should pictures be shot?
"Okay, I'm alone and driving down I-70 near the Ohio Border. How do I shoot THAT?"
What about using Rain-X to keep my windshield clean?
What's in it for you, the picture taker?
"If you remove my pictures, will I still be credited?"
What if you're uncomfortable letting me have a copy of your image(s)?

What kind of photos am I looking for?

I prefer pictures that show the scene at or around the terminus point. While signage is important (and signs must be shown in the picture if they're there), I believe it's more important to show what the driver would see driving up to (or away from) the endpoint/terminus itself.

End/Begin signage at an intersection is, of course, most important and should be part of the picture. Indiana is very good at putting "end" signs at the termini of their state and US routes.

Picture of the north end of the Southern portion of Ind 101, taken by Andrew Smith.

However, you're not going to find "End" or "Begin" signage at every beginning/end point of every road. In that case, usually the best thing to do is shoot the ending/beginning scene, trying to get as much important detail as you can. Usually the beginning point has a sign denoting the highway route number (assuming that Indiana doesn't have any "secret highways," of course -- unposted bypasses don't count.) and the end point is something definite, like an intersection, off ramps, state line crossing, sign, or an overpass or underpass.

Picture of the beginning point of Ind 120, taken by Tom Weinkauf.

With historical endings, present day signage (say, a state road runs through where a US road used to end) is always worth including in a photograph. And again, in case there's no signage, include shots of the intersection.

Picture of the historical endpoint of US 136, taken by Don Hargraves.

It is also useful if you include an explanation. It can be as simple as "Here is were (name road here) ends/begins," or can have as much detail as you feel is needed.

And finally: If you have a photo of a highway end that's better than what I have, is taken from a different angle than what I have, or is old enough to show something of what USED to be there, please let me know. Information that adds to, corrects, clarifies or updates what I've written on my pages is also welcomed.

What would I like to show on this website?

The minimum I want to show for each endpoint is two pictures: one of the road ending and one of the road beginning. Views from the other road(s) at the intersection are good but not necessary. And while I will accept pictures of stuff around the end point of a road, I reserve the right to be choosy:

Acceptable items:

  • Historical plaques, especially road-based ones
  • Historical buildings
  • A historical or present terminus with old signage (example: an old "US 152" sign on a road). Email me on this, or check the web page (if up) to see what I'll take.
  • Buildings or locations for which a road was specifically signed for.
  • Ferries (if any are still working)
  • Odd or unique structures or features (Email me on this, as I don't want to have someone send pictures only to say "Sorry, can't use any of these.")

Not acceptable (without plaque):

  • Riverboat Casinos (this even with plaques)
  • Excess downtown pictures, however "historic" the downtown.
  • A house at an endpoint (see above for exception)
  • Malls (unless you can say "This is the first enclosed mall in Indiana" and prove it and prove the state numbered a road specifically for it)
  • Bridges -- unless old enough to be interesting or new enough and striking enough to demand inclusion.

Which endpoints do you especially want?

All endpoints are good. What I especially covet are pictures that depict historical endings of existant highways and decommissioned highways.

Historical endpoints point to the developing nature of the road system. Trunk lines shrink back to the bypass for a city instead of ending downtown, or an improvement is done elsewhere, and the road is moved so as to end logically; either way the terminus has changed.

A decommissioned highway, on the other hand, is history. You have a road that was once important enough for the state to maintain, and due to changes or upgrades elsewhere the road gets handed over to local control. The road is remembered by the locals (and maybe a few old signs) and old maps, but newer maps no longer give the road special status, and eventually the maps and locals disappear. Eventually, a few road fanatics and the Newberry Library are the only people with any recorded proof that a certain road existed.

Either way, these now-unsigned points are something which must be recorded. I expect the existing endpoints and terminii to be pictured eventually (barring an invasion of barbarians into the United States, multiple nukes over the middle east, my death or the Movie Industry dictating the structure of the Internet -- the latter more possible than you think), historical endpoints and endpoints of decommissioned highways need to be remembered.

Which formats will you take?

JPEGs over email are best, as they're easily manipulated and readied for online viewing. It's best to size them a bit large, both in dimensions and in file size, so I have something to work with.

CDs are good storage devices to send over the mail. Floppy disks are accepted, though it will take me some time to juggle between file storage formats. 100mb zips are good, though expensive; 250mb zips are more expensive and aren't nearly as universal for storage retrieval as the 100mb zips. Other formats? Forget them (while I love the 40mb minidisks by Iomega, I doubt they'll be able to do more than a nitch job storing mp3s).

I have, and will accept photos for scanning and posting.

Under what conditions should pictures be shot at?

I find sunny summer days ideal. With the sun up high, the skies a perfect blue and the trees in their full leafy glory, the contrast is almost perfect for scenery shots. Cloudy days are okay, but the pictures usually need some adjustment; and sunny winter days (along with sunrise and sunset) are almost impossible to balance the light and colors of the scene (because the sun is lower in the horizon). And forget night pictures!

The best pictures are done by getting out of the car, getting in position (yes, sometimes that's in the middle of the road) and shooting. Photos from inside the car lose detail in the shooting, but sometimes that's the best way to get a representative shot. Shooting pictures while driving can be dangerous.

"Okay, I'm alone and driving down I-70 near the Ohio Border. How do I shoot THAT?"

Well, you shot down my number one suggestion: Find someone else to drive, you shoot the picture.

A second possibility would be to pull to the side of the road and shoot from there, whether inside the car or standing outside and on the side. While not necessarily representative of how people would see the terminus/endpoint while driving (you run the risk of making the sign the sole star of the shot, and any picture would be off to the side of the actual view), such views would be acceptable considering what you're up against. Plus, you'd be able to compose the picture better, making the best of a not-so-great position.

But if you're diehard enough (or foolish/crazy enough) to get the shot while driving down the road alone, it's best to be prepared. My suggestions:

  • Make sure the window is clean from the inside (Windex and paper towels work wonders), that your wiper blades work well and the car has plenty of wiper fluid ready to use.
  • Try to leave space on both sides of the car, and use hazard lights if you feel the need to slow down for the picture.
  • Make sure there's nothing on the dash that can reflect up into the window, thereby messing up your shot.
  • If you have a digital camera and are driving while using it, learn how to turn on and off the review screen on the back of the camera. That way you can ready the camera before the shot (no worry about time lag) and save needed battery power by turning the screen off immediately after.
  • If the flash comes on inside the car (or outside, for that matter), give it up. By then, it's too dark to take the picture.

"What about using Rain-X to keep my windshield clean?

The stuff is good for keeping your windshield clean during the rain. If you plan on shooting pictures through the windshield, though, I would not suggest using it. It leaves a film on top of the windshield which, while clear enough for looking through, reflects light back from the window.

Is there any in it for you, the picture taker?

  1. Your contribution acknowledged, and a link to your website (or your email address, if you so choose) on these pages.
  2. A log of your travels for everyone to see.
  3. A sort of membership to the informal roadfan club, whose names appear in sites like these and other road sites.

I can't help with money. Sorry.

"If you remove my pictures, will I still be credited?"

Interesting question. Actually, I've yet to remove ANY of someone's pictures (except for one of mine) from a page. I've always been able to find some alternative way of describing or posting duplicate pictures -- either as a side shot, or a segway to another picture, or even as a second view of the same intersection:

The picture on the left was shot by Daniel Garnell and posted on the Indiana 4 page on March 16. Soon after, I got the picture on the right from Tom Weinkauf. Since the left picture had a long-distance shot of the plaque in the right picture, I was able to use both pictures.

However, even if I end up replacing all your pictures from a page on the site, I will still give you credit on the page for submitting the original pictures.

What if you're uncomfortable letting me have a copy of your image(s)?

Just give me the URL to the site where you have your pictures, and I'll put a link to your site.

Updates Acknowledgements Links to Other Pages Back to Front Page

2003, Indiana Highway Ends
Page put online: Feb 9, 2003
Last Updated: August 6, 2003