Stairways leading to nowhere have always fascinated me. I look and can not help but wonder to what they led to? A house? A mansion? Something industrial? Who knows. But getting out of the car I’m in they were the first thing to catch my attention.
Crossing the street alongside fellow Photographer Jay Farrell we take a look at what we are fairly sure is an abandoned factory or warehouse. We begin to walk alongside the building’s lot and follow it’s barbwires fence looking for a way in. Finally after a bit of hunting we find our way in.
Squeezing in-between the fence posts is not fun but it’s worth the tetanus risk. Once in we fan out and being to shoot. I’ve had people ask me over and over
“Why. Why do you shoot these places”?
Here is my answer.
Every location I shoot speaks a thousand mysteries to me. I can not write them all down. My hope is that you the viewer make up your own stories from what you see. Every time I finish a shoot I want you, YOU to ask what I ask “What happened here”? “Who lived or worked here? What happened to them”? The door that has been riddled with a shotgun blast. The stairwell hidden in a second floor closet. Stains that run down the wall and so much more.
Another thing that draws my eye and beckons me forward are darkened doorways, I can not say no to going through them.
To not go through the doorway, to not explore and document, to not turn my imagination loose; that in my mind would be a crime.
Just look at the photo above. How can you not wonder what is under all that mess? How long has it built up and what is on the other side that door in the wall? Hell! How do I get over to it?
I follow Jay down to the courtyard we’ve found. Perhaps once it was covered but now it is open to the sky. We geek out at the size of a boiler we’ve come across. Damn! Hist look at it! It looks like something out of Victorian story! And it’s running. It’s running! Ohhh cool! Of course that means this place is not abandoned.
We explore a few shallow cave like enclosures but they lead to large steel doors. We can open the doors an inch or so. Doing so confirms that the place is indeed still in use. We can not see much but we can see chains keeping the doors shut (creepy) and weak electric lights.
It is with this discovery Jay and I take our leave. If we could step through the chained doors we likely would. The weak light within does not reveal much and that is what is to me so tempting. As I said earlier. These places they generate so many possibilities and my mind does not stop wonder “What”.