Today is Easter. Rather than relax at the house I decided to grab my trusty camera and go shoot two locations I’d been meaning to explore. The first location was a couple of out buildings that were recently revealed when a developer mowed over a long abandoned house on Blackman Rd. The second location is a barn I’ve passed regularly. Ordinarily I would have posted these shots as Black and White images but truth be told I do love the colors of these photos. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did shooting them. If you’d like to buy a print of any of these images in color of as a Black and White print write me at firstname.lastname@example.org for sizes, paper and prices.
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”.
The 4th of July this year came on a Monday. Instead of preparing to watch the fireworks show later that night I and a fellow photographer went on the hunt to find abandoned buildings to shoot. We landed up in West Nashville at an abandoned saw mill. We walked around the outside of the property til we found a way in. After walking in through a large garage sized door we stood around and began to look around. While it was blindingly bright outside it was damned dark on the first floor. There were walls that looked as though they’d been knocked out with a wrecking ball. The floors were covered in an inch of dirt most everything on the floor was covered in the same. The following photos are the images I captured that day.
One thing reader, the places I go I try not to go alone. These areas can be dangerous. The grounds can have broken glass or needles, the floors can collapse dropping you into the floor below. Have you had a Tetanus shot? Get one if you’ve plans to do what I do. Be wary of stairwells and critters. Critters can be rats, cats, dogs, spiders and more. Homeless people are another risk you may expose yourself to while exploring similar spots. Law enforcement. The police can be a risk too. Always carry your camera with you. Most times police will warn you to be careful, or tell you to move along. If they tell you to kick rocks, do it. Lastly use your head. If you are going to explore the “abandoned” always text or call someone and let them know where you’re going.