RSWL: Abandoned Buildings and Objects

Leaning House, Oregon

Leaning House, Oregon

As someone who scares easily, it hardly makes sense to me that I am drawn to abandoned buildings.  Not in an every-day-must-be-near-them-or-else kind of way.  But with my camera in hand, I seem to gravitate to these vacant and neglected buildings.  That isn’t to say that I am not a little spooked, even frightened, when venturing to these structures.  Fortunately, with my little guy, Mr. Nate, on my back I become brave, if nothing else, to show him it’s okay to be scared.  

So what is it about these abandoned places?   Why go if these eerie buildings spook me?  Well, besides the amazing compositions, lighting and setting they provide for photographs, they have a story.   Sometimes the story is obvious.  Sometimes the story is tragic.  Sometimes I make up the story.   Sometimes the story gives me perspective.   Sometimes the story inspires me.  Sometimes the story comes out in the photographs.  While it is creepy, it is also fascinating to step back into these forgotten and forsaken structures. 

In the desolate, my senses are heightened.  I am on alert, ever ready to bolt if need be!   I see further.  The details pop.  The beauty in the rust, mold, shattered glass, burned beams and leaning doorways floods my eyes.  The smells of the rooms accent the story forming in my head.  Although I have to be more aware in the beautiful hazards surrounding me, my brain feels clearer as I look for the perfectly framed shots in the chaos. 

Sure, it’s thrilling to photograph the abandoned and imagine the stories, but it is also about respect.  When I, and the others on our Transmogrifier team, take pictures of these buildings, we feel honored to chronicle the past, and preserve a moment in time, even if it is after the main story.  Next time you travel by an abandoned building, consider its story, its history, give it due reflection…and then contact us so we can photograph it!   

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