So when I was little, we used to drive on this old, old country road at least once a day in the family’s purple minivan. And scattered all along the sides of this road were the remains of old houses. Then, one day as we were driving, I noticed a group of men along the side of the road with chainsaws and their pick-up trucks. The next day, there was a giant clearing surrounding a ramshackle old house. Months later, the house had been completely restored and redone into an antique gas station. I’ve got no idea why the owner decided to save one of these places, but it is definitely a nice treat as you’re driving past all the cow pastures and corn fields.
So yesterday afternoon I went out to find this old farmhouse that several people had told me about. The actual barn is on the side of the road, mostly obscured by trees and overgrowth, but still visible. The house is tucked much farther back, and is so overgrown I wasn’t able to get an exterior shot of. But, other than stumbling across a flock of turkey vultures nesting in one corner of the roof, the shoot was exciting, but uneventful.
There were several skeletons scattered around the front of the barn, no doubt the remnants of a turkey vulture Thanksgiving dinner.
Not totally sure what these were, but my best guess was they were some sort of lanterns once upon a time.
The view from the first floor of the barn up through the decaying loft.
Stacks of decaying paint cans.
A dash of color in an otherwise woody and rusty landscape.
Life has been unusually hectic this week, what with having a birthday and first tests of the semester all in the same span of five days, so I wasn’t able to go out for a UD shoot. But I did recently stumble across an urban decay photographer whose images I’m really enjoying to share with you all.
His name is Mathew Merrett and, according to his website, he is a fine art photographer specializing in urban decay. What initially attracted me to his site and his images was the fact that he has shot in Chernobyl which, to me, is practically the ultimate example of urban decay. There’s also a fantastic set of portraits of resettlers in the area, which has always been an area of interest for me as well.
His album on industrial ruins is also really neat, and he has a unique conception of the space around him that he works into his images.
I recently got a tip about an old shack in some deserted forest outside of town, so I’ll be headed down there to shoot sometime this week.
A sign of the times: a neighborhood lays fallow, several years after being built. The pine forest was cut down, roads were paved, street signs and even street lights installed. But there’s not a single house, even the for sale signs have been taken down since the housing bubble burst and the builder’s company went bankrupt. And yet, the street lights are still on, giving an eerie effect to my night shoot of this road.
With all the overgrowth and spookiness, I was convinced something wild was going to come out and try to eat me. Needless to say I left the car doors open and the shoot didn’t last very long.
There’s just something inherently creepy about the light that comes from streetlights.
So I came across this house the other day (in an otherwise cute little suburban neighborhood), that has apparently been burned down since May 2011. But because the former owner is suspected of arson (the house was uninhabitable because of a mold problem) and the site is still under investigation, nothing has been done to tear down/clean up the burn site. Now I’m not a pyro by any means–I like campfires and fireworks as much as the next person, but I don’t play with matches–but something about this find just made me a little giddy. I think it was mostly because the house hasn’t even been entirely gutted yet.
(a full exterior view of the burned portion)
(the corner, where you can see both burned and un-burned parts of the house)
(What I’m assuming used to be the living room. See that melted CPU on the shelf in the right third?!)
(What’s left of the kitchen. I’m a little creeped out by the doll sitting in the middle of the charred remains, completely unscathed.)
(A bittersweet love token found in the charred remains)