Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Photographing Abandoned Buildings, Part I

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

Despite sleeping late after having slightly too much wine last night, Sarah and I had an awesome afternoon of photography. We’ve been wanting to get out and photograph some of the many abandoned barns and houses that we see in this area. Since I photographed the abandoned diner along US Highway 30, we’ve both been intrigued by the idea of doing more things like that.

The main thing that has prevented us from photographing more abandoned structures so far is that a lot of times, things that look abandoned, upon closer inspection, turn out to still be in use. Either that, or sometimes people don’t bother destroying their old barn and simply build a newer building right next to it. I am not too excited about the idea of getting caught on someone’s private property by some crazed farmer with a 12-gauge. The best thing to do would be to ask permission, but much of the time, I am skeptical of even approaching the house because a lot of times, there are long driveways, etc.

In the end, these are all really lame excuses, but I do want to build up some more confidence in my skills in photographing such things before I bother asking people if I can take pictures of their old barn.

Today, we decided to go to an old, clearly-abandoned building that Sarah had seen near Lake Monroe on one of our drives. It’s even a little bit back from the road, so we felt free to walk around and take photos without being too nervous about it. I plan to post photos pretty soon, assuming I get a chance to go through the almost 300 photos I took today. Sarah has already posted some of her photos.

The building we knew about seemed to have been some kind of store or deli or something. There was a case that I think used to be refrigerated about in the middle of the place, with all the glass broken. In fact, I believe that all of the glass in the entire place had been broken, probably by some vandalous teenagers. There were some footprints on the walls and broken sections of drywall on the walls and ceilings with insulation sticking out.

From that store, we saw another building, which we later discovered was right by a water slide. The building must have been sort of a concession stand or clubhouse or something. It was a pretty weird building, yellow on the outside and turquoise on the inside, with a lot of decay and damage, and the whole thing was pretty much covered in vines. There was even a very decayed turquoise bench in the back. I had Sarah take some photos of me sitting on the bench to hopefully use as promo shots for my music; I think they’ll work well.

Sarah walked down the water slide a ways to do some shooting there, while I opted to stay and take more photos at the concession stand. There were a lot of leaves in the water slide, but once Sarah reached a part without leaves, she slipped and fell. She’s fine, she just got a little muddy and was a little sore.

We also photographed some big tanks that were nearby — not sure what those were — and an outhouse, which I discovered still works fine! How can a hole in the ground not work? Sarah took a picture of me testing the outhouse from behind (you can’t see anything), but it was still a little weird! I’ve never had my picture taken while urinating before — at least, not that I know of.

After that, we headed back to the car and went to find some old, rusted out school buses Sarah had spotted on another one of our drives. I don’t know how she manages to see these things from a moving car, but she’s really got an eye for finding things like this. We had a bit of an adventure trying to get to the buses, because there was a lot of mud and standing water in the way.

We managed to get around that. Unfortunately, Sarah’s camera battery didn’t last long once we got to the buses, so she didn’t get to take too many photos. I finished photographing the buses, but we plan on going back so that Sarah gets a better chance at shooting them. I wouldn’t mind another chance, as it was getting a bit dark by this time. We also want to take photos of another building that is right near the buses.

Another problem that we encounter sometimes is that in a lot of places, there’s nowhere to park. For that reason, I think riding a bike through an area would be ideal. It’s easy to pull off the road on a bike and just put it anywhere. But for now, it’s too cold to do that. Maybe in the spring.

I think we’re going to try to do some more of this tomorrow. I hope we have as much success as we did today!

2 Responses to “Photographing Abandoned Buildings, Part I”

  1. i, squub Says:

    That is enery awesomes. I am jealous of your escapades.

    Once, though, I videotaped myself peeing. It was dark, I was trying to videotape the stream reflecting light from the stars or traffic or something.

    I don’t think it came to much.

  2. Colleen Says:

    Hi! I am a fellow Bloomington resident looking for the location of the abandoned Zoom Floom and I came across your blog. Would you be able to give me directions on how to get there? Thanks! You can reply at my the above email. -Colleen

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