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Archive for the 'Abandoned' Category

Capturing the less scenic

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Sometimes, I feel compelled to photograph the less scenic areas I encounter. Sarah and I used to do more of this kind of urban decay photography, particularly when we lived in the Chicago area.

Yesterday, I was itching to get out, and a walk sounded nice. So, I decided to walk through downtown Edwardsville, a neighboring town that is quite run down. It’s sad to see the state of this place, but it makes for some interesting photography. It’s a weird combination of abandoned buildings and buildings that look abandoned, but aren’t. It’s hard to tell, walking around, what is abandoned and what isn’t. Here are some of my photos from this outing.

First, the map:

View Larger Map

And the photos.




































Patricksburg, Bloomfield, Elliston

Friday, April 6th, 2007

It’s been a while since I wrote about photography, even though we’ve done a fair amount of it lately. I’ve been doing more film photography lately, which makes it more difficult to post photos in a timely fashion. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a used Nikon N80 film camera. It’s actually pretty comparable to my D50 in terms of features — in some ways, it’s a bit more sophisticated, in some ways less. I still have my old all-manual Pentax K1000, and I love it, but this way, I can use the same lenses for both film and digital photography.

Back on March 24-25, Sarah and I did some photography near Cascades Park, a city park here in Bloomington. We found an abandoned industrial building there, next to the park, a creek, and a trailer park. I shot on slide film and had it cross-processed. Sarah also wrote about this shoot and Patricksburg. Here are a few shots from this outing.

Main entrance to the building

They should film the next “Saw” sequel here.

Carry me up when the sky blows out
The blown-out sky makes this lift look pretty surreal.

Wondering how we got here
Sarah amidst the rubble

Before we left, two little girls came over from the trailer park to play in this abandoned industrial building. A shirtless man (presumably their father) wasn’t far behind and took them back home.

The next day, we drove around for a while, heading west toward Spencer. After randomly driving around that area for a while, we ended up in a small town called Patricksburg. We drove through parts of town before stopping to take some photos. We passed some pretty scary-looking rednecks who obviously were wondering what we were doing there. I don’t get the impression this town gets much in the way of visitors; in fact, there were many abandoned buildings in the downtown area. In that way, it seemed a bit like a ghost town. There were satellite dishes on many run-down buildings. Personally, I’d forego the satellite dish and build a new wall, but then again, that’s just me. As we were photographing one building, one of the locals came up to us and asked what we were doing. We told him, and he said that building had been broken into three times. I assured him we were just taking photos. He was cool about it, if a little creepy. Some of these photos are digital and some are taken on slide film, Fuji Sensia 100 I believe (processed normally).

Dubois Bros.
We parked near this Dubois Bros. building. Many buildings in this state of disrepair had satellite dishes.

One of many
One of many abandoned buildings in downtown Patricksburg

I’m not sure whether the gas station was closed because it was Sunday, or simply abandoned.

Patricksburg Barn
The sign on this barn reads “Patricksburg”

Church II
This Church had some kind of insects swarming around its steeple

Coke versus Pepsi
Coke versus Pepsi

Broken Cross
Broken Cross. I don’t think the church was abandoned, but it was definitely in need of some TLC.

In the same basic area, we went to a small town called Elliston and found more cool buildings and some great rural scenes. These shots are all film, taken on Fuji Superia Reala 100. I really like this film. I did a few digital adjustments on these shots, more because of exposure mistakes on my part than anything wrong with the film itself.


Barns on a hill
Two barns

Rural Indiana tree

Calculate what you will or will not tolerate
This house was in pretty bad shape, the roof especially.

Meet me in back
Indoors meets outdoors

We also found an industrial area by some railroad tracks.

Lonesome end
Building and tracks

Choose what you will not see
Peeling paint

Sinking deeper
Light from under the tracks

Leaden grudges

Jones & Sons
Jones & Sons

The best photographer in Indiana

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

I’m putting both photography and biking topics in this post, but each under its own header. We’ll see if/how well this works.


We had a great weekend. On Saturday, Sarah and I drove around to take some photos, and ended up in the vacinity of Bloomfield, IN. We found some cool barns, some abandoned buildings, and a cool industrial area with some railroad tracks. I don’t have my photos from this outing yet, as I shot on film and didn’t get back in time to pick them up yesterday.

One of my infrared photos won the March assignment in the Flickr group Assignment: Indiana. This is a group that has a monthly topic, and members vote on a photo to win for that month’s assignment. I really wasn’t expecting to win. There are a lot of photographers there, and I thought infrared might be a little too weird for this. But I won! Sarah says this means I’m the best photographer in Indiana.

Infrared tracks and industrial complex
My photo that won the March, 2007 Assignment: Indiana topic, Industry

On Sunday, we drove around for some more photography, and ended up in such towns as Norman, Freetown, Kurtz, and Brownstown. The Google map for Kurtz (which almost seems from the map like a suburb of Freetown, which is tiny as well) absolutely cracks me up. There’s even a “No Name Street!”

We found some more abandoned buildings, and as we photographed some of them, a guy came out of a diner next door and yelled “That’s the best thing you can find to take photos of?” or something to that effect. We just ignored him, but it was a bit annoying. It also got me thinking about how to a lot of people, buildings like this are worthless. But they make me think about their history, in many cases wondering what the building was used for, or who lived there, or what things might have occurred there.

A great sign; I think this was one of those “76” places

Kurtz Market
Kurtz Market


Bicycle inner tube?
A bicycle inner tube wrapped around a board on the porch of an abandoned house

Brownstown Landscape
I even attempted a couple of landscape shots

Grunge shadows
Shadows cast on a grungy wall

I also took some photos with the old Kodak Retina I have, I didn’t know what was on the roll when I started. There were a couple of photos from the Zoom Floom on the roll, and basically nothing else. I have no idea how that happened. However, the Zoom Floom photos look pretty ghostly, I love them.

Retina Zoom Floom
Zoom Floom

Zoom Floom with light leak
Washed out Zoom Floom


Saturday evening, I did a quick 20-mile road ride, a modified version of my Mount Gilead Road route that took me down to Lake Lemon, one of several local lakes. It was a good ride — windy, but good. I hit 36 miles per hour on the Mount Gilead Road downhill, and also climbed up the other side without stopping again. That climb is a little weird, because slightly past the point where I feel like I need a break, it gets less steep — if I keep going just a little longer, I can continue climbing fairly easily.

In the valley between the descent and the climb, I saw three turkey vultures feeding on a deer carcass. They were off the road in a field, but not that far back. That’s the closest I’ve been to turkey vultures so far, and they sure are creepy. I made a noise fumbling for my camera, and they swooped up into three low nearby trees and loomed there. It was a pretty ominous scene. They were too far away to get any photographs at this point, so I just started riding again. It wasn’t because I was creeped out … no, definitely not that.

I was in a pretty bad mood this morning, I was running a little bit late, and it was just one of those mornings where for everything you try to do, you make two mistakes. I kept forgetting things, I realized there was no good way to get my lunch in my pannier, etc.

I even checked weather.com, and it said it was 48 degrees here, so I wore a jacket. I have no idea why I still check weather.com, as it’s been very inaccurate here lately. Accuweather.com has been much better. As soon as I got outside, I realized it was definitely warmer than that, but I didn’t really have time to put the jacket away.

Even my ride to work couldn’t cheer me up this morning. Just when I was starting to get in a little bit of a better mood, a guy on a single-speed bike with a messenger bag and no helmet passed me, and as I silently mocked him for not wearing a helmet, I realized I’d forgotten my own helmet. I always wear a helmet. Being passed by single-speed guy was a little blow to my ego, but it’s not a race or a contest to see who can ride like the biggest jerk (him) and piss off every car on the road (him).

I didn’t end up being very late, but I was sweating more than usual. But still, it was only 9:05 when I got to my desk after changing and everything. I checked weather.com again, and then it said 58 degrees. I really don’t think the temperature went up 10 degrees in half an hour. I’m fed up with weather.com.

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