The winter before last I was going a little stir crazy and mourning the lack of butterflies, birds and wildflowers to photograph. Winter is not my favorite season, and I needed something to distract me. We had recently moved to our current city, and one thing I noticed about our new home was the remarkable number of abandoned buildings.
I’ve always had a fascination with the idea of modern ruins. Maybe it was because I grew up reading science fiction when post-apocalyptic stories were popular. I was delighted a few years ago when there was a little flurry of pop culture interest in what the world would look like if all the people vanished. I bought Alan Weisman’s book The World Without Us. I became a big fan of the History channel series, Life After People. My favorite part of the movie, I Am Legend, were the scenes of the overgrown New York City (and that’s the only reason I would watch it again, because I just can’t take the scene where the dog dies again). When I walk our dogs through our neighborhood, I sometimes amuse myself by imagining what it would look like in a year, 5 years, 10 years and so on, if it were suddenly abandoned.
Recently I’ve been admiring a series called The Beauty in the Decay on a blog called Plucky Umbrella. She describes her series as “attentive to the intersection of nature with human-built things; how nature will have its way.” If you want to see some cool photos, you should check it out. Plucky Umbrella has inspired me to share my own photos.
That winter, I started by exploring the city and photographing boarded up urban buildings. I quickly discovered that photographing buildings is a lot different than nature photography and very challenging for me. I also learned that I prefer rural buildings that tend to be made of wood rather than brick and more vulnerable to being overrun by vegetation. And that looks cool. So here is my (still small) collection of abandoned places. Enjoy the ruin.
If you liked these, check out Abandoned Too for more photos of modern ruins.