Just Say Shook

Inside the Wicker Man

The Dream Goes On Forever

I'm Still Standing


I've been coming to this building sporadically over the last five years. Amazingly, it seems to have changed very little over that time. Considering the amount of elements (and teenagers) that it must withstand, I'm surprised that things are pretty much "as I left them". A few more holes in the floor, so I have to be careful. There is a fascinating lower level that I want to get down to, but I don't want to take the express elevator.

Opporknockety

Collections


Cheap wind chimes? No recycling bin? Eco-friendly beer can collection? I don't know. I'm stumped.

One Red Window

At Rest

Bob's Car Lot

It's Got Me Going Up and Down


Finally. That's all I have to say. Finally.

Hand in Glove

Smash Palace

Abandoned barn in Pullman, MI.

What We Find in the Shadows

At the Late Night Double Feature Picture Show


The garage is accessible two ways. This window (and that isn't really accessible anyway), or a missing panel in the front of the broken garage door. Luckily, I am still "nimble" enough to fit through the opening. Luckily, I am also stupid enough to crawl through the broken glass all over the bottom of the garage floor. No cuts, just very dirty pants. Well worth it to me.

Meeting Room

Frank Booth Was Here


The Thunderbird Inn in Fort Benning, GA. Not exactly the Four Seasons, but then again, I didn't WANT The Four Seasons.


The room smelled about as bad as you would guess. And even though it looks warm from the glow of the bare light bulb, the heat didn't work, so it got cold at night. I must admit I did not sleep in the bed. I was smart enough to bring a folding lounge chair, so I slept in that.


Luckily I didn't have any perishables. The refrigerator was rusted out and wasn't plugged in anyway. Besides, it had a stained towel on top of it that may or may not have had urine stains on it. I did not take the time to DNA test it.

3938


I had the "pleasure" of staying the night in Room #38. Room #39was occupied by three (presumably) drunken individuals who spent the night physically fighting and spitting outside my door.

The place didn't look quite this depressing when I pulled into the parking lot. Of course, it was late at night, so the darkness helped to mask the peeling paint, the stained everything, and the broken furniture that were scattered around the premises.

Four Way Window Pane

The Good Book


Lost a lot of shooting mojo on the road. Knowing I wouldn't really see my daughter for 8 months left me in a more contemplative mood, and not very excited about shooting. But there were a couple little hole in the wall (literally and figuratively) places along the road.

1969


You can have what appears to be a fairly lousy day of shooting. But all you need is one that you really REALLY like, and it makes all the effort worth it.


The light was there for maybe 5 minutes. We just happened to be there at the exact right time. The layers of paint, the light on the foliage, the shadows...timing is everything.

Mystery Machine

As someone who has felt disenfranchised for most of my life, I can relate to places and things that are, for the most part, bypassed or ignored.  I have come to realize that no matter how something looks on the surface, there can be so much beauty that is hidden if someone is just willing to take the time and look a little bit harder.


I enjoy the peace, quiet, and solitude of the places I shoot. It gives me the opportunity to get a feeling for the surroundings. It helps me to convey the atmosphere. Some places have a sad warmth, some places are more cold and desolate. But each place, each thing, has a little story to tell.

The Hanging Garden


Might be a record for "Most Peeling Paint Ever Seen in One Structure". I'll have to go back through my records to compare, but I don't recall ANYTHING this bad.

Note to Mom


"Dear Mom-Please Do Not Go Outside After I Leave. Love, Odis, Jr."

That tells me everything I need to know about what the neighborhood was like when this house was inhabited. The family that lived here, from all indications, was a tight-knit and loving family. I have no idea what happened to them. I have some vague ideas, but none of them are very pleasant.

Bear Necessities


A lunch time excursion for some more "urban spelunking". I can safely say that no one is going into this house but us. Not a surprise. But everything seems to be exactly as it was. Spent the entire lunch hour in there, and couldn't pass up this in the kitchen on the way out.

From the Bottom of the Stairwell


A little bit of Urban Spelunking at lunchtime today. It honestly felt a bit like cave diving, what with everything being kind of dark and moist. Piles of old clothes, kitchen grease, and broken furniture. But sometimes those odd assortments come together in just the most amazing ways, especially if you throw in some strategically placed (by chance) broken windows. As my usual, nothing is staged, it's just a lucky find.

EXCAVATION


Same house, different floor. One of the more difficult areas to access, due to the furniture blockage and the piles of moist clothes - some on hangars, most not. But sometimes you see "the light", and you find a way.

Yellow Tags on Drawers

Ridiculous Simplicity


Things don't always have to be elaborate or complex in their beauty. Sometimes it is the ridiculous simplicity of it that catches my eye.

The Long Walk


On the road to Harvard, Illinois.


I could not pass by these dead trees without at least TRYING to get a picture. Sure, I was dressed for an art show that night. Not a tux, mind you, but better than my usual jeans and flannel. didn't stop me from going over a broken barbed wire fence, through the field, and finally, on the roof of my car which was parked in a shallow ditch on a tiny shoulder on the side of a one lane road. I still feel like I left a shot there, but I figured why risk getting plastered by a truck?

The Wheel


See caption for "Frankenstein". Same thing.

Exit Stage Left


Absolutely amazing light and amazing shadows in the barn. The floor was more solid than I would have thought, and after a while, I didn't even give falling through a second thought.


Truly magical setting (at least to me). I couldn't get up to the level as the pony, but I didn't need to. It was like they were tearing down the stage set and just accidentally left it behind.

Playtime is Over


I have a soft spot, an affinity for abandoned toys. I've said before, I have probably seen "Toy Story" too many times. But I always wonder, if these toys are thinking, feeling, wondering? "Where did everybody go? When are they coming back?" Are they in a state of blissful ignorance, or is the sad realization dawning on them?

Aurora Downs Harness Racing Night

Sacrifice


There was such a beautiful warm light. Magical shadows caused by the window, the random tiny holes in the wall, and the various chairs and other furniture blocking the exit at the back. But even with all that beauty, I couldn't help but feel that some not so nice things have gone on in this trailer.

Not Too Far Down the Road


Give it another year. If this property is still "standing", the foliage will have eaten its way through the mailbox and grown out through the mouth of it. Nature always keeps looking to burrow through anything in it's path.

MY SISTINE CHAPEL


By "My Sistine Chapel", I do not mean that this is my crowning achievement, my artistic masterpiece (God, I hope not). Nope, I just can't get over how much "the pose" of the two pieces reminds me of "The Creation of Adam".


In case you need a refresher:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Creation_of_Adam

A Rush of Color


This house has been abandoned for years (obviously). For some reason, the grass is always trimmed, but the house is starting to get overrun with foliage. Strange priorities.

Yellowed Pages


It seems fitting that there would be an old, weathered, and tattered Yellow Pages on what is left of the porch at this house. Something that held such prominence for so long, it is now hopelessly outdated, it hasn't been used for years, and time is slowly removing it from memory.

Tub and Deer


I'm sure the deer scared me more than I scared it. When I approached the tub, the deer bolted from my right, stopped, and then stayed to watch exactly what I was doing.

Mason Jars


Like anything else, it's not always just what you find, but when you happen to find it. There was not much in the abandoned garage, but to sun streaking in the one small window just happened to land on these jars. 5 minutes later, the light was gone, and so was the shot.

Scorched Window

Murder Ceiling


Since "Murder Room" was already taken, I went with the next best thing.



Heart


It was a nice and peaceful "birthday weekend" in Michigan with my kids, and my present to myself was to go exploring. My son warned me that there were not many abandoned places around that area, but I found a place that was suitable (at least for a couple of days).

Tucked Away


Just a tip...if you're ever in Fennville. MI, be careful when exploring "abandoned property" as looks can be deceiving. No matter how abandoned it looks, you never know when someone really is living there.

Green Hanging Things


First shot from "New Abandonment". Always love how the world outside can transform the world inside.

Stage Set


As always, I don't stage things. It was nice to have James with today as a witness. I work the angles until I'm happy with it. I shoot it as I find it. That's the most fun to me.

Dirty Green


I can only imagine that at one point, this was a fairly clean and sterile bathroom. The years have not been kind to it. I love the surreal dirty beauty of it.

I Caught the Drip


The drip of water, that is.

Deuce


The bathroom is approximately 5 feet from front to back. So I had to sit up against the wall to get each of the shots to show this room in all its glory. Since I put the two together, I couldn't resist the double entendre.

I Want to Play a Game


I decided to catch up with Hollywood and Ponytail today, so I headed out to where I know they are staying. On my way, I speed an open garage door I had never seen before. I decided to quickly poke my head in. As I did, a voice asked "Can I help you with something?".


The voice belong to Frank, who works at this machine shop. Sadly, the machine shop has been sold after being here for more than 50 years. Frank has worked in the building, along with Ken (who I also met). They both found out 2 weeks ago that they will be losing their jobs, as developers are gutting the building after everything in it is sold, most likely for scrap.


Ken and Frank were very gracious hosts, and had no problem with me nosing around in the building. I remarked how sad it was that, in all likelihood, another stupid brewery is going to go up in our neighborhood, and look exactly like all the other stupid breweries that have been put up over the last couple of years.


Progress. let's get rid of anything that has any kind of unique beauty. The light and textures I saw today will not be replaced.

Like a Painting


There are so many conflicting angles, shadows, light sources, colors, and textures in the metal recycling plant, that it sometimes feels like it's a painting come to life. The walls feel like they are melting, not peeling, and one color just blends into another and another as years, decades, get worn down to show what was painted over.


Neil still can't understand what we see in this place. Maybe others can't see it, but I'm glad I see what I see.

The Barrels 


The metal recycling plant has turned into a veritable treasure trove of photo opportunities, as long as you're into dark wet places and long deep shadows. I am.


I didn't bring a tripod, and there was only one lone light bulb in another room. Fortunately there was an old pallet in the water that I was able to use as a tripod. The hardest part was not being able to look through the camera to see how it lined up, so plenty of trial and error. And focusing was a bit of a bitch too. But anytime I get to squat in the water and kneel in dirt and grease, I'm good.

One Mans Trash


My treasures. The owner of the plant just doesn't understand what we see in the place, and why we are there every week to shoot more. He is mildly amused by it. I'm glad I see what I see in it.

No Escape


From the metal recycling plant.

The Watcher


There was nothing of interest in the garage. Just random piles of trash. I turned around to leave, and looked up...

Reflecting Pool


Highlight of the day…Not only are my new Goodwill boots ($10) nail-proof, but they are also water-proof, mud-proof, and animal-shit-proof.

The Men's Room


Since it is men only working there, I had no fear of accidentally walking into the ladies room to photograph. I honestly felt like I was walking into a bowling alley circa 1950.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention


Large strips of insulation hang from what is left of the ceiling. I assume that critters were using it as a ladder of sorts. It appears one may have momentarily lost his grip.

Viewmaster


If you're over 40, you'll understand the title. If not, you may have to look it up. In the days before "TV as we know it", as children we were fascinated with the Viewmaster, and the fuzzy grainy pictures we could see in 3D. We couldn't possibly imagine that things could get better than that.

Random Color Generator


I met Ivan a couple of months ago, and I shot one of my street portraits of him. He asked if he could get a copy, which I gladly sent him. He also told me about his warehouse, which I was invited to shoot at anytime. I took him up on his generous offer today.

The warehouse is a pallet/wood recycling center. Just the kind of place I like to hang around in. A totally different environment, lots of nooks and crannies, shadows, and interesting things to see. Some might look at it and just see sawdust and machine oil. I look at it and see hard, honest work, and totally untouched beauty.

It's really not a challenge to find "beauty in beauty". I like to find beauty in unconventional places.

Heavy Breathing

Time is running

Fork SOOC


Found in a cupboard in a burned out building. Straight Out Of Camera, no retouching. A rarity in this digital age.

Creepy Factor


As I investigated a new abandoned house today, I figured I was shut out. For sure, it was abandoned, but there didn't seem to be a whole lot going on. I'm glade I walked around back, where there was another house. I appears it has been burned out for quite a while. I feel sorry for the fact that that was someones home. But, if it's any saving grace, I found some beauty in what was left behind.

A closet with some left over clothes. There is a window (behind me) that is around a foot off the ground. The light is reflecting off the floor, causing the "uplighting" which I think lends to the eerie factor.


Interrogation


Shot as found. I only compose my findings in camera.

Ceiling Not Floor


I've seen this abandoned house for years now, but I have a steadfast rule about "breaking and entering" - I won't do it. Enter, sure, but I wait for someone else to do the "heavy lifting" and actually gain entrance to a place. I can usually rely on neighborhood partiers, and they did not let me down.

Ceiling above the stairwell to the second floor. I rotated it to simply focus more attention on the point of the shot, the peeling paint.

Connected

Deck Chairs on the Titanic


We spent the day exploring in an abandoned hotel. It's been abandoned between 10-15 years, so we knew it would be bad, but in a good way. We were right.

As we entered, the first thing I muttered was, "It feels like we're exploring the Titanic." If you've ever seen the videos of the Titanic underwater, you know what I mean.

We were leaving after about 2 hours because the black mold was pretty rough (we did have masks to breathe through - a lifesaver), but as we passed this room, I knew I had to spend a couple of extra minutes. Chris saw it and he understood why.

I feel like my assessment of "The Wreck of the Titanic" was pretty accurate.

2 Lamps


This room is fairly representative of the "accommodations:". 4 floors of this. They started to get a little repetitive, but we had to check them all to make sure we didn't miss anything.

Taking It Back Piece by Piece


This was officially the "Oh, SHIT!" moment of the day. When you walk around the corner and you are amazed by what you see and all you can say is "Oh SHIT!".

I am firmly convinced that nature and plants are a lot more in control than they are letting on. They are quiet and they are patient, but when they want something back, they have no qualms about taking it.

Weathered Chair

Oh, The Places You'll Go


Companion piece to "The Storm Cellar" from 06/27. The storm cellar is very similar to the main house. The shadows are heavy, the air is musty, and seepage is everywhere. Noises from the house filter down through the pipes, so there is a constant nagging feeling of someone walking around in the abandoned house directly above me.

I was mistaken about one thing. There are 2 very small windows in the cellar, both the same size as the one in the picture (right side). The windows are surrounded by very heavy foliage, causing what little light that gets into the basement to have a heavy green cast. For some reason, the sickly color seems kind of appropriate for this place.

Give It Back


There has been an epic battle raging over the years in my neighborhood. It is one of Man vs. Nature. Nature finally seems to be making its move. The garage is almost impenetrable at this point because the trees and brush are so thick. The Barn is nearly collapsed, but I can still (stupidly) barely get in there. The Shed, though, seems to be losing its battle. Nature seems determined to take back what belongs to them. The wood is rotting, going back to the soil. The bricks, the metal, the plastic, all are discarded, pushed to the side. Nature has no use for this. Those are just leftovers.


No Easy Way Out


The front door. Locked at the deadbolt. No way out, Had to leave the way I came in, and that was not so easy.

Damen at 55 at 5


The downside to leaving the house at 4:30 in the morning to go to work? Getting up at 4 in the morning. The upside? Some pretty killer sunrises.

The Empty House is Full of Shadows


The house is, for all intents and purposes, empty. No furniture to speak of, only a few fixtures left in the walls, and a random poster on a bedroom wall. But the shadows that fill the house are amazing and plentiful. Every room has a beauty and a serenity in it that is exaggerated by the quiet. So quiet that the noise the critters are making in the attic is very noticeable. The scraping of nails across the ceiling in this room was loud and more than a little unnerving.

One Way Out


Have I mentioned I like finding new abandonment?

Great "new" property, really creepy, really disheveled, really dangerous. What more could you ask for? This was the bottom floor of the garage, which is seriously falling apart. I crept in the only door (seen on the left). Good thing I'm fairly thin, as it wouldn't up up any farther than shown. You can only squat walk back about 6 or 7 feet, and there is maybe 3.5 feet of space above. Everything above is caving in. Pictured is the outside wall, about 7 feet away from where I "stood".

Swingset Graveyard


In "The Devil's Advocate", Al Pacino tells Keanu Reeves "You know that feeling you get when you walk into a woman's bedroom for the first time? There's nothing like that feeling."

Al Pacino has OBVIOUSLY never experienced the thrill of shooting abandoned houses.

There's a Ghost in the House


Okay, so it's the garage. And yes, there is more than one. But "There Are Two Ghosts in the Garage" just doesn't roll off the tongue, now does it?

There is a Lonely Road, Somewhere Between Hell and Plainfield


Is this title pretentious cliche poetry? Sure is. Ask me if I give a shit. At least I'm not boring you with a long-winded story.

Bullet Hole


I am assuming it's a bullet hole. The other side of the wall is a closet, and there is another hole approximately the same size in the adjacent wall, directly in line with this one. Since there are similar holes in different spots around the house, I am also assuming some of the local thug life have been having a good ol' time in this house.

There Is a Door


There is very little in my life right now that is as thrilling as finding new abandonment (sad, I know). Nevertheless, I love it. I found a little house/garage/barn that I had never seen before, and the house happens to be doorless. That is, except for the door to the right of the windows leading into the house itself. Guess what door I will be opening tomorrow? I can't wait!

Oh yeah, I'm also really having fun with this jacked up noise reduction and the watercolor effect it has on my night shots. It really lends a nice overall creepy ambience to the shots without using Photoshop filters.

Surrounded by Suburbia


This property is the last of the farm properties standing in my neighborhood. I'm guessing that they are kicking themselves for not selling to realtors during the housing boom about 15 years ago, when everyone else sold out. The property has been sitting essentially abandoned for the last 10 years. There are lights on, and vehicles outside, but there is never a sign of life on the property. It really is one of my favorite sights in the neighborhood.

Very difficult property to shoot, as it is really surrounded by bullshit pre-fab suburbia plastic/vinyl housing on all sides. No way to avoid it except by shooting up (not like heroin shooting up, but looking at the sky shooting up…just to be clear)

Quartered


I've gotten so much from this property over the years. I feel like I should buy the land and let the structures have the dignity of withering and falling on their own, as opposed to eventually being bulldozed. It's only a matter of time.

Go Figure


I titled this "Go Figure" as in "Go figure. I walk around the neighborhood for 1/2 an hour looking for a picture, and then my favorite shot of the day is me stepping into a puddle. Go figure."

Bird's Nest 


Hawks have, I assume, built a nest at the top of the silo. When I approached, they flew off, but always within a close proximity. It was funny that, as I left, they seemed to follow me, just to make sure that I was REALLY leaving.

Still Life in Filth


I tried to shoot in the main house today, but the stench was overwhelming. When I walked in the door, I wasn't sure if there wasn't a dead body in the house. As I walked through the house, I discovered that the local youth have taken to pooping in the tub, and it's most likely been fermenting in there for a few months now.

Had to shoot in the cellar, which was full of water, mud, and God knows what ever else was squishing beneath my boots. Easily one of the toughest abandoned houses I have ever shot in.

Reserved


Go figure. I go out and shoot for 45 minutes after trudging through the snow, and my favorite shot of the day is from the work parking lot. I want my 45 minutes back!

Shiv Factor

Shot from the closet. Nice stains on the mattress. Great place to chill with the old lady and watch some tube. Wonder if they have cable.


This place had a great "shiv factor". The "shiv factor" is "what are the possibilities of me getting knifed while I'm shooting here?". This place was higher than anyplace I have been in for a while.

I love abandonment just like I love shopping at thrift stores. You never know what you're gonna find, but when you find a gem, it makes your day.

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