Conveyor belts stretch out and double back on themselves in an abandoned chewing gum factory.
Each block of glass is its own little world living out microscopic dramas in the afternoon sunlight.
Means of escape are provided, should misadventure occur.
A Plymouth and a VW walk into a slough…
-slightly modified quote from Ernst Fischer
“Outside the ordered universe is that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity—the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes.”
Some days I just hang out, pondering what kind of mischief I can next get myself into. It is kind of a primate thing.
When JuniorBBQ met us for the first time in Detroit to explore the Packard plant, at one point she remarked, “You guys really like stairs!”. And I suppose it’s true. Staircases offer the kind of Escheresque perspectives and patterned geometries that make for dizzying photography. So here’s some stairs from myself and Moribund’s visit to a gum factory yesterday.
We spent most of the day inside this location, and, whatever photogenic virtues it may have, it has forever changed how I will smell wintergreen gum. More photos soon to come.
Room after room I find nothing but peeled paint and crumbled plaster. Snippets of wire and empty electrical conduits are scattered everywhere, the scrappers have been through here and taken almost everything. Left in their wake I find small clues as to what purpose this pace one served, preserved in the form of rust.
Did you think I was done with my zoo photos? Not so quick there Sparky, I’ve still got a few animals to share with you.
Meet the Kilpspringer, the ballerinas of the antelope world.
These tiny antelope forever walk on tiptoe, or more appropriately the leap on tip toe. Their name means “Rock jumper” for reasons I figure you can figure out pretty easily.
From within a building in our old haunt of Gary, Indiana.
In a derelict movie theater, in a room adjacent to the old projection booth, stands this inexplicable high chair. Wherefore, chair?
HEY! we do urbex, too. Who knew?
These birds have a particular “dance” they do. It incorporates all the necessary elements necessary to impress a potential romantic partner: strutting, wing-spreading, hopping about, as well as the occasional tossing of straw or dirt clods into the air. We witnessed the last maneuver, but my shots of it were too blurry to be of use. Suffice it to say that witnessing this spectacle of crane dancing is worth getting up at six AM for.
Since this blog has taken a turn toward animals lately (both dead and alive), we’ll stay on theme with a post or two on Sand Cranes. These are large migratory birds that converge by the thousands on the same field in Indiana every fall and spring. Until this weekend, I had no idea such a sight was to be had within ninety minutes’ drive of Chicago. When a friend suggested taking a trip to see them, the Idiot Photographer and I jumped at the chance. After all, road trips are always fun, and we needed some photo opportunities since the urbex has been in a little lull of late. So 6AM this past Sunday found us on the road, trying to get to the wildlife preserve shortly after dawn when these birds would be most active.
Some quick lessons learned: the lenses optimal for shooting decaying buildings are not so hot when it comes to capturing birds in flight. I had thought my 250mm lens was quite the zoom; it was neither “zoomy” or fast enough to get the kind of shots I was hoping for. Live and learn. I will post a few more shots tomorrow, including a couple of the cranes’ famous mating dance.
Two shots of birds from last weekend’s trip to the Brookfield Zoo. First, the instantly recognizable Greater Delta Mardi Gras Bird. (Bourbonaisse Plumarius)
And a portrait of the handsome Tufted Blue Gargler (Indigo Emesis)
Sometimes you have stand in the danger zone to get the photo you want.
Hello down there!
From a trip to Brookfield Zoo. A giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis, the only extant species in the genus Giraffa which is in the Giraffidae family.
As a younger man, I played a lot of basketball. Sometimes I would go by myself down to the gym, get on a pick up team, and play. Other times I would have three or four friends with me, a ready made team, and we’d take on whoever we could find. Certain courts or gyms in the area were known to have great competition; we’d seek those out when we could. It was a scene similar to Rucker Park, though on a much lower level, of course.
Whatever the level of play was, the competition was always fierce. The informal rules were that the winning team would stay on the court and play the next challengers; if you were lucky enough to be on a solid team that day, you’d play for a couple hours straight. If, however, you stepped on the court and recognized immediately that you were outclassed, it could be a quick and humbling game.
And so it was when after the Idiot Photographer and I decided on a Saturday trip to the zoo, I knew I was going to be in for a photographic drubbing. My friend and co-blogger knows animals like few others. Animal behavior is mysterious to most of us, but to her, it is clear as day. It really is kind of awesome. And her understanding of animals informs her photography. She seems to know how to wait for a good picture, whereas I wish someone would taxidermy the damned critters so they’d stop moving and I could get my shot.
IP has already posted a couple shots from our trip to Brookfield Zoo, now it’s my turn. It’ll feel a bit like chucking up bricks on the court, but you still have to play the game.