Posts tagged “locations


tp full

20+ years and still sitting there like it was yesterday…. Can’t imagine why.

San Telmo Market

A coffee shop stands at the center of San Telmo market, where one can buy everything from antique telescopes to bibb lettuce.


Grief Brother’s Boiler Room


This room is the single most frustrating room to get a good photo in, in all of the factory’s many buildings it has the most equipment in it and the least amount of space.

While in this shot I captured the objects I wanted, the lighting and limited places to stand just didn’t work out for an interesting composition.  The HDR flattens the light too much and the natural light is not helpful at all for a direct photo.  Of course, I have an idea for next time.

boiler room



I was very lucky that when I walked into this room the light was falling perfectly on the front of this boiler and fallen bricks.  Of course since it is a dark room I went with HDR so you could see more than just the central object, but retain some of the spotlight effect at the same time.  Still, it isn’t a big winner.  This room drives me mad, mad I say!

boiler and bricks


I spent a little more time fussing about attempting to get a photo of the gauges, but wasn’t feeling very inspired by them.  Then I looked up at the ceiling since I was wondering where all the light was coming from.  I saw something when I looked up.  Then I had an idea.

snb boiler room ceiling



Looking up became a bit of a theme for me in that location.  This is that annoying passageway that Tabula Rasa got the great photo of and I couldn’t seem to capture for the life of me.  So I looked up.

boiler room looking up


As TR mentioned in his last somewhat cheeky post we have a healthy competition when it comes to our photography.  I knew walking out of this building that I had him beat for this location, possibly even for the day.  There was no gloating, just a sense of pride in a job well done.  He had me beat good on the last trip (amusingly enough, in the same locations) so it was nice to know I could turn the tables on him this time.


Horace Mann Voltage

I recently bought a new pair of boots for the express purpose of exploring, given that my old shoes were rather thin soled and while I am current on my tetanus shot I’d rather not test that.  I was very happy that had made this investment when I saw the carnage in the science lab, the amount of smashed glass on the floor was rather impressive.

While I would have preferred finding intact beakers and graduated cylinders I had to settle for random mystery vials and bottles.  Vandals have had plenty of time to break in since the school closed about 9 years ago, and they made their presence known.

Horace Mann Supplies

Still, there were little  vignettes all over the place, asking to be photographed.

Horace Mann Science class



I’m still wondering what the red fluid is.

Horace Mann Science Lab


Anyone need some chemical safety goggles?

Horace Mann Science 2


The Great Head to Head Photo-Off Death Match!!

Welcome to the first ever Photo Death Match, in which Tabula Rasa and I incidentally took photos of the same object and will now share said photos for you, our small but wonderful group of viewers, to tell us which one of us got it right or wrong.  


Each attempted set-up and shot out in the field is akin to finding a diamond in the rough. Before you roll your eyes at the florid analogy, consider that a diamond cutting is a daunting task. The cutter must fashion the largest, most valuable gem while chipping away as little as possible of the very precious mineral. A clumsy cut, meanwhile, can ruin its value. So with each place we visit, I feel there is a “right” shot: correct exposure, framing, editing, etc. I thought this shot of the hose is not”right”. The hose spilling out is nice, and an opened glass door seems like it would add some drama. The monotony in color and middling light needs to be contended with, and here I don’t do well with either. And the angle of my shot is too dead on, everything looks flat.


I think I did better with this one. Tweaking the lighting, color balance and framing yielded something I’m not ashamed of.


-Tabula Rasa

This little match was my oh so brilliant idea.   I just picked the two things I knew for fact that we had both photographed, not considering the quality of my photos .   I consider this a good thing as neither of us really liked our results very much so we’re not pitting favorites against one another.  (This is my not subtle way of telling anyone commenting they are free to honestly critique the hell out us on these.)

I debated for a minute if I should post my stairway/firehose photo as HDR since neither of Tabula Rasa’s photos are in HDR.  I decided that since I took it with intention of making an HDR photo that I wouldn’t be bending or breaking any of the non-existent rules of this death-match.   When I first saw the firehose I knew I wanted a photo of it, but feared that with all the white and so little detail everything would be flat and uninteresting.  I chose to use the HDR technique in order to enhance all the little details of decay in the frame but still wasn’t terribly thrilled with the results.  Thus I give you this.

2 24 13 hospital 100_1_2_tonemapped

As for my second entry, well, I’m seriously unhappy with the results.  I feel it is fine as a documentary photo, but artistically I took too extreme an angle and I had forgotten about that annoying dust inside my lens that causes orbs to appear in my photos when I shoot on a certain angle to the light.  I had to scramble to “fix” this one and it is not a very good job to say the least.  I rarely ever do much fixing since my personal goal is to do everything in camera and not have to change anything once it is on the computer (excluding HDR of course, I can’t afford the cameras that do that automatically.  Nor do I want one, but that is a whole different topic.)  On to “Please Handrails”!


-The Idiot Photographer

Want to see more Head to Head Photo-off Death Matches?  Want Tabula Rasa to come up with a better name for it?  Please let us know in the comments, and have fun critiquing our modest offerings to you.

Something is Missing

Part of the fun of returning to places we’ve already explored is finding when things have changed.  Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes it takes you a moment to see it.

Case in point we visited the Power Plant again today and found that all the metal grate flooring was gone.  At first I was wondering how the hell I missed the awesome view of the second floor from the ground floor, then I realized there was no such view last time I was there.

missing floor

So who ripped out the flooring I wonder?  Was it the town?  Was it scrappers?  The property owner?   Either way it restricts what you can explore once you climb the scary stairs, which I suspect is why they were taken.

from the stairs

A Return

I know I mentioned previously that my fascination with urban exploring all started with one lonely apartment building Tabula Rasa and I call “The House of Harm”, and I shared a couple of exterior shots taken with my crappy point-n-shoot 5 megapixel camera that couldn’t take a decent photo even in ideal conditions.  Most of my photos of this location are actually film.  We hadn’t been back to The House of Harm in a long time, in part because we realized we’ve just been fucking around and have finally started finding the locations we’ve been dreaming of (like the power station and granary) and because, well, there isn’t much there.

So at the end of last year we decided to revisit the old place and say hello since we heard that it is on the list of buildings Gary is planning on demolishing.

I finally got to reshoot my favorite TV Land photo too, so that was cool.

mahencha tv

Unhaunted Ruins

The remaining building at the boy’s school appears to be the dorm, but there are signs there were once other buildings too.

Well, it was an outbuilding at some point.

boys school rubble


Most of the auditorium seems to have burned down, but the stage remains.

boys school auditorium

Well, what was possibly the rest rooms remain as well.

boys school5

Though of course, there may be a wall missing here and there.

boys school6

Things I have seen

This is a really random post.  I have been piling up photos that were taken from the car or near a location that don’t really fit into the theme of location based posts.  I’ve been staring at them for months now, wondering when i would ever post them.  Well, it seems today is the day.

First, a little house on the saddest street I’ve been on in a long time.

from the car

I had to lean over Tabula Rasa to shoot this picture through his side window.  I want to go back in the spring with (hopefully) better light.


Next we have The Something.  Not one of us is sure what it is, but it has been there in the middle of this corn field for a long time.  doings its thing.

the somethingip


I saw these near the Nameless Buildings, not sure why I felt compelled to take a picture of them but I did.  I like it.

dixmoor power plant d2 18


Then there are the things you see every day, or in our case every photo trip.  We often find ourselves on or below the Skyway and going through the toll booth has become a bit of a marker for us.  This is the gate way to adventure.


Likewise on the way home we often get to see the sun set over Wolf Lake, a view you don’t get unless you are on the expressway.  why we never pulled over and shot photos our the window before I’ll never know, but we did it this day.

sunset over wolf lake


Granary Roundup

The last of the granary photos for a bit.  We are planning to go back, in the snow, because that isn’t dangerous at all.

View north from the fourth floor, minus wall.


One day the support for these storage bins will crumble.  I kinda hope I get to watch it happen.


Forest and building, living in harmony.

outside inside

Inside the machine, flashlight magic.

inside the machine 2

Oh hey, look at the bins!

getting the photo