There are many fine urbexers out there who take an active interest in documenting the places they visit, either to highlight an aspect of local history or to help preserve them. While I may be sometimes intrigued by that aspect of urbex, I make no bones that my primary interest in this genre of photography is primarily aesthetic. Sometimes only knowing little about the place you’re seeing heightens the mystery, perhaps makes the story a photo tells a bit more universal. I tend to take a “non-attachment” to the sites we shoot; I find it’s a bit dishonest to bemoan their further decay when that is the very process that allowed us to shoot the pictures we did.
That said, I can’t help be a bit saddened when a site I cut my teeth on gets very rapidly demolished. The Riverdale granary was a massive edifice of metal, rust, concrete and ivy. As of our last visit, only the slim north building still stands. Soon, it too will be gone. It should be remembered that impermanence makes all things possible.
This former hotel was once the only place in town where alcohol was available, but only to its guests. Pullman’s employees, however, were barred from the hotel or its bar and restaurant. The industrialist did not believe his workers should drink. As noted in the previous post, George Pullman was a touch paternalistic.
Conveyor belts stretch out and double back on themselves in an abandoned chewing gum factory.
The same fantastic hallway as appeared in IP’s last post, but photographed from a different spot. And in sepia tone, because I’m fucking artsy.
I’ve shot a lot of pool in my life. I played competitively a bit, and it was interesting to try to gauge the skill of your opponent by how he or she presented themselves. Something that would always get a rise out of me was meeting a player who had his own very expensive cue and case, a glove, and myriad other accoutrements, that I would proceed to beat soundly. I’m of the mind that your equipment should match your skills, otherwise you can look ridiculous.
So it is with photography, where I’ve waited until I felt my skills justified the investment before upgrading equipment. But even technique or editing gets this scrutiny for me; I feel you should be ready for it. HDR, for example, is a rather advanced tool that can be dangerous in unskilled hands. (For a compelling rant on that subject, see The Idiot Photographer‘s recent post here.) And, though others would disagree, I might put black and white photography in this category, though mainly because I feel I abused it early on. With the recent trip to Iceland, however, I decided to tackle my reluctance head on, since much of that country’s landscape is seemingly made for B&W. Here is an HDR shot that has been desaturated into a sepia tone, as well as other editing tweaks. I think I’ve worked this shot so long I’ve lost the ability to be objective about it anymore; I’ll leave it to the reader to decide if this came out well, or if it is Frankenstein’s monster of photography.