Tuesday, January 19, 2010

An Introduction and some thoughts

Deserted factories, institutions, schools, and houses always fascinated me. Who built these things, what did they do there, and what were their dreams and aspirations? Any why were they abandoned? Did the structures no longer serve the intended purpose? Did politicians decide to no longer support an institution? Did a shop get closed because of urban flight and inner city decay?

Houses are especially difficult. Families once lived there, raised their children there, and went through the cycles of joy, sadness, success, and despair experienced by all families. But why are some houses left in such a state that it looks like the former residents simply walked out one night and never came back?

As a photographer, I always liked the patterns, shapes and debris found in abandoned or unused structures. I like "complicated" scenes, and old structures offer plenty of potential for frames filled with patterns and minute detail.

I also like the sense of grandeur in many of our late-1800s and early-1900s industrial buildings. They were built with pride to last for decades or centuries. This was so different from our current "let's see how cheaply we can build it and get away with it" mentality. The sense of space, light, and shadow is unique in many of these old structures.

This photography blog will be an ongoing effort. When I photograph something interesting, I will try to post it. All comments and suggestions are welcome!

Personal note: I am Andy and live in Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA. I travel often to destinations around the world. Most of my photography is with film, and I use a number of film cameras. But you will also see some digital work on these pages. My dad taught me to use his Leica IIIC rangefinder camera in the 1960s, and I am still regularly using it. I started using medium format film in 1981, when I bought a Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex camera in Houston, Texas. Digital cameras have come and gone. They just do not do much for me emotionally. Please keep tuned in, and I will try to keep this blog interesting.

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