Those who have known me a bit longer will remember my facination with abandoned places, particularly those with much of the abandoners’ personality left behind. The Stories We Leave Behind is a series I shot many years ago (soon to be back online), and while I’ve found that my taste for such subject matter is shared by many (much to my delight indeed), I haven’t the time to scout good locations and therefore had yet to find another opportunity…
I only had my digital camera on me, and I would prefer to shoot this type of subject with black and white film. However, this house was boarded up, leaving very little light, and to get the type of shots I would like would require an extensive flash or lighting setup (not to mention time and intentionality unavailable to me)…
However in the end I was pleased with the humble productions of my cheap digital, with its horrible flash. The way the flash throws in such a short, narrow pattern accentuates the spooky, documentary effect. I could not even see what I was about to shoot, it was so dark. I was literally pointing and shooting and then adjusting the next shot based on what I had just randomly captured…
When I got home and looked at the images, I was often surprised to see things I could not while I was actually there in person, namely the inside of rooms that were completely pitch black to my naked eye. Another surprise upon viewing the images afterward was the number of spider nests hanging from the roof beams, which were almost completely exposed by the lack of ceiling.
I also experimented with the rudimentary light settings on the camera, which explains why some of these shots have a blue tinge to them. I normally adjust most of my digital photography in Photoshop, but all the images I’m presenting here are unaltered, straight off the camera as they were originally captured.
Most of the things that must have filled the house had been removed for the sale. The mind races with questions while exploring such a space: Who lived here? Why their facination with collecting certain objects, seemingly to obsession, and how did they obtain such large collections?
When was the last time someone lived there? Why did they abandon it, and all their amassed stuff? How is it they had such good taste in wall colorings?
The deep shag carpeting was the only real indicator of when the house might have been last occupied. How the ceiling became so incredibly damaged is a mystery.
I expected to find some evidence that some homeless might have recently taken residence, but I suspect even if they had found entry, the until-recent density of stuff prevented much movement, yet alone living space, within the house.
In the end, we were very pleased by our find, and I was stoked that I found the initiative to go, find the hidden sale, and then explore the house. No tresspassing indeed.