22 Nov 2015

Some places are fun to explore but much harder to shoot for lack of light. Enter artificial lighting, a fun, yet frustrating, part of urbex. Short of lugging around professional lighting rigs (Not exactly the choice for mobility and discretion) we need to get creative. We’ve used flares and glowsticks, but most often the choice is the humble flashlight. I’ve found that this type of lighting is its own urbex subspecialty: getting a decent exposure without glare, hotspots or light streaks is a unique challenge most photographers don’t usually have to contend with. A case in point is the swimming pool at a shuttered high school we recently visited.

A massive room which held both an olympic-sized pool and diving board was cavernous enough to almost swallow up the lights of even our tactical strength flashlights. For these shots I needed my own light as well as the help of the Idiot Photographer, who lit things further away with her own torch, as well as stacking images together to combine the best-lit parts of several exposures. The results may not be the most awesome pictures ever, but I still like them for the effort that they took to realize.

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01 May 2015
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Last House on the Right

From the same neck of the woods as the previous post.

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27 Apr 2015

Approach

From a deserted subdivision hidden in the forests of northern Indiana.

 

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26 Apr 2015

Residential home in a forest outside Gary.

 

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24 Apr 2015

Rural gothic,

Nature triumphant,

Memento mori,

or, none of the above.

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The author eponymous

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21 Apr 2015

Regular readers may have noticed many schools, churches and auditoriums almost always have a mouldering piano decomposing somewhere. So it was a slight change of pace to see an electric organ instead. It had gotten the customary vandal going-over, and its guts spilled circuit boards instead of piano wire. It felt like entering the 21st century, but for urbex.

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A Hammond East of Hammond.

 

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28 Feb 2015

Sometimes we come across scenes which appear to be a clamorous fall taking place before our eyes, and yet are mute and still. The ice here only serves to heighten the sense that the entirety is merely frozen, and will crash when we leave the room.

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Standoff

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10 Dec 2014

Sand Cranes II

A few more shots of these migratory birds, photographed last Sunday at their annual jamboree on the fields of Jasper County, Indiana.
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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.

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09 Dec 2014

The Sand Crane

SinceĀ  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.

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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.

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20 Nov 2014

When I was asked to join this blog almost two years ago by my friend the Idiot Photographer, I had grand ideas about presenting my pictures as a curator might thoughtfully arrange pieces in a museum.
“Here,” I could say, “is the Gary collection of the mid-2000’s. Note the artist’s increasing usage of ‘drowned light’ as an aesthetic choice.”
“In this piece, the artist coyly asks us whether the concept of keeping photographs in focus is a valid idea, or whether our concepts of sharpness are really just social constructs.”
“The choice of a monochrome color palette alerts us that this must be an august work of art.”
It would all sound very learned and fancy, and, at the very least, give the impression that I knew a damn thing about what I was doing.
As it is, I’m getting more comfortable (lazy?) about just putting a photograph up with little fanfare. Hopefully, it speaks for itself. So, here’s a couple shots from various locations which I happened to be working on tonight.

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