Week 46: Memories

Often times I like to work from my own memories.  Comparing past places to what they look like in the present, bitter-sweetness which comes with the passing of time, and loss.  I think it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of my work conveys messages such as these.  Sometimes, however, I like to work at examining other’s memories, and a little exploring will do just the trick for that.

So, you know, finals went ok, but not super great.  My digital photography class was one of my problem classes, sadly.  I had a great idea of working at the beach, with a model, and capturing some really whimsical and charming images….but my model canceled on me.  Sad, but I understand — she was busy with finals as well.  It still sucked having to start from square one with only about a week before my project was due.  So back to the drawing board.

I started thinking about things that I liked, or that I’ve always wanted to do.  A good suggestion from my professor, particularly for someone like me who has been getting pretty stumped lately.  So going with that, “something I’ve always wanted to do”, at least for a while now, were those beach pictures.  Scratch that.  So what do I like to do?  Well, one thing that I’ve been missing were my little excursions to some abandoned buildings.  So, with my friend in tow, I set out to find an interesting place that we could sneak in to.

Going in to these places, I’m always trying to do more than take some interesting, yet arbitrary, pictures.  I’ve always found it interesting when one of two things happens to these buildings.  If the building is taken over by nature, with vines, and trees, and flowers completely engulfing it, I find it so interesting, and a bit ironic, that we’ve taken from nature to build this structure, only for it to be discarded, materials wasted, and for nature to reclaim it.  The other interesting scenario is when I can find little “artifacts”, as I like to call them, of who may have been in this space before.  I’m sure just about everyone passes by a building or space which has just been left to decay on a regular basis.  Do you ever stop to wonder what that place was, what it could have meant to someone, or what they may have used it for?  Or do you ever wonder who the person or persons were that used to inhabit this space, and what happened to them?  Did they just give up?  Move on, or even pass on?  It’s so mysterious when you stop to think about it.  I’m sure with some research, answers may be found in some cases, but what’s the true story?  That’s what I like to look for.

So while driving around, we headed towards the southern part of Maryland.  We passed by an old favorite of mine, but it had been blocked off, and you could see that the area was starting to change a bit.  So further off the grid we went, and we started to get to some pretty interesting farm land areas.  Farm land?  Yeah, we’ve got a lot of that around here once you get to a certain area.  With that comes some of those dilapidated barns filled with interesting things.  We had to pass a few by, because you can’t just park on the side of a busy road and mosey on in these places, but finally found the perfect spot; a place a little off the road, and a long driveway which wound around the barn.

So here are the images from that trip.  It seems like it was a little storage barn for a farm, but also for a farmer’s market.  Quite cute in it’s heyday, I’m sure, but very sad and decaying now.   The light was beautiful on what was another unseasonably warm day for the area.  I’m happy to have used that to my advantage in a lot of these shots.  Though I feel I know a little more about this space, I’m still wondering just what happened to this farmer.  What do you think?  Enjoy!



Week 29: Out of Place

Well this should prove to be a fun project for the week!  Can I just post a picture of myself?  Just kidding, though I am kind of the odd ball in a lot of situations, and the hair/piercings/tattoos don’t really help me blend in at all.  🙂

I feel like finding something for this topic is going to be like the “Where’s Waldo?” of my 52 week challenge.  I’ll be busy this week looking in all kinds of places for the odd thing out.  It’s definitely ironic when I think about it; going through my day-to-day I find myself often spotting things that seem a little weird or out of place.  When I go searching for them, however, that’s another story.  I’m predicting a week of the most normal of things, people, and places, with no oddities in sight!  I’m sure it’s just because I’m trying so hard to find the extraordinary in the ordinary that I can’t find things, so I’m going to work on just taking it easy this week.  Hopefully I’ll be surprised, and my eye for the weird things in this world won’t let me down.

On a side note, I haven’t forgotten about last week’s “sunrise/sunset” theme.  My prop that I ordered should be here tomorrow, and I’m working out getting some model volunteers, so hopefully this will come together sooner rather than later.  I’ve been thinking about this all week, checking the tracking every day, and looking out for the mail.  You’d think I was waiting on a million bucks!  It’s small and simple, but I’m still excited to get working on it!  I was really hoping that I wouldn’t fall behind at all in these 52 weeks, but I suppose having only missed three projects, it isn’t that bad.  I still have my ideas tucked away, so when everything falls into place, you all will see what I’ve been imagining.  I can’t wait!

So as I go in search of the evasive out of place items this week, I’ll leave you with my most favorite “odd” picture.  On one of my abandoned house adventures last year, a friend and I stumbled across a house that looked like the scene of a bad break up.  Everything was thrown outside and was in disarray.  Things were all over the ground, just discarded to spend who knows how long out in the elements, and it showed.  A lot of mess, but not a lot of great content, so I was a little disappointed.

With a little further investigation, we noticed a few old barns on the same property, and ventured over to them.  They were about in the same condition as the house in regards to objects being strewn carelessly about, but there was a lot more damage to the actual structures.  For me, this is a good thing, because I don’t want to take pictures of some brand new perfect barn.  So as the sun was setting and we were about to head back to the car, we stopped in the last, and largest, barn.  I’m glad we did, because that’s where I got my little “out of place” surprise.  This barn’s condition was what I suppose you could call better than the others.  There was enough room to walk comfortably from one side of the structure to the other, and most of the mess was on one side.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still a mess, and looked a little horror film-ish.  Out of all the mess we had just experienced, I was shocked to see this chair, right in the middle of the room, standing upright and in decent condition, as if someone had just left it.  Perhaps that’s where I get the slightly creepy feeling from; maybe someone was watching us the whole time.  Regardless, I was captivated by how odd it was to have this chair standing in the middle of an entire property of mess.

I’ve titled this piece “In Waiting”, and am happy to say that it snagged me the first place spot in my school’s student exhibition last fall for digital photography (yay!).  Aside from being reminded of a mild horror film I saw many years ago, I had more of a longing feeling when looking at this chair.  It was as if it was waiting for its owner’s return; the last object to stand up in a disaster of abandoned objects.  Maybe someone will come back for you, but I feel you will be in waiting for much longer.

In Waiting