Archive for Grunge Photography
High Contrast Grunge Photography takes the look of traditional Kodalith darkroom prints to the digital era (or for those of you still shooting with film, and developing in a darkroom, keeps Kodalith alive). By the way, there is a Kodalith group on Flickr!
During a recent drive through the Adirondacks, I came across this abandoned lodge along route 28N in Minerva, New York. A sad reality exists, especially in the United States that many historical buildings and places are being left to decay, alone in their own abandon. Ideally places like this would be preserved somehow as part of our own American history.
The following photographs document the current state of just one of many such places that despite their historical significance and importance, are being left to rot and decay, forgotten by all but the most curious of people, like me, who stop in for a closer look, before it’s lost and gone forever. Ideally, I’d like to think that my photographic documentation of abandoned places such as this will raise some much needed awareness and possibly lead to some preservation efforts. The photos presented here can also be seen here, on Flickr.
A couple of weekends ago I was able to take a day away from all my moving and packing shenanigans to hit an abandoned hospital for a little bit of photography fun. Urban Exploration photography is something I rather enjoy to look at, so this opportunity to go on my very first UrbEx trip was rather exciting, and nerve racking at the same time. While I had a ball, I learned a few very important lessons from this trip.
Lesson number one was to pack plenty of lighting options. When we (there was a group of 12 of us) started roaming the hospital, we started in the basement. If you had no lights, this would be an extremely dark area to play in. I had a headlamp and four flashlights to use as I saw fit. The issue I had was that all but one of these lighting options was LED lights. When you have an opportunity to get creative with lighting like this, being limited to only the cold blues that LEDs emit was a tad frustrating. The next time I go, I plan to either get various colored gels for my flashlights, or bring a few different lighting options. Read More→
Old Lodge is a 10,000 square-foot building built circa 1890, built in Tomkins Cove, New York. Over the years it was used as a hotel, a private school, a girl scout camp, and private residence. There are unconfirmed reports that the building was used as a nursing home for a short period of time. Years of neglect and decay have left it as a ‘shell’ of a building, and as such it has been formally condemned and entry to the building is strongly discouraged and extremely dangerous. Read More→
Centralia was incorporated as a borough in 1866. The anthracite coal industry was the principal employer in the community. Coal mining continued in Centralia until the 1960s, when most of the companies went out of business. Bootleg mining continued until 1982. Strip and open-pit mining is still active in the area, and there is an underground mine employing about 40 people three miles to the west.The borough was served by two railroads, the Philadelphia and Reading and the Lehigh Valley, with the Lehigh Valley being the principal carrier. Rail service ended in 1966. The borough operated its own school district with elementary schools and a high school within its precincts. There were also two Catholic parochial schools in the borough. The borough once had seven churches, five hotels, twenty-seven saloons, two theatres, a bank, a post office, and 14 general and grocery stores. During most of the borough’s history, when coal mining activity was being conducted, the town had a population in excess of 2,000 residents. Another 500 to 600 residents lived in areas immediately adjacent to Centralia.It is not known for certain how the fire that made Centralia essentially uninhabitable was ignited. One theory asserts that in May 1962, the Centralia Borough Council hired five members of the volunteer fire company to clean up the town landfill, located in an abandoned strip-mine pit next to the Odd Fellows Cemetery. This had been done prior to Memorial Day in previous years, when the landfill was in a different location. The firefighters, as they had in the past, set the dump on fire and let it burn for a time. Unlike in previous years, however, the fire was not extinguished correctly.
On March 19, 2011, I was finally able to visit Centralia, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, due to the current state of Centralia, it exists on few maps, and it is a sensitive topic amoung current residents who still live in the area. After doing extensive research on the Internet for quite some time, I had expected to find at least a few standing buildings that would indicate that a town stood here at one time. Unfortunately, when I arrived, I found nothing but crumbling pavement and empty streets. Cracked sidewalks among forgotten plots of land filled in the spaces where buildings once stood. Read More→
Most of the abandoned places and things I’ve explored and photographed have been discovered by sheer happenstance. There are, however, a handful of situations where I had to pre-plan my photographic exploits. In previous posts I have talked about things like getting permission, and safety concerns, but in this post I will focus on research methods and more specific equipment-related concerns you will need to consider prior to heading out on your journey.
Recently I had a good long look through some of my grunge photos spanning several years of photographic dedication. Of all the strange, creepy, and off-the-wall places I’ve wandered into for the purposes of taking photographs, one thing remains the same; for whatever reason, I almost always come across some unusual, unexpected, and sometimes even bizarre discoveries. The photos I’ve selected are just a small portion of what I have on Flickr, but they are what I consider to be some of the best examples of unique and unusual discoveries. Read More→
Houck’s Stripping, Inc. was formerlly a creamery, a factory, a warehouse, and currently, an abandoned building near what was formerly a rail line for the Delaware & Hudson Railway, now the Catskill Scenic Trail. There are some places where people simply should not visit; this is one of those places, that no matter what, simply cannot be explored on the inside due to a complete and total structural collapse. I had planned to explore this building for some time, and over the years it has changed hands several times, thus making it next to impossible to obtain permission. Read More→
If you want to improve your grunge photography, allow these simple tips and tricks to help you find interesting subjects, compose your shots, and if nothing else, inspire you. I have assembled some of my best tips and tricks that can be used not only for grunge photography, but other photographic styles as well.
Take The Road Less Traveled
Instead of traveling the same road that everyone else travels, make your own way. Most of the abandoned and grunge photos I have taken are the direct result of taking back roads, and avoiding highways. Every small town will always have at least one ghost road, at least one abandoned building, and generally a handful of friendly people who will be more than happy to suggest places that a photographer might be interested in. When in doubt, ask someone who lives or works in the area; those with a lot of local knowledge will be most helpful. Read More→
Grunge, and Urban Exploration photography have played a major part of my photographic vision. Over the years, I have photographed abandoned places of all kinds. Shown here are just a sampling of what is available on my Flickr Photostream. Over the years, I have had the unique opportunity to explore photograph abandoned gas stations, houses, industrial and agricultural centers, hidden underground passageways, abandoned hospitals, forgotten commercial enterprises, and of course, railroad yards and stations. What I have provided here is what I consider to be my top 50 most influential and thought-provoking shots. Read More→