"The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."
Marcel Proust (1871-1922)
© Adrian Thysse.
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Tag Archives: decay
This year, most of my photography has been directed at macro in nature, but I did manage one trip outside my usual boundaries when I went to Aldon Auto with photographer Larry Jang of J2 Studios on April 29.
Aldon Auto has a huge 99 acre lot covered with salvaged vehicles dating at least as far back as 1945. We headed for the oldest section of the lot to find the those vehicles. Because we started after 10 AM, the light was not ideal, but the blue skies and scudding clouds still provided good opportunities for some interesting photos. A gallery of my favourite photos should be completed soon.
My main use for macro is nature photography, particualry the phtography of insects, spiders and other invertebrates. But macro is good for bringing out the detail in almost anything. In this case a simple painted bolt in an old railway carriage, with the paint flaking, and the underlying wood now in decay.
While the ‘grande landscape‘ may be more satisfying to a general audience, I find myself more and more attracted to smaller scenes within the larger landscape. The definition of ‘intimate landscape’ is not firm, but I personally define it as those landscapes which exclude the horizon and any glimpse of the sky, down to scenes that end where traditional close-up and macro photography (which tend to isolate a single subject) begins. An intimate landscape is a scaled-down scenic with several elements composed to be pleasing to the psyche. Read Tom Till’s article: The Forgotten Intimate Landscape for more on this nearer and dearer form of landscape photography.
Autumn in the prairie.
Abandoned farm house, the fields now filled with tawny grasses and silvery sage.
A chained gate is no barrier for the ghosts of this place.
There is no isolation from Time.
I feel drawn to abandoned homes and, although I would love to explore each one that I come across in my travels, I do follow some basic rules:
- I pay attention to all signs. ‘No Trespassing’ signs should be respected.
- Whenever possible, I seek permission from the property owners.
- Fenced? I stay out.
- Fenced with locked gates? I stay out.
- Once I enter a property, I always, always, close gates behind me.
- If the house has barred or locked doors, and covered windows– I stay out.
- If I enter an abandoned home, even an obviously trashed home, I disturb nothing. It’s the old mantra: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints”.
- Be safe! Collapsing floors and ceilings are always possible.
- You are always free to photograph abandoned homes from a public space such as the road side. Unless denied by signage, you have the reasonable right to walk along a path to the door of a house. However, if the property owner asks you to leave, you are obligated to do so.
Note that the above is not legal advice. An outline of the Laws of Trespass for Alberta can be found here.
No matter whether there is reasonable consent, assumed or real , I can still be considered a trespasser. Personally, even under the best circumstances, I still feel like an intruder: it must be so, in order to appreciate the spirit of the place.
This is a repost from my previous blog, Voyages Around My Camera.
(If you know of any old abandoned homes, or if you have one on your property that I could visit, please let me know in the comments or at the Contact page)
- Canadian Photographers and Law Enforcement (briantruscott.wordpress.com)