Tag Archives: Trespass

Stepping Back

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.

"Abandoned prairie farm house with chained fence"

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)

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