Monday, November 17, 2014

The Cold Returns

There's a bumper sticker made by Daffy Dan that says "Cleveland - You've got to be tough", and it's true. While we may not be Buffalo, we still get snow and nasty winter weather. I dread the cold weather and the snow, but when it's at it's worst, I can't help but get to work. Coffee in one hand, camera in the other, I ventured out to take some photos of the first snowfall of the season and do a little bit of exploring. Traffic was a mess so I didn't want to go far and lucky for me I don't have to.

After taking this shot I heard someone walking behind me. I turned around and saw a man about my age. This is a common spot for the homeless but I don't think this guy was one of them. I actually think he was a drug dealer there to pray on the homeless. We made small talk about the weather for a few minutes and then I headed on my way.

I love the train tracks in the snow.

An old favorite.

I'm not quite ready for another Cleveland winter, but like it or not I'll be out in the weather doing what I always do.

Photos taken with a Canon Mark III and Canon 60D, with a Canon 20mm f/2.8 and Rokinon 8mm Fisheye.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Abandonment Issues vol. 007

After a night of climbing buildings and bridges Brandon and I, along with Kaylah, somehow managed to wake up early and explore some of the rougher areas of the city. We explored four different apartment buildings. A couple of them were fairly large, but unfortunately none of them had much left behind. I had fun, I always do, but I was off my game. I didn't take many photos and most of what I shot I wasn't very happy with. It was still a great morning of exploring.

The first building was in bad shape but didn't yield any usable photos, probably because my coffee hadn't kicked in yet. The second building was a high rise apartment complex. It wasn't very old and aside from one apartment, it really didn't have too much left in it. The view from the roof was great though. 

The rooms facing South were in a much further state of decay than the rooms facing North.

This apartment was absolutely full of stuff. These rooms were small and yet whoever lived here had amassed an overwhelming amount of junk. Most of the floor was covered in at least a foot of clothes.

I snapped a quick photo of the outside of the imposing structure as we were leaving. 

The next spot was one that Kaylah had found. The outside of the building was breath taking. It was truly in a state of ruin. As beautiful as the architecture was there is no saving this relic. One entire section of the building had already collapsed. 

The inside was a lot like the rest of the buildings that we had been in that day, empty.

After that building we took advantage of the neighborhood and walked over to one of the other abandoned apartments that were all over the area. This building had more in than the first three but I still didn't get very many photos. I was more interested in exterior photos that day.

We drove around a little bit longer but didn't find anything else that we wanted to explore and I was hungry and needed to get some work done so we called it a day.

Photos taken with a Canon Mark III and Canon 60D, with a Canon 20mm f/2.8 and Rokinon 8mm Fisheye.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Above the Streets

Like I said in my recent post about climbing bridges, the photos don't always do much for me but the experience of accessing these places and seeing the world in a way that most people never will is what keeps me doing this. 

This particular night Brandon and I had actually planned on spending the night exploring tunnels under the city but when that fell through we decided to go in an entirely different direction. 

The first stop was an easy one that we both had done before but it had been years.

Our next location required a little more cunning and a modest vertical leap, followed by 234 stairs.

After a grabbing some much needed pizza at Edison's we went to our final location for the night, a jack knife lift bridge. The climb was shockingly easy, just exhausting especially after all of the stairs that we had already climbed that night.

I keep telling myself that I'm too old to be doing this stupid stuff. I try to talk myself into staying home and watching Netflix instead of climbing around on buildings and bridges all night, but the truth is that I have no good reason not to climb.

Photos taken with a Canon Mark III and Canon 60D, with a Canon 20mm f/2.8 and Rokinon 8mm Fisheye.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Home Sweet Home

I've been in all sorts of abandoned buildings and structures. Everything from breweries, asylums, factories, schools, and subway tunnels; but none of them illicit more emotion than abandoned houses. Houses are so easy to relate to. It's easy to image a family living there and I often try to build a picture in my head of what the people who lived there were like. 

The first house that Kaylah and I explored was a really beautiful home with large windows, a fireplace, and nice big living room. The outside of the house is almost completely hidden with overgrown trees and shrubs. 

Most of the house looks as if someone just moved out quickly and didn't bother to clean, the kitchen and upstairs bathroom however are showing all of the decay you would expect from a long abandoned house.

Expired canned goods litter the floor.

This bathroom would have been really nice at some point. 

A bubble bath and trashy romance novel?

The upstairs is full of clothes, board games, and romance novels. I assume the people who lived here were older, maybe grandparents, or maybe they just enjoyed playing board games together. Now the games are scattered across the hallway floor, while clothes still hang in closets.

The second house that we went to was much further gone. The back bedrooms looked more like caves and were falling in.

The best part of this house was all of the colors. 

Unlike the first house, this one actually still had most of the furniture in it.

The kitchen was extremely vintage.

An electric can opener covered in cobwebs. 

It was more difficult for me to image what the occupants of the second house were like. There was a screened in porch with a rabbit cage in it, an attic full of rolls of fabric, and one of the bedrooms was painted pink. Whoever lived here hadn't updated anything in at least fifty years. Books and personal items left behind lead me to believe that at least one of the people who lived here was younger, but I have no idea when or why they left. 

Houses are so much fun to explore. Houses hold mysteries and unanswered questions and I love to play detective and try to find the answers to these riddles from the clues left behind. 

Monday, November 3, 2014


There is a huge trend in urban exploration, especially on Instagram, to take photos from places that are really high up. Honestly, these types of photos have never done much for me. They're cool and interesting, but they're mostly just shock value and not much more. Of course it's still fun to climb and try to gain access to places that offer incredible views that are otherwise unobtainable. In Cleveland we have so many bridges and they're all climbable, some just happen to be more accessible than others, but for the most part it's pretty easy to get up here so long as you're willing to disregard a few laws.

Even though heights offer such amazing views, my favorite places to explore will always been the underground spaces, but more on that soon...

Photos taken with a Canon 60D with a Canon 20mm f/2.8 and Rokinon 8mm Fisheye.