Thursday, January 29, 2015

Frozen Sunset

I was on my way out the door to pick up Kaylah and go to the mall, but after seeing how great the colors in the sky were I quickly grabbed my camera. I picked up Kaylah and we headed to the lake to capture some sunset photos on frozen Lake Erie. The quickly disappearing light cast beautiful colors across the sky and the snow and ice covered landscape. My hands hurt from the cold after just a few minutes but I couldn't stop shooting. I love taking advantage of those precious moments of light just after the sun sinks below the horizon, purposely under exposing to bring out the detail and colors in the sky. 

I snapped a few photos with my film camera as well and hopefully those come out. Who knows, maybe I'll actually have a Film Friday post for the first time in months.

Photos taken with a Canon 60D, with a Canon 20mm f/2.8 lens.

Monday, January 26, 2015

New Territory

The other day Kaylah and I met up with Brandon early in the morning to go to an estate sale. Like always, I was hoping for old cameras and strange antiques to further clutter my tiny apartment. The estate sale ended up being a bit of a bust, for me at least, Kaylah and Brandon ended up with a couple things but all of the cameras were extremely over priced. Since we had driven all the way to Lorain for this estate sale we decided to take the opportunity to see what the cities of Lorain and Elyria had to offer us in way of abandonment. Brandon and I had both explored in these cities before but it didn't take long before we found some new places to explore.

The first spot was an old church that had been most recently used as a doctor's office. Much to Kaylah's dismay there was next to nothing left from the doctor's office, and aside from a couple pianos, there also wasn't much left from it's days as a church. I took a few quick photos inside but wasn't thrilled with any of them. 

The next place we went was an old Mexican restaurant. We weren't able to get in but the exterior was still worth shooting.

I loved how the neons were falling off like this.

Our next location was an old sports bar. The interior was dark and sort of boring. There were apartments on the second floor but once again I wasn't thrilled with the couple photos that I took.

While heading to another location we drove past a Polish-American Club. This was an interesting place due to how much was left behind. There was a large open room in the back, offices in the front, and a bar in between them. The bar room was dark but the offices had beautiful light and were completely full of old papers and photos.

There was a kitchen off to the side of the large dining hall. I thought it was funny because Hollywood always portrays abandoned buildings as being covered in cob webs and dust, but that's almost never the case, except for this kitchen. The cupboards were full of plates and cups left exactly where they were placed when they were washed for the last time, and subsequently left to collect dust and cob webs until they looked like some Hollywood effects team had done it for a movie scene.

Our final stop for the day was the most interesting. An entire neighborhood of abandoned and decaying duplexes and apartment houses. 

The bathrooms were gorgeous. That black stuff all over everything is a combination of bird droppings and dead insects.

This Maid of the Mist poster was stuffed behind some mini blinds. 

Can't have a suburban abandonment without some classic suburban graffiti.

The front building looked as though it had been used as a realtors office perhaps? There were photos between panes of glass around the doorway. From the outside you couldn't tell what they were but from the inside the light shining through them allowed you to see the images which were faded and water damaged.

I've been in a bit of a rut with my photo taking. I'm itching to get out and shoot but at the same time I've felt so uninspired and overall very bored with everything I've been shooting. More than anything I would like to get back out west or to the east coast or just anywhere that isn't here. I love Cleveland. I love Ohio in general, but I'd like to see something new. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Video Interview

Check out this video interview I did.

Here is the link to the full post:

Celebrating My Birthday: 2015

I don't like birthdays. I don't like being the center of attention, and I don't like getting older. For the most part I try to get through the day as if it was just any other day, but when you have friends who love you the way my friends do, you're forced to celebrate and there's only one way I want to do it. Every year we start with a late dinner at The South Side in Tremont, then it's off to find something to climb. There's nothing like good food, amazing friends, and climbing things that you probably shouldn't climb to keep you feeling young. 

The group shot from dinner.

First climb of the night, a decommissioned lift bridge with an unparalleled view of the city.

The two blurs on the left are Kaylah and Jake.

The next place we went was an old water tower. From the top of which I can see my house.

It was snowing which made the view of downtown a little hazy but still beautiful. 

Top of the tower.

Looking down the ladder. If you look closely you can see Jason (his blog has much better photos from this night) looking up at me from the bottom.

The night didn't yield too many photos for me, but it wasn't about the photos. It was about spending time with the people that I love, doing the things that make me happy. A huge thank you to all of my friends that came out, and everyone that took the time to wish me a happy birthday. I love you all more than you can imagine. I have the greatest friends anyone could ever ask for.

Photos taken with a Canon 60D using a Canon 20mm f/2.0 and Rokinon 8mm Fisheye.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Much Needed Day of Exploring

The other day Brandon and I ventured out early in the morning to explore a tunnel that we had found a couple months ago. Unfortunately the tunnel was flooded so we had to find something else to photograph. We didn't have to go far before coming across a massive factory building that had just been demolished aside from part of the front of the building. The jagged brickwork against the grey sky was beautiful but we wanted to explore something so after a few quick photos we moved on. Soon enough we drove past what looked like a small school, but after finding a way in we realized that it wasn't a school, but a neighborhood recreation center instead. We didn't expect the building to be as exciting as it was. It had a swimming pool, sauna, locker rooms, a gym, and a few classrooms as well. I would have liked to have spent more time at the rec center but we had to leave early to go meet up with some out of town explorers. I'm looking forward to going back though.

The ruins of the old factory.

The swimming pool.

Light painting the basement locker room.

The gymnasium which was also pitch black.

One of the shower rooms.

After meeting up with Kaylah and our friends from out of town we headed to everyone's favorite school.

Next we headed to a couple of the old favorites.

Kaylah walking down the perfectly lit stairwell.

So sad to this place in such a state of decay. I'll definitely miss it when it's gone.

If you've ever seen the movie The Avengers, this room is where the Black Widow interrogation scene was filmed.

The day started with a disappointment but quickly turned itself around to be a great day of exploring with new friends. And as much as I love to find new places to explore, it always feels good to revisit some of the very first buildings that I ever explored so many years ago.

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

Friday, January 2, 2015

When Mother Nature Has Her Way

One of my on going complaints about exploring abandoned buildings in the Rustbelt, is that factories all start to look the same after a while. I've been in so many factories, warehouses, and schools; that although I still love exploring and photographing them, they just don't hold the same excitement that they used to. So when I started to see photos pop up online showing a massive abandoned greenhouse I was eager to see it for myself. 

There are a few different stories about why this place closed it's doors. Some blame a failed irrigation system that flooded the basements of nearby homes, others suggest that an infestation of insects and competition with tomato growers in mexico. Despite being closed and abandoned for quite a few years the plants continue to grow.

Two huge boilers.

One of my favorite things about this greenhouse was the small terracotta pots that were littered all over the building in piles and stacks.

How could we not take a photo together here?

I told you I loved those pots.

I can't wait to come back in the summer when everything is green, but I'm sure it will be much for difficult to walk around inside with everything in full bloom and thorns everywhere. 

Sneaking a picture of Kaylah.

We found a gross old car and climbed through the window to get a group shot.

It was so nice to explore something completely different from what I'm used to. 

Photos taken with a Canon 60D, using a Canon 20mm f/2.8, Canon 35mm f/1.4 and Rokinon 8mm Fisheye lens.