All posts in February 2016

  • Quick run to the beach for “landscape” shots

    Thinking I could get a few shots for a recent show at Notch8, I decided at the last second to make a quick run to Florida to shoot some landscapes. I ended up getting there just in time to meet up with Dylan and Kayla, eat a burger, then go shoot the sunset. After it got dark, I drove downtown to shoot a bit until I met up with Matt and Dylan later. We met intending to go into an abandoned hotel and possibly a tall office building, but after being denied, we decided to go check out a funeral home we heard about. None of had been there before, but a buddy had warned us that there’s a guy named Brian that lives there and we’re likely to run into him. When he was there, he gave Brian a little entry fee and apparently he left them alone after that. So after parking by a cop next door, then driving around the block a few times, we settled on a better place to park nearby. After we find our way in, I’m quickly reminded of a story of Brian scaring the shit out of everyone by coming out of a hearse unexpectedly. Using our flashlights, we check, and no sign of anyone in the hearse. Crazy that anyone would sleep in there though. I’m usually not a big fan of exploring at night, but we were told that this place actually had some lights on. We make our way down a hall and by a small staircase with one light, then into a small room with a bed turned over with just one bulb left in the chandelier, leaving a crazy shadow on the wall. It had rained most of the afternoon and this place was leaking everywhere. It was pretty creepy hearing water dripping everywhere around you, yet not being able to see anything you’re not pointing your flashlight at. The chapel area also had one single light, right above a podium with an open bible on it. After getting a few shots there, I tried to get a couple shots in total darkness, then we head upstairs. One of the first doors we try is barricaded, and I think we all kinda freeze and realize that it’s Brian’s room at about the same time. We leave that room alone. Next, we go into a large room holding a bunch of caskets and really old (from 1950!) human remains in wooden boxes. Whoa. Upstairs, it was completely dark, but using our flashlights we get a couple shots of Matt laying in one of the caskets (!), then realize maybe we should come back during the day to get better photos of the place.

    Chandelier organ podium bookcase

    After the weather cancelled our trip an hour away for the sunrise (and staying up way too late). I meet Dylan downtown for lunch and we decide to try a few other buildings downtown. We see the last couple people leaving the loading dock area of one place (where there were 9 people sleeping the night before), so we go next door to check out another building that is supposed to have a huge tree growing inside it. We find a way in and make our way through the pretty boring building. Rooftop didn’t really have any views and the higher you got, the sketchier the floors were. And no giant tree! We took a few shots then go back next door to see if everyone is gone. All clear, but the loose board we find does not have the kind of opening we were hoping for. We decide to go back to the hotel to give it a try during the day. Shut down once again. They’re pretty good and fast about sealing places up around here. We decide just to head back to the funeral home to get shots of the upper floor during the day. I didn’t get any use-able landscape shots that I went to Florida for, but this funeral home was worth it, by itself.

    bricks bathroom no view light chapel  office area old stuff IMG_2506_07_08_09_10_11_12_tonemapped full service options caskets open stairs entrance couch wicker casket

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  • Detroit One More Time

    On our way back from the October trip, we decided we needed to try at least one more that year (2015), so we settled on New OrleansMemphis…Detroit (again) for November. There were a couple locations that we had missed on previous trips and one that we needed to see more of, so it was a logical decision, as long as we time it right and don’t go during a blizzard or something. Only a quick 3-day trip, we set off on Thursday evening to get a jump start on the drive and crash at our favorite Embassy Suites in Dayton, OH. On our way to Detroit in the morning, we returned to a psych hospital to get another look, and to check out a few buildings we missed before. Tony wanted to go too, so we had him meet us nearby. Before long, we were back inside and started looking for a morgue, while also showing Tony some of the highlights of the first buildings. We finally found the morgue and we even got some snow on the terrace! Luckily we were prepared for cold weather this time. Tony had to take off, so we checked out a few more buildings until it got too dark to shoot anymore. After that, we head to Detroit for some Slow’s BBQ for a quick Friday night dinner. Not a bad day to start it off.

    caution check in over the terrace long haul third terrace reflection morgue cafeteria midcourt table showers tub

    We started the weekend with Max at a place I’d seen a million pics of before, but we had to check it out, as it’d been recently become accessible again. It was a fun entry and had some pretty nice railings, but as can happen in Detroit, it quickly became an instameet and it was full of people. Still good to see some old friends and make some new ones that morning. We finish up and head to a nearby school. Big and dilapidated, but not super exciting. Then we stopped by Eastown Theater. I’m glad we did, as it was torn down just a week or two later. After that, we go check out a church real quick before lunch. There were actually kids playing basketball in the gym at the abandoned church.

    architecture couch gym dark pool hallway shadows and reflections no books seats Eastown Theater upper level Eastown Theater light doors empty room church

    We stop for some coneys and eat some of Renee’s cake, strike out on a couple schools, then settle on an abandoned library. I’m starting to think we’re running out of exciting places to go in Detroit, but then we go to a hospital that I can’t believe I’d never stopped at before. We meet Renee and Glen nearby and see a couple guys taking pics outside. They’re parked right in front of the place, so after we ask them to move their truck, we all go in and start shooting. We all kind of split up, but meet again on the roof for a great sunset to end the day.

    library piano library desk hospital hall bedroom window MCS in the Distance srittups bedroom with a view

    On the last day, we started the morning out of town and with somewhat limited time, but we try to make the best of a couple hours at a large prison property and only explore a few buildings. We still didn’t get back to Detroit to meet Renee for lunch until around 2pm. Our poor time management left us time to explore just one more building before we had to hit the road for the 11 hour drive home. We happened to see a large church on the way to eat, so we decide to go take a look. It quickly starts getting dark, so we wrap it up and head back to Atlanta. Not a bad way to end the last big road trip of the year. I even got home nice and early….at 3am.

    cells cell block seat bars chair gym shovels smoke police the brain church view from the top looking out

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  • The Big One (pt.3)

    ←Trip 1

    ←Trip 2

    ←Trip 3 (pt.1)

    ←Trip 3 (pt.2)

    After finally getting Sergio (this fool only brought shorts to Chicago in late October) some pants and waiting over an hour and a half for a pizza, we close out day 3 and before you know it, we’re up early the next morning and picking up C2X in Chicago. The first stop was a graff-heavy spot, with silos. We saw tons of graffiti, a couple Swampy pieces, went under the silos, saw a couple other dudes exploring, then we left. I was the first to walk out to the road and the first car I see heading my direct looks like a van with blue lights on it, so I quickly turn around and tell everyone else to get back. Sure enough, a police van rolls by slowly. We make our way over to a small park-ish area nearby and just decide to leave. The van drove right by us again and may not have even looked our way or even noticed us. We take that as a sign that we should go get breakfast and check out a church C2X heard about.

    rays swamy swampy dusty silo so much dust

    The breakfast was fantastic, the church – not so much. C2X sees no way in and we decide to head to a power plant on the way back to Indiana. The power plant was another spot full of graffiti, a lot of large machinery, and a pile of tires. We make our way through pretty quickly (I was a little worried about the car after a concerned-looking neighbor stared at us while we parked) and we head over to a few small abandoned houses before we take off back to Gary before it gets too late.

     tires and grafftires huge power machinery power plant  power plant machineryfree gucci

    After a while everything was kinda blending together and I couldn’t remember where I’d been or what we had tried and failed to get into, but we ended up visiting a couple more schools in Gary. This was around the time we were getting pretty tired, so after having a pretty good scare with a cop parking right in front of the window, we decide to call it a night and head back to take C2X home. These pictures may or may not be in and kind of order…

    halls amuse class long shadows piles chair scissors birdhouse skylight desk

    After a quick drop off, we plan to grab quick bite, the meet up with another IG friend Brian to do a little light shooting. After eating the most delicious burger I’ve ever eaten in my life at Small Cheval and just before hearing back from Brian, we decide to just head to the hotel to get some sleep before another early morning of exploring. We had one day left, so we had to make it count. After a bit of picture editing, listening to Sergio snore, and taking a nap, alarms are already going off and it’s time to go. We meet up with C2X and hit one of my favorite spots I’ve been to. Prisons and asylums (abandoned) are definitely my favorite kinds of locations, so spending a day at a prison before hopping in a car for 10 hours sounded pretty fantastic to me, tired or not. It was definitely worth it. I actually wish we had more time. We could’ve spent a couple more hours there, but we were getting hungry and had that 10 hour drive still to go. We had a bit of an issue with an unexpected visitor when we tried to leave, but we make it out with no real problems. Probably good that we left when we did, because I still got home at 4:30am. One of these days, we’ll try to include some sleeping in our plans. Here are a ton of pics from our last stop.

    first tier cell bars lockdown  exit cell block entrance to cell block lunch room gym elroy old camera evidencelaundry machine laundry chapel the yard

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