Posts Tagged ‘Abandoned’

Photo Observation 5



Lack of visibility is something that really scares me. The fog in this picture detracts from the visibility, and the swirling of the abandoned roller coaster makes me feel dizzy and uncomfortable. I also feel like the color in this photo is so washed out and monochromatic that it makes everything disorienting and spooky.


Photo Observation 3


A photo I took at the abandoned LA Zoo in Griffith Park, Los Angeles< CA

THEME: Shadows

Visiting this abandoned zoo was the creepiest, most surreal experiences I’ve had a chance to document and photograph.  The original zoo was opened in 1918, and most of the buildings we visited were build as WPA projects in the 30s.  Closed in the 1960s and rebuilt at another site, the original site was eventually converted into a picnic area with cages and buildings left to crawl around in.

While we were never sure quite what lived in the cages, the standard setup was a public “viewing” pen below, and a staircase leading up to cages and beds behind.  I came to the top of the stairs and turned the corner to be hit by this sight.  All traces of life there were gone, only steel bars and Guillotine doors, concrete and brick—all covered in graffiti.  Light poured through the cage door and the stairs at the other end of the hall.  The bars on the “kennel” broke the sunlight across the floor.  Most places the cage doors on the outer walls were bolted shut, but with this one open, natural light illuminated up the cold and forgotten home that was once a reality for the zoo’s residents day in and day out.  There is no warmth in this place, even the sunlight that makes it in is dull and greyed.

Photo Ob #2










2. Http://

3. This photo comes from an abandoned mining island that was shut down after the WW2 in Japan. The Japanese government now forbids anyone but occasional photographers to step foot on the island making it one of the most desolate places on earth. At it’s peak this isolated community had the most dense population on earth per square kilometer. They was a fully functioning society on this island with schools, stores, and apartment complexes. This photo portrays the now cold and lifeless area. The reason this photo comes off as cold is the slight blue tint to the light that combines with the colors of the building and surrounding to mute the entire scene. The lack of directionality gives no highlight or shadow to the picture which flattens the photo even more. The bright white light in the top left corner establishes the emotion we associate with cold, the still and stiff. If you were to be standing in this place you would almost feel the need to look over your shoulder as the moment feels loaded as if something is going to happen.


Photo Observation – Sunset



2. I do not know where I originally discovered the picture, but it is from National Georgraphic Travel, and can be found at

I could not find the photographer or where the photo is featured on their website, only the direct link to the image itself.

3. Theme: Sunsets or Sunrises


I have an affinity for broken and abandoned structures.  Ghost towns in the California desert.  Empty amusement parks in New Orleans. Pripyat. Detroit.  There is a presence in these places, a sad emptiness where memories linger, a feeling of lives lived, left unfinished.  Broken memories of what was.  Churches have an even stronger presence about them, as well as an even greater sadness.  Large or small, simple or ornate, They are buildings built to be beautiful, built to have a presence, making their deterioration and degradation even more despairing.  This building is dying.  It is winter, the trees and ground are devoid of life.  The roof is weak and falling in—it won’t be long before it collapses in on itself.

The light though.  When one calls to mind a sunset, color is one of the first things evoked.  Brilliant golds and reds, shifting patterns across clouds and rocks as the light bends through the atmosphere in its last moments.  There is little color here, however.  With little light left to hit this side of the building, the church is in deep shadow, and at some places pure silhouette.  The sun is a dull yellow, probably not very different from how it was the entire day.  For this one moment, though, just before it disappears, it cuts through the grey of the winter air, streaming through the open windows.  It would be easy to compare this light with reverence, with holy radiance and divinity.  The radiance of God is one of the most common motifs of God or Jesus throughout Christian doctrine—yet this is not enough.  This is not what makes the picture for me.

The reason these motifs exist is because of the universal connection between light and life.  This is life entering this building again.  The light spilling out of the windows reveals details in the paneling of the walls, if only for a moment.  In the next moment, the sun will sing a little lower and the light will no longer be streaming from these windows.  The glow of the sunset may remain a little longer, but the church will be reduced to a silhouette, then swallowed into the darkness as the earth turns and last of the light disappears into the night.