For the past few months I’ve been stalking out an old abandoned brick house on Union Cross Rd in Walburg, NC. Most of my old house subjects have been wooden structures. The weathered brick and encroaching vines in this home made things visually a bit more interesting. In my first few visits, I was hoping for more dramatic lighting to capture the east side of the house. Eventually, I captured the Scary House image on a cloudy late afternoon in early March. After working with this image in Lightroom, I went to Alien Skin’s Exposure 7 to find color film filter to add a touch more drama. I ended up with the Fuji Pro 160C film emulation filter with a slight bump in exposure to compensate for the crunched contrast effect. Pretty scary, eh?
Around to the front of the house, at the front door, I found this cool door knob composition — Rustic Entrance. The brass door knob and metal plate behind it offer an interesting example of contrasting textures and shapes. Click on the image title or image itself to see a more detailed image from my portfolio site; notice the detail in the door knob and metal plate. The Clarity feature in Lightroom was helpful in optimizing this effect.
The weathered wood and peeling teal paint also add visual interest to the image. Another encroaching vine appears as another reference to Mother Nature’s claim on this old house. Here, I used a modern Kodak Kodachrome 25 emulation filter in Exposure 7 to make the textures pop a bit more.
Back on the east side of the house, one of the first floor windows was almost completely hidden behind dense shrub overgrowth and a fallen tree limb. Pushing through the shrubs, I found the composition shown in the Forgotten Window image. Here the broken window glass, electrical wire and wooden board provide visual counterpoint to the strong rectangular shapes and patterns in the front plane of the composition. Through the window, into the room lies a metal mattress frame and open door on the back wall leads back outside.
Since I was a kid, old abandoned houses have always caught my eye. I’m driven to stop and take a closer look, now a days with my camera. While visiting these properties, I keep an eye out for exposed rusty nails & snakes, both potentially hiding in the tall weeds and grass. Depending on the condition of the structure, it sometimes seems unsafe to go inside. Cautiously exploring each room, I try to imagine what it was like when someone actually lived in the house.
I suspect a lot of folks think of old house images as another photography cliche. Perhaps they are, but when I fine an interesting abandoned house, I’ll usually stop to assess its visual potential. Often, I’m not disappointed. Weathered surface textures and interesting shapes, lines and pattern combine with the juxtaposition of man’s attempt to bring symmetry and order to the world with nature’s slow and steady reclamation over our futile attempts at permanency.
The images in this post are from my This Ole House Gallery and also part of the Beauty of Decay Collection. 1st Floor, Left Entrance was taken at an abandoned house just of Hwy 421 north of Sanford, NC. The two doors, missing porch, crumbling deck above, and rear window all make for an interesting composition.
Decrepit Front Porch was taken at a decaying old house off of Sandy Ridge Rd. in High Point, NC. Here the house is closer to crumbling, the decay much more intense. The severely weathered wood is bowing, splintering or broken. You get the sense this house could come crashing down at any moment. In addition to the complex shapes, patterns and depth, I like contrasting vines in the foreground.
Both these images were processed to emulate Kodak Panatomic-X black & white negative film. I have more pictures from this gallery to share in the coming weeks. I would love to hear your comments about what you like and don’t like about these images. From the main blog page, click on the blog post date to link to the blog’s commenting feature found at the bottom of the page.