Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why I Like Urban Exploration

The Sound of Silence - Mojave, California
I was recently asked why I like to enter abandoned buildings with my camera. It seems like the response would be pretty straightforward. Because abandoned buildings are interesting! However, the answer is much longer.

It is true that I find abandoned buildings interesting. The idea that people lived, worked or played inside the now quiet walls is fascinating. These people had hopes, dreams, ideas, love, etc.--and the structures were a big part of their lives--and now it has all been left to decay. If only the walls could talk they would have lots of stories to tell. And sometimes the walls do talk, metaphorically.

I wonder about the stories. Why was the structure built? What was it used for and who used it? Why was it abandoned? Does anyone have memories of the place that they recall from time-to-time?
Broken Souls - Newberry Springs, California
The decay and destruction is also interesting. In our society everything is new, or if it isn't new it has been refurbished. Unless it is in a museum, we don't like old things. It goes against culture. Old things get thrown away. Abandoned buildings are the opposite of what our culture says should be interesting. In a way, exploring and photographing abandoned buildings is my rebellion against society.

You never know what you'll find inside of an old and forgotten place. Relics of generations gone can be found inside some abandoned buildings. I've found everything from old kid toys to an antique travel trailer to everything imaginable in between. You might be surprised at what people don't take with them.

And, perhaps, abandoned buildings are metaphors. Perhaps we all end as empty, forgotten shells. Maybe these places represent what we all will eventually become.

As you can see, the answer to the question of why I explore and photograph abandoned buildings isn't all that simple. The answer just brings more questions, and the feeling that the answer isn't sufficient. Perhaps the best and most simple answer is found in my photographs--maybe they bring an understanding to this whole thing. Or maybe they add to the mystery.

No comments:

Post a Comment