While Nature Photography has been my main focus (pun intended), there are other subjects that attract my attention as well.
For example, you may have seen the results of my photographing my jewelry creations (“Rings & Things”), but now we turn to old, falling-down, abandoned structures on the way to being re-claimed by Nature.
Some of my earliest memories involve exploring and checking out new houses under construction. Now, as a “Senior Citizen,” I find myself drawn to and poking amongst the rubble of those situations where the encroachment of Nature into the decaying works of Man can make for some exciting, dynamic, and novel juxtapositions.
I guess what I find most fascinating about this subject matter is that if the “re-configuration” of Nature by Man hasn’t been too severe, how Nature eventually overtakes the puny works oi Man and “wins” in the end.
Often there will be fences to be climbed (or as my old man used to say: “A fence can’t stop you; it can only slow you down”), or “No Trespassing” signs to be ignored. If you’re challenged, the fact that you’re doing photography may help to keep you out of trouble.
Falling-down farm buildings are an obvious choice, but just about any type of structure will do. The “Silo Interior” is a good example of this.
After checking outside possible compositions, see if it’s possible to enter the structure without risking life or limb; sometimes doors will be locked and windows boarded-up. More than once I’ve had to gain entry by climbing through a window. Recently I had to work out a way to get to the second story without stairs.
Once inside, be damn careful: it could be more than embarrassing to go through rotten flooring. Sometimes you might encounter animal occupants. Move slowly and carefully, always keeping an eye on where you’re stepping. Not a bad idea to be up to date with your Tetanus shot. Afterwards, check yourself for ticks. For the most part I’m looking for door and window compositions that frame the outside world. My camera (Canon G-12) has a built-in level and grid and I use them. All hand-held.
Warren Krupsaw, a one-time student (and house guest) of Ansel Adams is a nature photographer concentrating on landscape & detail. After participating in the first year of a new graduate program in Photography at M.I.T. with Minor White, he earned his M.F.A. in Photography under Harry Callahan at the R.I.S.D. in 1968.
Book: Portraits of Passion and Other Dalliances