Sunday, April 23, 2017

Nostalgia..... or the old houses that I have found

Winter was not particularly fun this year.
 I did not manage to get out on my snow shoes- thank you to my broken toe for that one.  I only got to Bayfield a couple times, and I was stuck in a funk that sucked my soul dry.  Most people have no idea this happened, as i was pretty  much acting like myself most of the time.  But I got stressed out so easily, I was so emotional when I was away from people (I spent a lot of time trying not to fall apart), and really I just didn't feel like moving.  And then there was the play.... 

Turns out this is a shed a friends Great Grandpa lived in for a while back in the day

The hidden side of life

And consequently I went for probably a month without taking photos.  This is never good- I get my energy off of this "hobby" of mine. And as shown in my last post, I began taking pictures and for some reason I decided to go after abandoned houses of the area.  The reason among other more personal things is that this subject really stretches your abilities- and is a challenge.  These are not traditionally "pretty", so you  don't take them on like many subjects.You have to think about how to best compose the photos, straight on, to the side, from a low angle.... what lighting, what about inside?  I rarely go inside of the houses because I value my life and limbs, however sometimes if it is the right situation, that is an amazingly satisfying thing to do.  Up here, there are not a lot of big abandoned farm houses and Victorian mansions- there are a lot of small houses that people eked out an existence up here in the 20th century, it was not an easy life.

Quickly breaking down

One of the rare Victorians left from the turn of the 20th century

North side of the stone house

Of course you all know that I have a history of photographing old houses anyway- the stone house and its partner across the road have been subject of mine for about 10 years.  But with the urging and directions from a friend, I discovered the schoolhouse up near Cornucopia and that sort of planted the seed of exploration.

Abandoned school house that sparked the fire

In late March I decided that I needed to get out of the house and do something creative.  I knew my lull had to come to an end, so I went up to Butternut and shot the old Victorian that is sitting right on the highway.  It was sort of magical, I went and shot a couple other little places that day.  I then started asking people if they knew of abandoned houses, and you know what?  People don't notice them, so no one knows where they are at first.  This is frustrating, but I keep nudging at people until they start to think.
The textures of the paint, the curtains and trees growing in front of the door are so compelling

And now we know why it is still here

Fortunately I KNEW that the Mad-Barber would be a great source of information and indeed we went on a very satisfying road trip to the north a bit one afternoon and that was quite fantastic.  I think we found 5 places, including a very cool car at one place that wasn't all that interesting.  I had a friend take me to two abandoned cabins- more on that later- and the MA and I finally were able to get out and about and we found some together too.  Good stuff!

This is hidden by brush much of the summer

The things that people discard is incredible
Would a new tire help?
So speaking of abandoned cabin- I have had some incredible responses to these photos.  Which was very exciting but also a bit surprising!  What was real surprising was the fact that I had 4 people want to buy prints from me- 4!  WUT??  This is my passion and creative outlet and obsession, but I never truly imagined selling anything.  So, yeah.  I am still a bit stunned by this.  

Little cabin in the woods.....
An edit of this is being printed- a few times

I have an unreasonable love for this

Anyway, that has been my thing for the last few weeks- I have been shooting old stuff.  And fortunately so far avoiding wood ticks.  It was nice that we had a couple days off right after the play, I got lots of good shots those days- it is nice to have time beyond the weekend to really be able to spend a proper amount of energy on fewer locations.  

It's a Jeep!

Old garage in an alley in Fifeld

And yes I have a few more places in mind!  :D  And I have another post about these places and objects as well, but that might have to wait for a day or two.

Be sure to find your joy this spring, no matter the weather, no matter the people who want to keep you from it.  Summer is coming people, hang in there! 
Behind the Stone House 

Up to it's axles in grass

Come on in 

Watch your step


The stories it still holds

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