During the hours of darkness, Calvary Cemetery is an island of shadow surrounded by the brightly lit boroughs of New York City. Two of the busiest highways in the area cradle the oldest section of the cemetery, but the din of the traffic is somewhat muted by the thousands of headstones and monuments which rise up like weeds competing for sunlight. Calvary is one of the oldest cemeteries in the United States, and with about three million interments, also the largest. On this particular moonless night, multiple layers of clouds swept through the atmosphere and created some beautiful scenes as the city lights bounced off their undersides.
Anything and everything else related to Opacity.
After 12 years of photographing hundreds of rotting buildings, I've finally found myself on the other side of the table as owner! I've been working with a team of amazing artists, fabricators, and innovators on restoring a historic building in Detroit that had been disused for over 20 years. Our plan is to bring the building back from the throes of ultimate decay to become a public museum of curiosity called Seafoam Palace.
As one of the rewards ($250 or more), I'm offering limited edition prints of one of the most beautiful scenes I've witnessed - the front entrance of an abandoned psychiatric hospital I found in Italy...
Well hello again! As some of you have known, I needed to take a much-needed hiatus from working on photography and this site. Finding a full time job again, having to move, renovating homes... the list goes on and on. I was never in a European prison - some people have nothing better to do and try to undermine others to feel important.
Now that things have settled a bit, I hope to clean the place up a bit and start posting again on a regular basis. I hope you've all had a good 2012!
A few recent photos of the Lowe's Kings Theatre in Brooklyn NY, which closed in 1977. It is slated to become a performing arts center by 2014, and restored to its original 1929 appearance.
We passed by a small cemetery just south of Geneva NY (by chance) as the sun was setting, and spotted a small chapel-like structure that seemed a bit worse for wear. A quick peek inside revealed spaces packed full of junk; the tight crawl inside didn't seem worth it. We wandered into the cemetery, which was full of deer, darting back into the woods upon our presence. Some of the stones almost began to glow as the moon rose... so we grabbed our cameras.
We stood in an empty street among an expanse of empty apartments in New Orleans, listening to the stillness that surrounded us. The Desire neighborhood in the 9th Ward was almost completely obliterated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. From some vantage points it was possible to have a 360° view of absolute vacancy. A shiny barbed wire fence stretched along the blight, but the gates were left swinging in the cold January breeze.
Officially dedicated in 1839, the Greenmount Cemetery in Baltimore is the final resting place to over 65,000 people. It was modeled after the Mount Auburn cemetery in Boston, which started the rural or garden cemetery movement in the United States. Rural cemeteries were intended for public enjoyment before the widespread development of public parks. Greenmount is a fine example of funerary architecture and sculpture that has been long lost in contemporary times...
Visiting some of the large industrial sites in Germany left quite an impression on me, as many had been converted into parks and museums open to the general public. I remember asking, "how could this be?" I was astounded to see these massive, decaying brownfields turned into centers of culture, amusement, and thriving businesses. In the United States, it seems like most of these kinds of places are the exact opposite, unless the existing structures have been completely leveled and remediated.
While exploring some places in Mississippi, we came across this decrepit sign for Royal Land - an amusement park that has been closed since the 1970s. When I returned home I wanted to know more about it, and found this wonderful history...
We had planned to hit up the old American Brewery in Baltimore a few years back, but sometimes it's a wiser decision to stay out. The exterior of the building was beautiful, but upon stepping inside one of the gaping holes, it was clear we were not alone... some murmuring was silenced, and a shuffling sound emanated from deep inside the black space. Bad vibes. Never made it back to shoot the inside... ah, well. Heading down the street, a dark castle-like facade rose from the top of a nearby hill. Bright white letters read "Baltimore Cemetery" across the stone, but the cemetery definitely looked very old, and appeared a bit "distressed" as we cruised through.