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Fascinations with Decay

Urbex.....or urban exploration, is a developing interest of mine. It is the practice of exploring abandoned houses, factories, public buildings and other structures to simply find what's interesting inside -- often documenting the experience via photos and videos. The intent among practitioners to leave the properties exactly as they find them -- eyes only, though the practice is a bit clandestine -- first to elude security who, for safety reasons, clearly don't want you on their property, and second, to help preserve sites and locations from potential vandals. There is a lot of debate as to whether one should seek permission first, though admittedly, as anyone who explores the exterior and then finds interior access, will generally take it. It's a fascinating world, but potentially dangerous as these structures can be unstable, inhabited by animals or humans, or pose potential health risks from inhalation of chemical and dust particulates. Going with a well-trained group is advised. Photographically, these subjects lend themselves well to great presentations in light, color, pattern and textures, that can often be shown as hauntingly beautiful if the conditions are right. For me, these subject can often represent a shift in balance between time, man and nature, as the Earth reclaims these structures, absorbing their history, and ultimately reducing man's presence to the dust of time. My stepson, Taylor, and I attempted to photograph American Flats in Virginia City, but found the site was secured due to pending demolition. I later discovered interior locations at the historic Bodie, a

ghost town in northern California, and in Sparks, NV, at the old railroad warehouse, where this shot was taken through a already broken window. I have since been exploring similar properties in Colorado.

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