Thursday, April 7, 2011

T'Ain't Nothin' But a Blip on the Screen

(All pics. snapped on 3/14/11)

I hope it's not too much to ask of you guys, to please bear with me while I crank out yet another couple of entries in my ongoing "abandoned house pics." series. I realize that I could be on the brink of belaboring the point altogether by essentially running this concept into the ground...but this is a phase, man...could be my "Blue Period" (or something like that) ya' never know! Anyway, I've already decided that we're gonna work through it, before moving on to that which shall eventually come next.

However, in the interest of assuring you that this shan't go on indefinitely, I will tell you that my three most recent shoots have had nothing to do with abandoned houses. And although I could jump ahead and write about my newest self-portraits instead - I'm definitely a fussbudget about trying to keep things chronological. It seems to be the best way to gauge if I'm progressing in my work, or (heaven forbid) getting stuck in another dreadful rut. 

I guess what concerns me about all of this, is that many of you there on the outside looking into these derelict buildings through my photos only - might be bored with the relinquished homes that I've been showcasing in my self-portraits, because of their obvious similarities. In other words - what if to you, my pics. and the settings are starting to all look the same? What I'm afraid might not be evident to anyone besides me, is that each house does have its own distinctly unique qualities...and each one arouses certain different emotions. The problem is, it's hard for me to know if any of that translates through my pictures to you - my readers...or if all you guys see is just another bunged-up dump, and a slight variation in my characters and poses.

Thing is, most of the old houses that I creep around in, literally zap me with some sort of heavy-duty vibe - usually threatening or inviting, and not much in between. But in the case of the house seen in this post, what I felt right away, wasn't necessarily an intense emotional response - but rather - fear for my physical well-being. Matter of fact, the house is in such ill-repair - the first time I went there, I was too chicken to enter it at all. It actually wasn't until my third visit, that I was brave (stupid?) enough to climb the rickety stairs leading to the sketchy second floor.

It's one thing to worry about simply falling through rotten floorboards - maybe just a few feet into a crawl space or even to the lower floor - 7 or 8 feet below...but quite another thing to wonder if one little misstep, might bring the floor, the walls and the roof crashing down. I'm no expert in structural engineering, but when half of the entire second floor slopes a good coupla feet out of plumb - clearly there's a serious problem. And when the actual floor itself is obscured by carpets and furniture and heaps of old clothes - it's impossible to know if or where - any booby traps might be hiding. And yet, despite my apprehension about toppling the tiny house, I proceeded with my plan to begin shooting upstairs - with the creepy, legless doll which I'd found and photographed another time before.

Having made it safely through what I assumed would be the most agitating shoot of the day, I had to press my luck just a leetle bit more, cuz I was itchin' to take a few snaps with my phone. I nervously waded through an ocean of crap, which flooded the floor in that part of the house that was tipped up on one side like the sinking Titanic. The house didn't capsize (smirk), and I did get my pics.. 

Next, I went back downstairs and celebrated keeping the house intact - by treating myself to the less stressful nightgown pics. ^...less stressful meaning - I knew that I wouldn't break the house while I was takin' 'em...but still sorta stressful because there was something living in that mattress (I kid you not) and every time I lay down on top of it, my belly was parked by the critter's front door...*shiver*

Ok so - I asked my good girlfriend (who had dinner here, last night) if the photo above, too closely resembles the first pic. in my last blog entry. She said, "No" so I decided to post it. But she also threw in - that she didn't really like it...cuz for her, it's too dark and somber (what a lightweight). And then I thought, "More somber than the other one? freakin' way", but before I had time to grill her about it, she commented on a different picture. She told me that she really liked the last pic. in the previous post...and when I asked her why - she said, "Because. It shows you in motion." 

Now this made me realize that on top of having (possibly) exhausted the old house theme, it has been awhile since I've done anything interesting with movement. Hmmm...Maybe now that the weather is swiftly improving, I should hurry up and get back to shooting outdoors. Outside, the light facilitates doing more with my body than simply posing as still as a statue (something I've been doing a lot of, lately - since I never use a flash indoors)

In any case, when I finally wrapped this shoot, I was shocked to discover that I'd been insida that house taking pictures for two hours straight. Two hours isn't much in the grand scheme of a day, but it's a long time to crawl around in someone's nasty trash...curiously though, it only felt like a blip. 

And on that note, I'm out. But I want you to know - once this abandoned house nonsense is finally behind us? It too shall feel like a the grand scheme of The Big Ugly, that is...


  1. I'm really enjoying the abandoned buildings series, and not at all anxious to see it end.

  2. Great job again!! You have some big cojones to be able to wander into some of those old homes, not knowing if the floors are strong enough to handle any weight at all?? Let's not forget of the possible critters that can be hanging around to scare the hell out of careful and keep it coming!!!

  3. @Steve - I am SO glad to hear you say that! It's probably pretty obvious to people - how much I LOVE to slink around in old houses for the sake of my pics....and I do feel like the entries that I write about them, are at least a little bit different from one another...but I typically don't know what my readers think about all that. Soooo...THANK You for casting a YES vote for the abandoned house theme! I have only one more series of old house pics. to write about for now, and then I'll switch it up and talk about something else. But this is something that I'm CERtain I will regularly revisit...Thanks so much for comin' here!

    @AMC - Oh, I KNOW! Critters are a big part of why I'm gonna take this short break from shooting inside of old houses...and it's not just the furry ones that worry me...I am morbidly afraid of snakes...*shudder*

  4. Excellent work (again)! I'm particularly taken with the light in the second image. Don't take this wrong, but the fourth image reminds me that you have the ability to cut your eyes so far around that they look really freaky... like you're wearing white contacts or something.

    As for the old house settings, I've always loved shooting in settings like that! Please keep it up!

  5. @Steve Mouzon - Thank You, Steve! Oh and, don't worry - I definitely didn't take it the wrong fact - those creepy eyeballs were one of the main reasons that I deCIDed on that particular shot (I kinda dig "creepy")

    I really have fallen in love with shooting in old houses...and even though I've loosely promised to curtail my activities in them, I'm already plotting a couple more abandoned house shoots...I'm afraid that I may be addicted...

  6. Please don't stop the old house type image. I am bowled over by the this series and especially with the last shot on this entry. The hunted look in your eyes just does it for me... I can feel the fear!
    As always, I am astounded with what you can do in 10 seconds. I find myself wondering just how you manage your shots in the time available.

  7. @Adrian - Hey there! Thanks so much for comin' here!

    Right so, no chance that I'll give up the old house thing entirely...I spent the last two days shooting in a couple of fanTAStic abandoned houses. Apparently, I love them too much to abandon them myself :)