Friday, September 23, 2011

Hauntingly Familiar

(Snapped on 9/19/11)

Well folks? The weather's been getting just a wee, little teeeeensy bit cooler around here. And ya' wanna know what the best part about that is? All of those icky snakes, and other scary, wild critters that inhabit the creepy old houses where I love to stage my shoots - will be hunkering down soon, in preparation for winter's hibernation period. Which means, I'll be far less likely to startle them (and vice versa) as they become more and more sluggish and inactive (at least...that's what I like to tell myself...) 

Let the abandoned house shoots recommence!

(Snapped on 9/19/11)

On a side note, this past weekend was far and away the best one I've had in absolutely ages (can I just tell you how badly I needed it?) The only problem was - it yielded no new pictures about which to write. And so by Monday, to say that I was feeling a bit fidgety - would definitely have been quite the understatement. I knew that I had to snap some pictures, and fast - if I was to publish a blog post on time.

Once again, I relied on the cache of Instagram pics. (stowed in neat, little files on my Mac) to give me a nudge towards determining a venue, as well as prompting a viable idea. And just as I'd hoped, I came across a set that triggered a totally doable plan. 

Because I was pinched for time that morning, I'd wanted to avoid venturing too far away from home (so I could get to my destination in a quick) or work (since I'd be going there straight from my shoot) - whereby maximizing the time that I'd be able to devote to my pics.. Like a gift from above, the Instagram snaps that immediately jumped off the screen at me - harkened back to my discovery of a classic, American ruin - conveniently situated on an overgrown lot, about a mile up the lane from my house, and on the same path that I travel to get to work. I had photographed the exterior of the crusty, old house - one snowy day, last nine year old daughter in tow. And had been tempted (but for her safety) resisted introducing her to the thrill that would predictably accompany scuttling through the building's busted-out windows, in order to explore it's presumably dilapidated interior.

(Snapped on 9/19/11)

Last Monday though, I was flyin' solo - and was beyond excited (plus the right amount of nervous) to finally have the chance to climb over the collapsed porch roof, and in through the broken window. Once my feet touched the floor, I was overcome with that queer but familiar sensation - specific only to the abandoned houses that I enter - a feeling somewhat akin to the saying, "It's good to be back home again". Not literally, as in - being back in my own home (obviously) - but more that feeling of bliss to be back in the type of environment, where I believe I've gotten some of my better self-shots. 

Humming along at a productive pace (all the while keeping my eye on the clock), I had just started to get to that euphoric stage where things really begin to click nicely (think - runners' high of the self-portrait artist) - when all of a sudden, my camera shut down unexpectedly. I was like, "Wait, wha?!" There was no way that the battery had died already, as I had fully charged it before leaving my house, at that point - I was only like 90 frames in...and - I was able to turn the sucker back on and view the last picture that I'd snapped - but as soon as I tried to set the timer, the blasted thing turned off again...hmmmm...

After removing the battery and trying numerous times to get the camera functioning properly (to no avail) I had no other choice but to throw in the towel. 

You guys are probably gonna think this sounds crazy, but I kinda got the feeling that the old house was telling me that I'd overstayed my welcome, and that it was time for me to I did. But. Since I hadn't gotten nearly all of the pictures that I'd wanted, I decided to go back that night to snap even more. I left my battery on the charger for the entire time that I was at work, so there'd be no way in hell the thing would fail me again.

I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty damn spooky entering the old house in pitch black dark. I did have my flashlight, but since I didn't want the neighbors to be alarmed by a suspicious light in the long-forgotten house, I shone it down and super close to the ground. After I gingerly made my way up to the second floor, having incited no sleeping animals to attack me (thankfully) - I switched gears from bein' a-feared - to getting my butt straight to work.

This time I fired off only 69 pics., before something else inexplicable happened. I went to set the timer, and the camera alerted me that I had no more memory on the card, which wasn't a big deal because all I had to do - was delete one or two older sets of pics.. But just as I was about to do that, something small but solid (like maybe the size of a marble?) hit me dead center on the kneecap, really hard! I took the hint right away, got dressed, packed my things, thanked the old house, and skeedaddled outta there in a hurry.

(Snapped on 9/20/11)

Perhaps not surprisingly, I still hadn't had my fill of that old house. So the next day, after work - I made myself right at home there, one more time. 

I started out by messin' around on the small set of hay-covered stairs - but it was so hard on my poor, old, aged body - that I couldn't stand more than a puny thirty tries. (wuss)

(Snapped on 9/20/11)

I'd had every intention of posing in both of the upper level rooms, but wouldn't you know it - after setting the timer and getting into pose, a scant 53 times that day - my camera did the thing where it shuts off for no reason...and just like the last time, I never could convince it to cooperate. 

Nevertheless, after sitting at my computer and poring over the spoils begot from all three of my trips to that fantastic old house - I was tickled with enough of the images to consider the place to be a truly lucky find...and even though the old house clearly indicated on each of my three separate visits, that it didn't particularly appreciate my presence - I'm just so relieved that it allowed me to find myself back in my very most favorite element…for a few brief, but productive moments.


  1. And I thought I was brave all in the woods alone but it was daylight and there were definitely not any critters unless you count my dog.

    I love the stairs picture by the way....


  2. You still blow me away with your amazing photograghs hon - and your bravery! Your third pic is one of my favourites for the month, too.

    xx Dee

  3. @Molly - I don't know if "brave" is the best word to describe what I am...I'm thinking something more along the lines of, "complete nut job"? Haha!

    Anyway, I'm so happy to hear that you like the stairs pic....that whole series was pretty tough to shoulders and back were so cut up afterwards, it was borderline gross...

  4. @Curvaceous Dee - YAAAAAY! Thank You so MUCH, Dee!!! YOU still blow ME away with the benevolence that you consistently bestow upon this lowly fellow ya', Gal!