I’ve experienced some interesting things over the years I have spent photographing abandoned, or historic places. I’ve had the opportunity to photograph world famous boxer Mike Tyson’s former home. I’ve wandered the halls of some of the country’s largest and oldest insane asylums that hold some of the darkest histories. I’ve visited the interesting town of Spectre from the film Big Fish (yes, it does exist.) I’ve wandered the halls and field of one of the country’s largest football stadiums ever built. But among all of the things I have captured, and continue to capture, some of my favorite scenes will always be those where nature has invited itself into or onto a structure, taking it over entirely.
Imagine one of the places I had mentioned above. Imagine it in its prime of life, the way you would normally see it. Now fast forward and flip to an alternate reality, and we have carpet replaced by moss, and ivy hugging tightly to window panes until finally bursting through the glass, winding throughout rooms. We all visit restaurants and diners, gas stations, stadiums, hospitals and clinics, schools and more. But how often is it that we visit one of those places, and find a tree growing through the table?
The contrast between life and death shown through something as simple as the living room inside of an abandoned home; I think that’s what draws me to scenes like this. There’s that old saying “you have to be able to find the light in the darkness,” or whatever other hundreds of variations you can come up with for it. I know, it’s an overused and cliche phrase at this point, but I’ve always enjoyed heavy contrasts in art, and this is probably one of the better sayings to describe that exact type of contrast. Then you have that whole “one man’s trash in another man’s treasure.” Well, that one man’s (or woman’s) trash became worn down, decrepit and dark, but years later, that darkness is now being beautifully contrasted by brightness of nature making its way into a place that it would not normally be seen. That’s what I find so interesting about it. Someone just left something to rot, but nature came in, and created a beautiful work of art from it. Nature paints the most beautiful pictures.
I wanted to share some of my favorite examples of this that I have photographed: