If you haven't noticed, I like photographing old, dilapidated things (except my clients-- you're all beautiful). Buildings and cars are my two favorites.
I was driving home from a fun night of Oktoberfestivities in Helen, Ga, and passed this junkyard that I slammed on the brakes for. I immediately made a plan to go back to it two days later, camera in hand. The following shots are from this series.
Obviously, I went a little crazy in this bus... but what's not to love? First off, it was so cool on the inside, with the vines taking over the steering wheel and cobwebs slung from seat to seat. But most of all, as I walked to the back of this old bus, I couldn't help but think of what may have happened inside. Who sat in those seats and whose lives were once affected by the days in which segregation ruled the south? I, myself, took a seat in the back row for a couple of minutes to reflect on this and to thank God for the blessings we have now, living in a country in which each and every human being has equal rights.
The hundreds of old cars and trucks stacked on top of one another, falling over, with busted windows and bullet wounds made for some of the most interesting photos on this excursion. All the paint, once shiny and new, is chipped off and leaves have blanketed them, hiding their scars.
This last photo is one of my favorites from the junkyard. My dad worked for Ford Motor Company for 38 years and my sister followed in his footsteps until they both had to take buyouts when the company found itself in trouble. The photo below reminds me of the classic all-American beauty of a Ford and what that company has meant in my life.
When I find an incredible location like the John B Gordon School, I can't just visit it only once. The same goes for many of the pieces of history I've stumbled upon in my searches for decay and photo ops. I won't write much, as I think I adequately expressed my feelings for the location best in my previous blog about it, "The End of Education". This time, I'll simply share some of the photos I've captured in my recent visits and the few new experiences I've had the pleasure to have there.
Last time I went, I only explored the bottom floor and the auditorium. I wanted to go upstairs, but I'd gotten kind of freaked out and decided that I should go with my gut and head out for the day. So it had been my goal to get back there and see the second floor. The upstairs was surprisingly much different from the downstairs in terms of feel. I realized afterward that I took A LOT of photos in bathrooms (I didn't see any bathrooms downstairs), which is kind of odd. But to top it off, each time I went back, I found a big teddy bear in a new location. There was something very sad about the teddy bear. Who's was it? Was it loved by someone? Maybe he belonged to a child at the school. Maybe someone just planted him there. Whichever way, he certainly made for some great photos... both funny and touching, depending on the day's shot. The two above (I couldn't pick which I liked better), with him sitting on the floor of a classroom, I took for my dear friend, Jamie. And he knows why (love you, Jamie). I'm so glad I found it for this reason. The following teddy bear shot... well, you'll just have to page down to see it!
The two below may be the last two of just classrooms before you get
Now, time for a potty break...
Aw. Poor little guy.
I'll probably make another trip back to the school as the seasons change and the leaves turn vibrant colors or snowflakes dance their way through the cracks in the windows, but for now, I feel really good about the bit of history I've been able to document for East Atlanta.
Thank you to all of you who visit my page and explore right alongside me.
After my last little adventure to Pullman Train Yard, I found something out about myself. I have an addiction. An addiction to exploring urban decay. I can't really explain it, but it's got to be a combination of history, amazing light and the chance of something jumping out that gives me a little adrenaline rush. The reasons don't matter. The photographic memories of said adventures are my trophies from the day and I'm so proud to be able to share them with you guys.
This collection of photos is from the John B Gordon school in East Atlanta, built in 1909. This was an elementary school which shut its doors in 1995. Now, urban explorers like myself can explore the dark halls, dilapidated classrooms and strangely hopeful auditorium of its ruins.
This first part of the collection includes several photos of the auditorium. I love how the shy light peeking through the windows came to my rescue and made for a series of perfect shots.
Moving from the auditorium to some classrooms...
Below is a series of photos of the classrooms, where the lights have fallen to the floor, snaking across the areas where children once sat at their desks. I love how the metal structures' shadows are cast around the rooms.
Onto the hallways.
This first photo below, "Fear", is probably my favorite in the whole collection from the John B Gordon school, for obvious reasons.
Here are a few random photos of details and doorways in the building that I found intriguing...
And finally, a self portrait...
I hardly know where to begin when I talk about Pullman Train Yard. I suppose I'll start at the beginning of my love affair with it. About a year and a half ago, I was doing a photoshoot for a friend of mine near the Krog Street Tunnel. We were driving around the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta for the afternoon and I noticed these massive structures in the distance. They were over 100 years old and dilapidated, with broken out windows and graffiti galore. The bricks looked like they were holding on for dear life. The buildings called to me. I have always loved exploring and photographing old things and this seemed like the ultimate find within the city limits of Atlanta. Not having time to photograph it that day, I filed away my plans for a not-so-rainy day.
I went back to Pullman this past fall, but was greeted by a police officer, guarding the premises. He told me that they were running security the area for the next couple months because a production company was about to start filming on the property. I, being a curious little thing, did my research and found out that "Catching Fire", the second film in "The Hunger Games" series, would be filming there. Looks to me like it might be some scenes from District 12... but that's only speculation.
So, I finally returned this past weekend with my friend, Emily. We found our way in, past the fences and "keep out" signs, to discover a forgotten world. As amazing as I thought Pullman was from the outside, I was still surprised and giddy to find the damp, eerie interior to be equally as haunting and glorious.
This is only installment one of my Pullman Train Yard trip, as I need to return, armed with some other photography equipment, to get all the shots I imagined. Enjoy a little slice of Atlanta's history.
I had a little fun of my own in this photo...
Check back soon for the next installment of photos from this mysterious location!
Most people who know me have already seen these photos, but I decided I needed to share them with you guys too. I call this collection The Buggy Project. The day I found this gem of a junkyard was one of the best ever... it was just a typical spring day, doing a photoshoot for a music artist in North Georgia. We had spotted a couple buggies out front of a shack the day earlier and decided we needed to go back to do a shoot in front of them. This, in and of itself, was exciting to me... but once we went back and had done several photos in the front, I serendipitously stumbled upon an entire buggy graveyard behind the shack. I hadn't noticed it at first because it was shrouded by trees and brush, but once I caught a brief glimpse of the buried treasure, I investigated further. Lo and behold, I found dozens of brightly colored old VW Beetles and the like, completely dilapidated, with trees growing up through them and vines covering their bodies. It was breathtaking. I did a happy dance, went picture crazy... and this is what came out of it...
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