The 52 Project, Week 7: The Abandoned House

Closing in on the 2 month mark with The 52 Project, I still don't feel like I'm hunting around for things to shoot. If anything else, I'm growing more and more confident in finding a single subject to "spend" a roll of film on. This week's installment, the abandoned house, is something I've wanted to explore at a close distance for nearly 10 years.

Ever since moving to rural Deshler, OH in 2000, I've driven by this ominous looking house along State Route 235 nearly every day of my life. I'd always wondered what laid within, but not until I was driving by a few weeks ago did I consider just pulling over, going in, and making a shoot of it. And here it is. 


I like how the house has an "angry" face.


Scan 1: Angry House

I've never been much of a landscape guy, and in my photos, it has to show. The lines aren't quite there, nor are all the elements of the house. From a landscape point of view, it's not that hot a photo. But from a portrait photographer's point of view, the expression in this "portrait" is spot on.




And through the front door you can see...



Scan 2: Rooms Falling Apart

Like the caption states, as you walk through the front door, you're greeted with destruction. Three floors worth of neglected property are tumbling down around you. Certainly in its day, this was quite a house; right now though, I'm still pretty awestruck.




This doll is too creepy for words.



Scan 3: The Creepy Doll

While originally composing this shot, I was trying to focus on the unique forms displayed by the stripped stairs and falling ceiling. By the second frame, I was knocked back by the eerie little doll left at the foot of the stairs. Including the original idea with this terrifying toy was only natural.




Note to self, frame within a frame works.


Scan 4: Through Shattered Glass

You can see a bit of this image through Scan 2, but the framing conveys a completely different mood. Seeing as this whole roll was an experiment in "things I barely ever do", I thought "oh what the hell" and tried framing something within its own frame. The Hasselblad's ability to naturally vignette and soften the corners definitley helped.


 Something Good: I went outside the box this week, and in a few ways. I never usually trespass for the sake of photos, I never usually shoot landscapes, and I've never shot expired film. For the most part, it looks like going outside my comfort zone paid off.

Something Bad: The film was expired, and doesn't quite react like perfectly good film. Once a film has been sitting in your fridge for more than few years, there's no guarantee that the film will display its typical properties. The starting film was 160NC, and it largely acted as such, but there were a few exceptions. I typically overexpose by 1/3 stop just for good measure, but apparently a little overexposure in this expired stock from 2005/2006 just blows way, way out.

Something Learned: Intense care for your expired film is key. Looking a little more into my exposure problems, there are numerous precautions to take when shooting more "unstable" films. Live and learn; hopefully the latter, though, because I've got 29 more rolls of this stuff. x___x

Next Week: I just got back a batch of 5 rolls of film and have some major catching up to do. Not sure what it'll be from, but there's a good chance it'll be grainy film or expired film. No matter, they all look good.