Sunday, June 29, 2008

on the verge of falling down @bemus point (polaroid 1200si)

On a trip to scenic Western New York a few years ago, I stopped by Bemus Point with my brother in the early morning to take some photographs. While most of the village is in decent shape, I found this delapidated building, which is one of my favorite shots from the trip.

This was taken with my now useless (as they no longer make film for it) Polaroid 1200si.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

yuppie ghetto @atlantic station (nikon d70)

In the days of way back, Atlantic Steel had a plant in Atlanta, just north of downtown. After the Japanese destroyed the steel industry in the United States, the land lay empty and vacant for decades.

In the late 1990s, a Georgia Tech student came up with the bright idea of turning the Atlantic Steel site into a mixed use development. Allow me to translate - mixed use development is urban planner speak for outdoor shopping mall with the same bland chain stores as every other center and cookie cutter vertical trailer parks filled with young professionals. While the initial idea of recycling the prime land Atlantic Steel sat on was good, the results are lame.

On the way to Atlantic station, I passed through an industrial area in the process of revitalizing organically with much better and more interesting results. That is where I found an abandoned table and chair. Behind the fence is the site of a former lead smelting plant, which sits just north of Atlantic Station.

A standard feature of Atlantic Station is the generic faux luxury apartment complex. Every single apartment complex in Atlanta is marketed as luxury, to the point the term has lost all meaning. This one was just completed at the time I made my journey and offering specials to prospective renters. One more shot of the faux luxury apartments.

No master planned development would be complete without incredibly boring and inoffensive public art. There is a companion piece across the street, but this is the better flick by far.

In addition to apartments, the corporate overlords who planned Atlantic Station included a generic soft loft development, which is condominiums. Soft lofts are marketing department speak for generic condominiums finished to look like sort of like lofts (e.g. they might include concrete floors and high ceilings). The idea is to leverage the cachet of actual loft conversions from warehouses and other industrial uses, without the effort or investment of rehabilitating existing buildings.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

revitalization @castleberry hill (nikon d70)

A year and a half ago, a friend of mine emailed me some promotional material for a condominium development in Castleberry Hill. My thoughts were, that's nice, but who wants to live in the ghetto? However, I figured there would be plenty of decay to photograph, so I headed down on a Sunday evening. After parking on Walker Street, I was shocked to find two new restaurants.

I also discovered and took this Mr. Fangs photograph. Soon after, I found and shot another Mr. Fangs flick. The first Mr. Fangs has since been rolled over by cretins. With restaurants and Mr. Fangs, the attractiveness of the ghetto as a place to live was increasing exponentially.

However, every proper shady residential area needs an original sub-prime lender, and in this case, the Fulton Loan Company purveys only the finest in stolen goods to discriminating customers.

And what's a gentrifying area without warehouses converted to lofts? I took this photograph of a loft conversion towards the end of my trip. Then I headed to my favorite local coffee shop.

After relaxing at Octane and reviewing my flicks over a cup of java - and surreptitiously admiring the barista, I headed home. On the way, I got lucky and caught this Empty and companion Last in some dope late evening light.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

even more dilapidated buildings and a junkyard @grantville (nikon d70)

A few years ago, I got up early on Thanksgiving day and headed down to Grantville, Georgia. I intended to explore the inside of the old cotton warehouse and figured no one would be around to bother me at that hour on a holiday.

Prior to visiting the warehouse, I snapped a few pictures of buildings in the downtown. One of my favorites is this photograph of an antique store.

While there is a lock on the door of the cotton warehouse facing the street, around back I discovered a gaping hole in the wall. Inside what remains of the warehouse, the roof and floor are completely gone, is a junkyard. Among old refrigerators and other debris, I found a first generation Honda CVCC and a station wagon of unknown make. Interestingly, the CVCC was a more upscale model than my family owned - ours did not come with luxuries such as a tachometer. The cargo area of the station wagon contained a large piece of what appeared to be electronic equipment, the function of which I could not determine. Because the walls were blocking most of the sunlight, I used a remote SB-800 to add some light to both flicks of the cars.

After finishing up in the junkyard, I wandered down the street. A City of Grantville cop car pulled up and parked at the old train depot. The pig was quite obviously watching me, and followed me for a ways after I got in my car and pulled out. Much to my surprise, he did not pull me over and gratuitously Taser me.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

a chair, a plymouth, and ruins @oakhurst (nikon d70)

In the fall of 2006, I attended an oyster festival at Steinbeck's in Oakhurst, Georgia, with a couple of friends. While there, I made a mental note that Oakhurst might be the kind of place worth photographing sometime. Then I proceeded to get crocked.

Mulligan's was a bar in Oakhurst famous for serving the Lutherburger - a cheesburger with an egg on it, served on Krispy Kreme donuts instead of bread. By the time I got to Oakhurst, the establishment had closed, so I wandered around back to see what I could find. I was rewarded with an abandoned chair behind the former Mulligan's. There wasn't enough light on the chair to suit me, so I used an SB-800 left of the camera to throw a little more on it.

After hitting Mulligan's, I tooled around Oakhurst looking for more interesting stuff to photograph. I found this Plymouth Cadillac, likely the only one ever made. While photographing the Plymouth, which was parked on a public street, an old lady sitting on her screened porch kept asking, "Do you have permission?" As a photographer, clueless wankers who get up in my grill when I am in the public right-of-way irritate me to no end. The law is quite simple - if you are on a public street, sidewalk, or anywhere else publicly owned, if you can see it from there, you can photograph it.

On the way home, I picked a random street and took it northbound. I discovered the ruins of a house. Adjacent to the ruins was a sketchy looking sort of backwoods shack. The kind of dump inhabited by well armed rednecks with anger management and xenophobia problems. So, I did not linger long.

All photographs were taken with a Nikon D70 and a Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 constant aperture zoom with a Silent Wave motor.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

arson and bec15 @inman park (nikon d70)

After paying an early morning visit to East Atlanta, I was in the mood for more graffiti flicks. I knew that in Inman Park, just north of the over photographed Krog Street Tunnel, the evening sun would fall on the side of a building with some nice pieces. While I almost rolled up too late to get light on Arsn and Bec15, I like how the sun highlights both pieces.

They are gone now, rolled over by other writers. Part of the fun of documenting graffiti is the transitory nature of the artwork. I also enjoy the treasure hunting aspect - exploring the city looking for new pieces by my favorite writers.

All photographs were taken with a Nikon D70 and a Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 constant aperture zoom with a Silent Wave motor.

I'm not sure Bec15 is the actual name of the writer - if any alert readers can confirm this is correct or provide the name, please leave it as a comment. Thanks.

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