So let’s wax philosophical again, for another month, it’s why we travel anyway, isn’t it?

“Abandoned” – This topic has occurred to me many times before. And it’s a topic ( or a ‘folder’) in which i could file many images.

Another thought:

To be in motion literally, but also to be ‘still’ in another way, an observer. To see what has been… abandoned, discarded.

By ‘still’ i mean the connotation of the word best explained musically by the Eagles in a song ‘Learn to be still’.

I thought i could come up w/ a link to this track, but i guess Don Henley’s copyright police have shut down any You Tube videos of this song.

But hopefully you can get the basic thought just from the title – ‘learn to be still’.

(Note to Don H. – ‘lighten up, dude’.)

I like taking in some things that many would pass by without missing a beat. By ‘taking in’ i mean ‘noticing'(#1)…’photographing'(#2) …and ‘thinking about'(#3)…those things/ scenes… ‘vignettes’, if you will.

What does ‘abandoned’ mean?

AbandonedDEFBut beyond the literal definition, what does it mean?

Photographers have been entranced by empty spaces since as long as there was a camera.

Eugene Atget photographed Paris in the early morning. No people present. Maybe the streets were not as abandoned as those in some So. California towns, but it feels the same.

Harry Callahan shot NYC.

Robert Miscrach did alotta very provocative things w/ the (empty) California desert.

A good friend of mine has a gallery at his site:


This is just a very, very short list.

So why does these things inspire us to trip the shutter? What are we trying to capture?

Good question, no easy answer. Make up your own.

I’ve been shooting very quiet and rather ‘abandoned’ street scenes since i was a starving student back in old town Alexandria Va, in 1974-5, before it got yuppified. Those were the best of times, i could live on $500/month, shot w/ an old Nikon w/ a 28mm lense and an orange filter.

I still haven’t figured it out, and it’s been a very long time since i started.

For this ‘wild and crazy’ post, I started by collecting digital (color) images.


Then i stumbled upon a few of my B&W images… and my perspective changed, entirely.

Color sucked, i just had to go ‘B&W’. There’s just something about B&W that suits this topic.

I’ve been doing B&W for 40 years, it’s still the most ‘focused and sharp’ way to capture the world.

The pix below say it better than i can w/ words, but I’ll give a try w/ a few words of..uh.. introduction. Hope it’s not too presumptuous, but WTF, i’ll give it a try.

These are all images i shot when i saw something while driving or walking, and that switch in my head went off ‘pull over, this is worth remembering’.

But …why? What do they say, represent?

A lot of broken dreams, unfulfilled hopes? Roads not taken, turns not made? Hopes? Dreams? Aspirations?

All of the above, in some measure, way, shape, form.

I have been pondering this since my dad & mom took us three kids on all kinds of trips, 50+ years ago.

We drove from Maine into Quebec on small roads, and never passed thru customs of any kind.

All of a sudden, all the road signs were in French, it was that simple.

Sometimes you turn a corner?…. and it’s a whole new world.

And no, there is no going back – time travels forward, only a one way street.

These places have all seen better days. But they can say something to us now.

I am not asking you to ‘enjoy’, that’s not the right word – i am asking that you ‘ponder’ ..the following.





















BTW, some of these have inspired great darkroom montage work – hope those make you ponder, also.





The best thing i could do with this blog is drop something in your lap you didn’t expect.

And ask you: ‘Ponder this!’ – whatever crosses your path, or path you wander on.

2 thoughts on “Abandoned

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