Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lost America Night Photography

When I first came to the American west, in 1989, some of the first things to catch my eye were the ruins. It was hard for me to grasp that a place which was virtually empty of people until 1930* could have ruins. American styles of this type, from 1930s to 1965-ish were completely foreign to me. I'd seen a couple of episodes of The Jetsons and I used to watch an MTV program that was set in a 1950s basement, but apart from that, this architecture and decoration seemed simply bizarre. I'd never seen them lived in or worked in, so to see them abandoned didn't really mean anything. It was as if they had only been built by aliens with only one purpose - to be abandoned.

Then, on a more deliberate search one year, I started seeing the Space Age ones. After that, I think I understood a lot more of J. G. Ballard's writing.


(Photo Credit to Lost America.
Reduced in size from the original)

The Lost America website has long exposure night photography of abandoned western ruins. They range from the gas stations of the Okie migration to the airfields and abandoned airframes of the old Cold War bases. Some of them are breathtaking. I spent a long time looking around this site and wishing I'd taken photos and then I read the descriptions about kneeling on broken glass for eight minute exposures and was glad I hadn't. Very interesting site.


*Recently devoid of people, I mean.

2 comments:

D.C. said...

These photos are spectacular! Some (especially the one in your entry) appear to make a "sound" when you look at them.

Strangely enough I also made a post about the perfect ballardian buildings/ruins today:
http://destinyclontz.blogspot.com/

Best wishes from Hamburg

Peromyscus said...

Nice site, d.c. I've seen pictures of that development before, but I've never seen inside that broken one with the grass growing in it. It's surreal.

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