Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Favorite Abandonment Photographs - Part 1 - Color Images

Click here for Part 2. Click here for Part 3.

I've taken a break from my Abandonment Photography series. I felt like I needed to take a step back and evaluate what I've captured so as to better focus on where I want this project to go. I would like to move forward with renewed vision.

I went through all of my abandonment pictures and set aside all of the ones that I thought were good. That ended up being 62 color images (and even more black-and-white, but we'll get to that in part two). I was able to narrow that down to 34 photographs pretty quickly, but I wanted to study only my very best--my absolute favorites. So I made some tough cuts and made a final list of 25, which are below.

What I'm doing is taking a longer, more critical look at my favorite abandonment photographs in an attempt to understand what makes them good and how I can make even better images in the future. What is it about them that I like? What could I have done to improve them? What are the good points and the flaws? What is the genius and what are the mistakes?

This exercise will hopefully prove beneficial. I think that being self-critical is an important element for the artist photographer.

While I'm studying the 25 photographs below, feel free to offer your own critiques. What photograph is your favorite? What is your least favorite? What about the photograph do you like or not like? Don't be afraid to leave a comment at the bottom of this post, even if it is negative.

Take your own look at my favorite color abandonment photographs. I hope you enjoy what you see.
From The Past - Mojave, California
Abandoned Boot - Mojave, California
Old Life, New Life - Victorville, California
Sunset Through The Broken Glass - Victorville, California
Hot Kitchen - Goodyear, Arizona
- Mojave, California
Rusted Bolt - Loraine, California
Tired Window - Loraine, California
Water Storage - Rosamond, California
Torn - Mojave, California
Keep Out The Sun - Tehachapi, California
Better Days Behind - Tehachapi, California
Forgotten Folding Chair - Cuddy Valley, California
Fleeting Glimpse - Cuddy Valley, California
Old Broken Hinge - Mojave, California
Dips In Pavement - Mojave, California
Remnant Chair - Mojave, California
Do Not Disturb - Mojave, California
Andrea's Room - Newberry Springs, California
Hall Loves You - Newberry Springs, California
Lazy River Bend - Newberry Springs, California
The Comfortable Chair - Mojave, California
Broken Heart Mug - Mojave, California
On The Moon - Mojave, California
Seat Unused - Mojave, California


  1. Leandra Beshea tried to leave a comment, but there were technical difficulties. So she left the comment on social media instead. I've copied it below:

    "I like the Old Life, New Life the best, just because of what it represents, to me anyway. I like how the leaves are in the front and bold while the house is slightly blurry. I also like X's bold coloring's, it just stands out to me."

  2. I really took my time looking through these photos to see what I like best about them and which were my favorites here ya go... I'm drawn to abandoned boot, forgotten folding chair, old broken hinge, dips in pavement and remnant chair based on the textures, composition and colors. I'm also intriqued by the juxtaposition of the rusty bolt with the vibrant graphics in the background. I like Hall Loves You based on the pure artistry of the painted image; and I like X because of the line composition with the contrasting colors. One thing I realized, as I was going through these images over and over deciding which I like the best, was that I felt very anxious looking at the broken down, damaged, cluttered images. Not sure why but From the Past, Hot Kitchen, Fleeting glimpse, Lazy River Bend, The Comfortable Chair, Broken Mug, On The Moon and Seat Unused all make me wonder why? Why didn't these things get thrown away? Why didn't someone clean up their garbage when moving/leaving? Why is that book there? and that cup there? Why...? I think this is what is causing my anxiety over these images. Taking a different approach of looking through your favorites, I see that they can be further categorized by "Framed", "Textured", "Signs", "Spot/Line", "Contrasts"

    Very nice series.

    1. Thank you, Sarah, for your very thoughtful comments.

      As I look through the photographs, I think there are some that I like simply because they are good images (composition, contrast, etc), some that I like for a deeper meaning that I was attempting to create, and others for the questions that they beg to be asked. Of those three, I find that I'm more drawn to the uneasy, questioning photographs the most.