52 frames (and more): Abandoned

by Lee Santiva March. 09, 2020 379 views
Window to the past - looking in and out

Window to the past - looking in and out

Week 10: Abandoned

In this week's challenge I learned for the first time that there is a photography genre called "urbex". Urban exploring is basically trespassing on private property to take photos of abandoned buildings to post in the Internet.

All of the photos in this blog I took from behind the protective fences/wall capturing only what is visible from a public access point.

I posted photo #1 and the short text immediately following on 52 frames - for photoblog I added photos from another location and included more details.

The windows and the walls are the shell of an abandoned former grain mill (18th C) in Germany. For the composition I chose the "infinity effect" because looking through multiple windows at the same time was like time travel through multiple epochs ending in the decaying reality of today. Travelling through time, you see how the stone walls have been repaired and re-repaired over centuries, using whatever materials were available at the time: local red sandstone, river stones, bricks and plaster, until one day the owners abandoned it.

Photo #2 is the same window but from the other side of the building (perspective from the overgrown field). Both times I had to take on an angle because I couldn't position myself/my camera directly on the subject.

Window to the past - looking in

Window to the past - looking in

The region where I live has always been agricultural and for centures they have grown grains and milled them for floor as well as pressed seeds for vegetable oil. There are dozens, perhaps a hundred of abandoned mills scattered throughout the state/region in various states of decay.

The mills were in use from the middle ages until as recently as 1982 (see last photo) until industrial milling completely replaced the traditional method.

In photo #3 you see the wooden barrel which must have been used to store the pressed oil.

Door to the past

Door to the past

Here's a perspective on the shell of the building. It is located on a busy street which is the main access to a highway so I often drove past it with the intention to capture it one day.

Remains of a former grain mill

Remains of a former grain mill

I'll be posting the details of the wrought-iron bars on the windows in another blog.

About 15 kilometers away on a different stream is another mill. The village purchased it from the owners and is now trying to raise money for restaurations.

That is the location of the next few photos. In photo #4 each millstone weighs approximately 670 kilograms. These were used to press vegetable oil from seeds like sunflower or rapeseed (in USA you know this as "canola oil").

Millstones - approx. 300 years old and weighing 670 kg each

Millstones - approx. 300 years old and weighing 670 kg each

All mills in the region were located on land leased to the Catholic Church, specifically to the bishop of Speyer.

The final photo is of Saint Nepomuk, the patron saint who protects against calumnies and, because of the manner of his death, he is also a protector from floods and drowning. As you can see in the background, the mill and its buildings have held up over time perhaps due to his watchful eye.

Saint Nepomuk with former mill in background

Saint Nepomuk with former mill in background

The weather for week 10 has not been cooperating, every single day has been or will continue to be overcast, windy and rainy and no sun. So I did the best I could with the lighting and bumped up the hues a little in post processing.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_of_Nepomuk

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Trinicia Perch 1 year, 6 months ago

Great shots Lee!  I love the frame within a frame of the first shot.  Nice perspective of shot 4, I like that you showed the side and back of the crumbling building.

1 year, 6 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Trinicia Perch 1 year, 6 months ago

Thank you! I especially appreciate your comment about #4. sometimes I wonder whether to include photos which give more context even though they are not particularly interesting from an artistic perspective and you answered my question 😀

1 year, 6 months ago Edited
Jennifer Paire 1 year, 6 months ago

This is wonderful. I love the building shots, too, but #5 makes you really think about the mill in its time. Thank you for teaching me a new word!

1 year, 6 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Jennifer Paire 1 year, 6 months ago

Thanks Jen! Its rewarding to me that my blog was able to give you insight to something new (to you) which is actually very old 😀

1 year, 6 months ago Edited
Benny Law 1 year, 6 months ago

I really like these pictures of abandoned buildings with #1 being my favourite.

1 year, 6 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Benny Law 1 year, 6 months ago

Thank you!

1 year, 6 months ago Edited
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