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.
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.
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.
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").
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.
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.