Urbex, (Mostly) Abandoned

Not So Abandoned

I used to have more time to make photos.

My commute was 30 minutes, but if I left early I could stop and take a landscape, or catch a beautiful sunrise. And sometimes, I’d have enough time to explore an abandoned building or home. Beautiful country roads, lovely scenery, and no rush.

Not so much anymore. My commute is now an hour long, at minimum, and it’s mostly interstate driving. This cuts back on the time I have to get out and explore.

One of the casualties of this new setup is my abandoned photography. My commute is longer and busier, I work on a big-time college campus in a mid-sized city, and I just don’t have the time like I used to. It’s a bummer.

Part of me also feels like I’m moving on from urbexing, creatively. I want to do new things, and make different kinds of photographs.

Except when I take a new way into work, like I did last week. Instead of busy I-94 East, I ventured down US-12. It added 20-30 minutes to my drive. It was so worth it. For one, it felt like my old commute: moseying at a nice pace, lots of scenery to check out, and the fog helped make the landscape extra interesting.

For two, I noticed a few abandoned building opportunities (including my old haunts in the Irish Hills) – like this abandoned farm structure.

The itch still gets me when I see an abandoned property. It used to be a big part of who I was, creatively, and I’ve had to let some of that go. But it’s okay. I’ll try to make time for adventure when I have the time and inclination.

Stretch First, Then Run

Stretch First, Then Run

I’m taking a new way to work these days, with the new job, and so I can’t rely on my old familiar commute photography stops anymore.

It’s a good thing in that new places equal new adventures. New sites to see. New places to explore. Heck, even a new direction for light and sunrise (I’m heading East now instead of West).

The thing is, it takes me a while to get used to the new commute. As I drive, I study the landscape and look for new opportunities.

This week I made it a point to actually get out and make some photos. After a while, you have to stop looking and actually shoot, right?

A running metaphor, because I’m running these days: My drive is the stretching, the warming up. The shooting is the actual running. For me, it’s important to stretch first.

That’s how it goes for me. It takes me a while to get warmed up to the scenery. After that, I’ll do the work. And after that, I’ll find new paths to explore. On and on it goes.

Call it “getting into the zone.” Whatever. I know this about myself, and I’m watching the process unfold.