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Fragments of Decay

For months I have been sitting on this image waiting for the “perfect” moment to release this series to the world. However, the longer I kept the image to myself the more I realized that that moment may never come. The only time we have is now and that is about as perfect as it gets. So welcome to the launch of my new series “Fragments Of Decay.”

I have always been captivated by the abandoned and decaying buildings that litter the surface of the earth. There are stories crystalized in their walls and hidden beneath every crack. Those stories enticed me and captured my attention from a very early age.

Once I got into photography in 2013, I found a new way to capture my love for abandoned buildings in a way that made them last even when the originals were torn down. I ventured near several abandoned buildings over the years, however it wasn’t until recently that I came up with an idea to further my exploration of the abandoned.

What if I started a series around abandoned buildings? What if I was able to capture the stories that they hold and preserve them for all eternity? The idea both thrilled and terrified me. Almost all of the abandoned buildings I have shot in have since been torn down and I did not wish that fate on other structures.

Fear kept me from pursuing my idea any further past the point of conception even when the idea constantly pulled on my heart strings. Everything about the idea felt right, especially the long term pursuit of the series. I could not see the end and knew that this was the kind of project I could dedicate years of my life to.

The size and possible impact of this series could be momentous. That terrified me and kept me away from the project for months.

Late last year, I was exploring around an abandoned building that had peeked my interest when a pickup pulled up next to the car I was in. The timing could not have been better and there could not have been a bigger sign that this series was still calling to me.

The owner of the land the building was on smiled at me through the window of his truck and asked if I was lost. A few minutes later I had explained my interest in the building and got his phone number. He was more than happy to allow me to shoot at the abandoned building and told me to contact him after the new year.

I have never seen such an open door leading into something I was scared to do yet felt called toward. However, it was March before I finally contacted the owner. Fear had managed to sneak back into view and I hesitated.

Yet the morning of the photoshoot was beyond magical. The sun rose and filled the sky with vibrant pink colors that lit up the white siding of the windowless home. It was completely empty on the inside with peeling paint and sagging floors. What was once a beautiful house was now nothing more than an empty frame, vacant of all life except that which was slowly creeping back in.

Fear had kept me from seeing my dreams become a reality. Yet the moment my dreams became tangible and the soles of my shoes made contact with the floorboards of an abandoned building, I realized something. Fear is never ever worth it. Being able to watch your dreams come alive before your very eyes is the best feeling in the world. Better than any sense of “comfort” I had from staying in the boundaries I knew were safe.

After I learned that lesson the first time, I allowed fear and comfort to again reign supreme. I kept the completed image to myself claiming I was waiting for the perfect moment to post it. No perfect moment emerged from the normal and everyday moments of life, it all blended together and I waited.

That moment never came and the longer I waited the more comfortable I was with never posting the picture. One day toward the beginning of summer I came to the realization that if I did not make the perfect day it would simply never come.

We are not given perfect days in life that stand out above all the others, we have to make them for ourselves.

So I set a date and announced it on Instagram. No more waiting. Comfort is far too overrated for me and I am done allowing it to rule my life with such a strong hand. August 2nd became a day I both feared and desired. I blinked and here we are, the beginning of an endless series with all the possibilities in the world.

Fragments of Decay is a piece of my heart that has accumulated over years of loving abandoned buildings. I have no end in mind when it comes to this series, for as long as I feel the calling I will create images for it. There will always be abandoned buildings and I hope to capture as many as I possibly can.

The motivation behind this series is bigger than the abandoned buildings themselves. I am setting out in the hopes of capturing intricate and detailed stories of what could have existed in these houses pasts. People used to live in these abandoned buildings, what could they have been like? What stories did they have to tell?

There is beauty and magic beneath every surface in these buildings and the world is slowly forgetting them. Majestic houses that were once the pinnacle of an area lay in disarray their beauty covered up by modern convenience and the greedy fingers of nature.

Sooner or later they will cave in and disappear back into the earth they came out of. It breaks my heart to watch this decay creep over their beautiful features. With this series I will capture these buildings in the state of decay they are in and preserve them through the rest of time. They may not last but the photographs will.

I chose the name “Fragments of Decay” because each image is a fragment of the decay these buildings are experiencing. They are moments in time captured and frozen forever that tell only part of the whole story. They are incomplete without the rest of the images in the series because all together they make a whole. Together they tell a story about decay, the past, and memories.

I will weave parts of my own story into the images to create a sense of intimacy seen only through personal stories. There is so much to be told about the past for each person and we are filled with a nostalgia for what has been at some point or another. This series is an exploration of memories and all things unforgettable.

If you have ever been plagued by thoughts of what used to be or fear about what the future might bring, this series is made specifically for you.

In our own ways we can often feel like abandoned buildings ourselves. Empty, alone, and tangled up in things that are overtaking us slowly but surely. If you have wandering thoughts that question things such as regret, know that you are not alone. We are houses left abandoned because of those who left and those who we had to let go of.

That is not where it ends though. Even when the decay begins to creep in there is still hope for the future. This series does not end with the images and the exploration of abandoned buildings. I do not want to say much quite yet, but I hope to set the second phase of the project into motion at the beginning of 2021.

That seems like a lifetime away from today, however I know it will come sooner than any of us expect. Until that time comes I plan on completing as many images as I can in the series and researching the second phase. The possibilities that I am facing with this project are truly astronomical and I cannot wait to share my ideas with you. Hopefully when I share them they will be closer to becoming a reality than they are now.

Until that time comes I will be choosing to chase after my dreams and ignore the call of comfort. Life is far too perfect to wait on the perfect day. That day will never come unless you decide to make it happen. Now is the time to do what you dream about, I have made that commitment. Will you?

This series is a reminder to celebrate and remember what has been and looking forward to and taking care of what the future has in store. We are not our past but what we will become next.

Welcome to my Fragments of Decay.

Thicket”
Dawn creeps over the horizon, spilling light into parts of the world that have been dark for so long. A fresh start accompanies the sun and paints the sky with rosy shades of hope. This is what the darkness has been waiting for…a beginning. 


To see the images all together, be sure to check out the page I have dedicated to them by clicking the button below. More images will be coming soon.

2 thoughts on “Fragments of Decay”

  1. That’s both beautiful and uncanny… Well done! It feels as if the world we humans build is made so that it (and we) appear separate from nature and the inevitability of decay and death, by the means of perfect clean surfaces and straight angles, but when the things we have built are left alone, the latent nature inside of them sort of breaks through, and in that onsetting decay we realize our polished civilization is just an illusion. Nature was there all along. And I really like these words of yours: “We are not given perfect days — We have to make them for ourselves.” 👏 I added that to my collection, of course attributed to Lillian Merritt.

    Like

    1. Oscar, thank you so much for your kind words they are so incredibly true. Nature seems to always find a way back in, in both a destructive and beautiful way. What we leave alone will eventually fall to ruin and vanish if we do not take time to take care of it. For better or for worse what we create will always be somewhat temporary.

      Liked by 1 person

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