When it comes to the world of TLRs, I was hooked from the first time I picked one up; in my case, the LOMO Lubitel 2. But the Lubitel was primitive even for the age when it was produced as a simple camera aimed at budding photographers. And while there is a certain character to the images produced by that T-43 lens, I had hit the gear acquisition hard after listening to the Film Photograph Podcast. Thankfully in those days, the cost of cameras had not yet risen, and you could get excellent deals on almost anything. At a local camera show put on byRead More →

There’s something fun about getting back to the roots of your photography and combining it with the monthly challenge from my friends over at Embrace the Grain Podcast. The film of the month for February was Lomography Metropolis. Their third and, in my opinion, the most accessible in their false-colour film offerings. Despite my February being thrown for a loop, I managed to get out on one on the last days of the month to get the roll shot. It was also a complete surprise to have one roll sitting in storage that I recently received in a film subscription box. But what roots amRead More →

Canada’s history with the treatment of mental health is long and sorted. And while we’ve made great leaps forward, often, many of the historical institutions have gotten lost and replaced along the way. Not that those who were patients in such facilities in the past would want a reminder standing out to them every day. While the Queen Street Asylum is long gone, replaced by the far more modern CAMH facilities, the asylum at Amherstburg has reverted to the historical configuration as a War-Era fort; even Mimicoe is now being used as a college campus. When I was deep into Urban Exploration, exploring mental asylumsRead More →

Honestly, you can thank Facebook for reminding me of this amazing trip that I took nearly eight years ago when I am first starting to see posts reminding me that this started to occur. It was 2012, several months after my first major Urban Exploration Meetup, since a rather off-putting event in Buffalo, New York. MAMU or the Mid-Atlantic Meetup had been resurrected by DJCraig, who I had met in December 2011 outside an abandoned hotel north of Dayton, Ohio, at a separate UE event VCXPEX. Early in April, I found myself on a twelve-hour drive south, the first time I had ever done suchRead More →

There is something special about an Easter Sunday drive. Also when that drive follows a wonderful Sunday morning Worship with the amazing people at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina. From there I began what would be the long drive home with the first stop being Elkmont in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in Tennessee. The area saw it’s first residents come around the 1840s, while these early settlers sought gold the rich lumber soon brought more and more people. Initially settling around Jake’s Creek these early logging communities were usually no more than shanty towns often having the company offices, a hotelRead More →

Oddly enough one of my other hobbies has managed to avoid this project, that of exploring abandoned buildings. Week 49 I was down in Cincinnati for the fourth annual Very Cincinnati Christmas event. The opening location was the former First German Reformed Church. Built in 1850 in the mainly German-American west-end of the city the church thrived until changes swept across the nation in the 1960s and the congregation sold their beautiful limestone and brick building and a new church worshiped there, the Freeman Avenue United Church lasted from 1970 to 1975 before closing the doors as well. The building, like many abandoned for decadesRead More →

You may recognize this building from the 2006 film Transformers, this is Detroit’s massive Michigan Central Station. Designed in the Beaux-Arts Classical style with the interior lobby modelled after a Roman Bathhouse, complete with Doric columns. The station was completed in 1912, but the whole area wasn’t fully completed (including Roosevelt Park, from where I took this photo) until 1920. Costing $15,000,000 in 1912 to complete the station was never fully used. That’s right, the 18-story tower that rises above the actual station was never completed the top several floors not even furnished. But despite this the station hosted more than 4,000 passengers daily throughRead More →

Woodward Presbyterian Church, or rather St. Curvy, has a story like many churches that once thrived in the American mid-west. Founded in 1908 with a membership of 163, it was tasked to serve the north part of the city. With the Reverend Sherman L. Divine at the helm, the church began to seek money and land to build their church. The land the church still sits on today was donated by Mrs. Tracy McGregor. The firm of Sidney Rose Badgley & William Nicklas was hired to design the church. Construction began late in 1908, and by the time the cornerstone was laid on the 1stRead More →

The return of a familiar location for Week 30, City Methodist Church in Gary, IN. I mentioned this spot in a previous blog entry from the first time I visited this beautiful building and icon of the decline of the city of Gary. I happened to be in the area again, so I made a point to visit her again with some Tri-X and a 4×5. I also made sure to visit a few other familiar spots and one new one in Gary before the 90F+ weather earned a quick return to the air conditioned hotel room.Read More →

City Methodist, a grand old church brought low by the slow march of time. Built in 1925 to the tune of one million dollars, most of that being fund-raised by Reverend William Seaman, and US Steel footing some of the bill as well. Constructed in the English Gothic style the sanctuary alone stands nine stories tall and could house 950 people. But the church was more than just the sanctuary. The whole complex had a school, theater for both traditional plays and films. Also had space for store fronts. At its peek there were 3,000 members on the church roll. But when the steel industryRead More →