I have a few projects I’m kicking off on my blog and one of them is The Rural Decay Project. I’ve been interested in this topic for a while now, and have made some loose attempts at photographically capturing these images but until recently without much cohesiveness that one needs to tell a story.
One of the things about photography that took me a while to learn is you can’t always be thinking about that exotic locale that you might get to visit some day to finally make some great images. To be a photographer is more than vacation or travel, you have to photograph what is around you all the time in your daily routine of life. That can sound quite boring for some of us that don’t live in some beside resort community, but it works, and it’s unique to you.
Perhaps a little known fact about me is I really love the unique beauty of urban decay. In the south, as is the case virtually all over the world, you see abandon buildings, houses, and various different structures that are being reclaimed by nature. You’ve heard of “urban decay photography,” sometimes referred to as urban exploration, urbex, or UE, which is the exploration of those various places, but you rarely hear of “rural decay” exploration. Probably because most people don’t live in the rural backwoods of wherever, they live in the city.
For those of us who do spend most of our days in the rural south, little abandon houses, barns, sheds, and all kinds of structures are literally everywhere. Sometimes you have to look pretty hard because they have been completely reclaimed by the trees like the first image above. Barely visible from the road, it was probably once a small house sitting on the road on the way to town. Today it’s being consumed by the land.
Don’t know how your week has been but my week has been so busy that today was the first day I actually had a chance to get these photos posted from my shoot last weekend.
I love doing a photowalk through local graveyards. Here in Alabama (and I guess everywhere) we have these small family graveyards dotted all around the area. Each one tells an incredible story, and the stories often span a historical period of hundreds of years. This may sound strange to some but they are almost always quiet, peaceful places where traffic is light and little has changed over the decades and time just seems to slow down when you walk through.
This graveyard is real close to my house and is typical of the local family graveyards around our area. There are almost as many infants, babies, and youth in this spot as there are adults. Most of the smallest graves are unmarked and very old at this point. The earliest birth year here was late 1600’s so this little tract has been in this one family, sitting just like this, for over 300 years. There are a lot of houses in our area that were built around the Civil War era, and this spot has a tiny little building/house/shack on it. I try to image who would have lived in this little building, which is smaller than the smallest room in my house.
Each one is different, each one tells a different story.