Offcuts: Fine Old Buildings By: Don Heisz

Some of you may recall that John and I have gone on a couple of picture-taking drives where we have sought out abandoned buildings. John discussed a bit of it and showed some pictures here. Some of you may know that I like to use film cameras. You could call that part of a do-it-yourself spirit, actually, since I develop the film and print the pictures myself. But it’s more likely that I just get slightly obsessive about certain things and then can’t stop myself from knowing as much about them as possible, which includes amassing altogether too many things which I eventually need to get rid of.

Anyway, when John and I went on a photo trip a couple of years ago, I brought along a larger camera loaded with colour film. I don’t use much colour film, since it requires specific developing I don’t like to do very often. Well, in this case, “very often” is “not for two years.” So, I have just now discovered these pictures and thought I would share them.

abandoned building

This one, I had to climb over a fence to get a clear shot of the front. Someone had No Trespassing signs up and this was in full view of an occupied house. It looks inviting but I doubt there’s much furniture inside.

Here we have an example of fine cedar shake siding. Or are they shingles? Frankly, I know there’s a difference but, at this stage of collapse, does it even matter? There might be enough there to scavenge to do your garden shed. Or for a campfire.

Here’s what I consider a nice artistic shot, in the clean-line simplicity of modern realism. Note the clear blue sky. Imagine that someone toiled away to nail all of that soffit and how clean it looked when it was new.

John made this house the centrepiece of a video – which features a voiceover done by yours truly.

If you look closely at the bottom right, you can see John in the grass. I thought this house juxtaposed with the enormous, alien-looking windmills was particularly dystopian. The lean on the house, how it’s sliding back away from the windmill, is particularly interesting. However, the windmill is not as close to the house as it seems.

Perhaps John and I will get out on another such trip sometime in the near future. They’re always enjoyable. And, if so, I should have pictures to show in maybe two or three years.