Monday, February 12, 2007

Rusted and forgotten

Surface decay
London, Ontario, February 2007

I shot this picture on the same walkabout I wrote about in this entry. The wind chill hovered around -30C as I slowly walked down a near-deserted street of long-closed storefronts and snowy, weed-strewn alleyways. I cradled my camera inside my trench coat because constantly removing it from the camera bag dangling from my shoulder was chilling my fingers to the bone.

Note to self: get a pair of fingerless gloves, because big mitts just don't work when the temperature dives. End digression.

The rusted top of a long-abandoned fence attracted my eye. The bright color of the underlying, ruined metal was just about the brightest thing I had seen since I first stepped outside. The entire area, it seemed, was cloaked in a sheen of dullness. Even formerly bright colors seemed to be dimmed down by the years of neglect.

I wondered about that as I headed back to the office. My fingers ached from being cold-soaked for the better part of an hour. My head, on the other hand, ached from the overwhelmingly hopeless world that began mere steps away from my office. I could take pictures of it all until time immemorial, but I knew that nothing, not even the attention of my lens, would ever change the stark and ugly reality of this place.

Still, as I write this, I feel the need to return. It's a place that begs for more attention from a world that seems to have forgotten its existence.

Your turn: Would you return to this place? Why?


Anna said...

I think that this is a very interesting shot Carmi.

Nice colors. It is a shame to see things that worn but some of my favorite pictures are of things just like this. Maybe because of there is definitely a story to be told with them.

srp said...

Honestly Carmi, I think I would wait until I had those fingerless or at least fingertip-less gloves. The concept of walking around in -30 degree wind chills is foreign to most southerners where wind chills in the +20s is hard to take. Even for me it is hard to remember what -24 degree weather was in Indiana as a child.

The thing about hopelessness is that when you least expect it... change happens. I've seen parts of towns in disrepair and dismal conditions see the quiet and at first unrecognizable beginnings of renovation and then see it spread like a wave. Perhaps if you sent your photos to the paper along with an editorial.... you know you can do it... you do it here.

Steph said...

Thanks for stopping by. To answer your question about Target. After visiting last night....I have no clue what it is. I spent $6.11. I was not real impressed by what I found.
Your pictures are awesome. I would love to travel the world & take pics allllllllllllllllllll day long !

Snaggle Tooth said...

It depends on if the ghosts are friendly...

Anonymous said...

I would certainly return to a place that produced such beautiful images as this. (But then, reading through your page, you have a great skill for producing this caliber of work.)

Despite your misgivings about the scene, it sounds kind of beautiful.

Peter Anthony Holder said...

Are you sure that's urban decay or a relief map of part of Europe?