A profound mystery
What is there about run-down buildings and dilapidated barns that screams, "Take a picture of me! Take a picture of me! A black and white picture, if you please! Adore me, for I am art!"
First answer: I don't know.
Elaboration: Because I do NOT know, there is the mystery, and an inevitable sense of wonder. My ever-present curiostiy fires up ...
Who built these, and for what purpose? What occurred here? What were the aspirations, tears, joys, being of the people here ... and how, and why, with time, did the energy that caused them to be made fade and wither ... and with it, the buildings?
I don't believe the buildings scream, "This is art!"
- I do.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Not an answer, but many years ago (back in the 70's), Bob Schwalberg wrote a column in Pop Photo about how photographers are affected by what he called "decrepitomania".
Character in people & buildings comes thru age. Perfection is sterile, the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi suggest beauty lies in imperfection. Also we aren't prescient enough, except with older buildings & people, to know that what we photograph today may be gone tomorrow.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
First I've heard of "Wabi-sabi". I agree with the concept.
Originally Posted by doughowk
Any more information avalable?
Ed Sukach, FFP.
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Run down buildings, things left to age, anything old or anything made to look old appeals as fodder for our image making machines. The why is simple... We experience our world today as one filled with strife; Generally our planet is headed to hell in a handbasket. 'Old' things inspire us because they remind us of more genteel times, the good ole days of yesteryear.
That's just my theory anyway
Ed, Check this out: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WabiSabi
I agree, character and interest. An rundown abandoned restaurant with a faded, handpainted sign that says "EATS" is more emotionally and visually enagaging than another spanking new McDonald's
[Edit] Also there is a "Preserve it before it is gone" aspect to photography.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
Seems to be the opposite of the way most web pages are designed
It is an interesting phenomenon...I guess I've always accepted it without question. The old, dilapidated...they are some of my favorites. I love them!
Wabi-sabi...thanks for the link, Neal!
I think that fascination is partly due to the fact that the stories buildings and barns have to tell are more obvious when the structure is delapidated - thus, it translates well to film. There is a similar fascination with "delapidated people" - street folk of meager or no means. Because the on-film translation can work so well, viewers of the images can easily get involved with the result, reinforcing the popularity of the subject matter. In truth, perfectly maintained buildings, barns, and people also have stories to tell, but they take more work by both the photographer and the viewer.
There may also be an element of human fascination with the macabre, similar to that which causes drivers to slow down to gawk at an accident on the highway, or, in the past, to gather at public executions. Now, that's a mystery.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM