Monday, May 3, 2010

Renegade Photography

Renegade Camping is camping in a place you're not supposed to, like the clumps of trees near an exit ramp beside the interstate or in some bushes outside a large bank.

Renegade Breakfast is when you take advantage of the complimentary breakfast of a hotel when you're not a guest.

Those are two of my favorite things to do and partaking in such activities provided excitement and tasty treats while on my Walkabout. But there's another activity I enjoy and that's Renegade Photography.

Renegade Photography is when you have to break the law to get the photos you want. Such as crawling through an already broken window into an abandoned building so you can snap shots of old jail cells and broken toilets.

Sound fun? It is. Especially when you get to play with giant levers that slide the prison locks into place or look out the barred windows overlooking town and see how the inmates saw things back in the early 1900's.

In the DeRidder jail, which was used around 1914, there are currently 2 light bulbs that are still burning. Their yellow light casts an eerie glow over the shadowy stairwell that spirals through the heart of the concrete building. The dust is half an inch thick and every metal surface is covered in rust and flaking paint. The walls are peeling and glass crunches beneath your feet as you walk.

There's old locks and beds and toilets and showers. The sunlight throws beams of light across the floor. Nothing moves.

Try finding that without trespassing.

I go on these Renegade Photo Shoots because I love abandoned buildings. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the abundance of strange textures. Maybe it's the silence. Perhaps the eeriness attracts me. I feel like an explorer when I'm in there. It's an adventure, like crawling through the ruins of some ancient culture long, long forgotten. In a way, that's true, if not entirely accurate. These are ruins, left over from the early part of last century, forgotten by modern society.

It's like I'm Indiana Jones, only there's no giant ball of stone rolling after me and fewer pygmies with blowguns.

1 comment:

dean chesson said...

all ya got to do is ask to go in the deridder jail and they'll let ya in. i went in january and snapped a load of pictures.