Rural Decay Photo Ops


Abandon House Engulfed in GrowthAbandon House Engulfed in Growth

Abandon House Engulfed in Growth

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.

For me, living in the rural south (or at least on the edge of both rural and “city” being outside of Auburn), what’s around me all the time are these great old structures that once contained life and vitality, but now are being consumed by the earth. This is similar to the urban decay photography that is all the rage in places like Detroit and Chicago, or even places like Chernobyl (and this Chernobyl 30 years later project, which is also amazing), but for those of us who live nowhere near great opportunities like that, you have to photograph where you are right now.

There are hundreds if not thousands of photographic opportunities like this all over the place. Some of the more well known ones are Old Cahawba, covered bridge (these are actually everywhere if you look closely), Sloss Furnace, there is even a (man-made) ghost town close by, Spectre Alabama, that I hope to someday photograph before access is impossible. On a side note; Spectre, Alabama was a custom movie set, built for Tim Burton’s fantasy film Big Fish. The set is located on an island in a river outside of Montgomery, Alabama.

For now, I’m sticking with what’s closest to where I live, and what’s probably the least known places. I love this old gas station that sits pristine on the side of Highway 80. I can imagine it once was a fine place to stop on the drive between Montgomery and Atlanta before the interstate was built. The old house at the top of this article sits at the intersection of Highway 80/51, and actually looks like it’s in pristine condition other than natural growth.


Abandon Gas StationAbandon Gas Station

Abandon Gas Station


Broken Windows to DarknessBroken Windows to Darkness

Broken Windows to Darkness


Rusty FenceRusty Fence

Rusty Fence


Old Factory Gate LockedOld Factory Gate Locked

Old Factory Gate Locked


Abandon House Torn DownAbandon House Torn Down

Abandon House Torn Down

The Rural Decay Photo Ops in the South

Abandon House Engulfed in Growth

This house is being consumed by the ivy and tree growth around it since being boarded up.

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.

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Back Woods Rural Decay Exploration


Rural Decay Structure 1.166Rural Decay Structure 1.166

Rural Decay Structure 1.166

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.

The ones below is one that is more well kept in a family cemetery adjacent to our property. I’ve taken this little house for years now and always seem to be able to keep capturing something new about it. I love the stories they tell, the history they’ve seen. Below is a collection of what I refer to as “Structure 1.100,” which is just the number I give it in my catalog so I know which is which. The one above had some kind of not-so-happy-animal guarding it so interior images will have to wait for another day. Next time you drive to work count how many of these types of structures you see, I bet you would be surprised.


Rural Decay Structure 1.100Rural Decay Structure 1.100

Rural Decay Structure 1.100


Rural Decay Structure 1.100Rural Decay Structure 1.100

Rural Decay Structure 1.100


Rural Decay Structure 1.100Rural Decay Structure 1.100

Rural Decay Structure 1.100


Rural Decay Structure 1.100Rural Decay Structure 1.100

Rural Decay Structure 1.100


Rural Decay Structure 1.100Rural Decay Structure 1.100

Rural Decay Structure 1.100

Rural Decay Exploration, Structure 1.100

Rural Decay Structure 1.166

Abandon one room house in the woods on a rainy day

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.

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A Graveyard Tells a Unique Story in History :: Photos

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.