The Long Way Home


Limestone House
July 25, 2014, 7:05 AM
Filed under: New York | Tags: , , , , ,
Limestone House

Limestone House

Actually the house is not made of limestone, but in Limestone, New York, a hamlet just over the PA border of nearby Bradford. It was once, I’m guessing, part of a family farm, and is now filled with abandoned antiques. Each time we’ve gone up to Olean, we pass by this place, and each time we stop I peek through the windows to see if anything has changed; two years later and the living room is still filled with coat racks heavy with military jackets, an art deco metal glider, peeling rose wallpaper in the hallway. The kitchen is unrecognizable, the stove replaced with broken chairs, debris littering the floor where the fridge once stood. The porch is dangerously close to caving. There is a heaviness I feel as I tread the tall grass in the backyard. The windows are eyes, the door always open, daring us to enter and discover its secrets.

House in blue.

House in blue.

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Salvage
A house in the Strip District that I pass on my daily work commute.

Row houses in the Strip District that I pass on my daily work commute.

Photography is magic: I love how one shot can make an ordinary scene look spooky, or unusual, putting it to the forefront of people’s minds. Like the house in the above shot: I pass it every day on my way to work, thinking each time: I have to stop and take a photo, and one rainy April morning I did. It’s actually the back of three row houses, with an empty lot in front of it, most likely the previous site of another building. It intrigued me because the Strip District in Pittsburgh is primarily a neighborhood stacked with warehouses; I imagine these row houses were once occupied by people who worked in one of those businesses – now occupied by who knows? This was my first shot in the film pack, and I got excited, taking it as a kiss of luck, but the shots that followed turned out completely blank, and I was pissed, thinking of the plans I had for this film, and how sometimes, I am a messy, careless photographer – I get too far ahead of myself. I transferred the pack to my SLR680, and let the camera sit for a few weeks, knowing at some point I had to use yup the film. And after a long week at my day job – a hot, muggy, anxiety-ridden day where I wasn’t feeling too creative – I used some old standbys to pull me through.

Test shot, hand-held.

Test shot, hand-held.

Out of focus: An old mirror that Jeff found in the trash with an old bed sheet for a backdrop.

Out of focus: An old mirror that Jeff found in the trash with an old bed sheet for a backdrop.

Close-up in mirror: Note my knee to the right in the background.

Close-up in mirror: Elbows resting on floor serves as tripod – resourcefulness.




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