In a previous post, we’ve been discussing planning and scouting for photographic opportunities.  Today we explore what happens when you plan for something only to arrive at the scene to do the shoot, and find that things have completely changed.

This entire situation has really driven home the point to me on how important these sorts of documentation projects truly are.  The scene I had scouted and was really looking forward to shoot was a warehouse type building with what I believe to be apartments above.  The building was very weathered, had tons of textures and details, and had some really great surrounding elements that would have made for an incredible scene.

It was not meant to be.

Missing Building - Victoria BC Canada

Missing Building - Victoria BC Canada

As I arrived and took in the entirety of the surroundings, I realized that my previous plan had just changed from a documentation exercise to a demolition scene.  The only thing that remained was the side walls and the doors to the original business.

Missing Building - Victoria BC Canada

Missing Building - Victoria BC Canada

From this angle we get an interesting contrast to take in, the color of the new car matches the color of what remains of the building behind it.  It also poses an interesting irony inasmuch that the car is pretty much brand new, and the building, well, isn’t…

Missing Building - Victoria BC Canada

Missing Building - Victoria BC Canada

I just love the light that is coming through the remaining windows, it just really sets a striking scene.  The boarded up window is something of interest as well; inside these walls you will find absolutely nothing, so I am not sure why the added level of security is in place.  If you have a pair of tin cutters or a sturdy set of boots, you could get in no problem.

Missing Building - Victoria BC Canada

Missing Building - Victoria BC Canada

I absolutely love this door.  It is the epitome of weathered and worn, the red paint is naturally antiqued.  The details and textures in the boarded windows and surrounding panels also really add an old feel to the scene.  The odd part here is again that light that is coming through the window in the door.  If you were to open this door, you’d be greeted with a 40 foot deep pit that is full of heavy equipment.  This site is probably destined to be developed into another monster condo project or a new business building of sorts.  I am definitely not one to stand in the way of progress, but it also breaks my heart to see all these character filled and historic buildings in the city disappearing only to be replaced by buildings that have zero interest architecturally.  No character at all, nothing of note, they all are starting to look the same.

I think the biggest lesson I derived from this whole experience is that this sense of urgency I have to get out and document as much as we possibly can is not to be taken lightly.  This building was here 2 weeks ago, and when I was scouting it out there was no clue or notion that it’s life was almost over.  It was a big shock to encounter this scene, and in all honesty I needed a couple of minutes to discard my original plan and take in what I was seeing…  and come up with a new plan.

A post-mortem, if you will.

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  1. avatar Steve Beal says:

    Very cool progression of pix and story! Love it Toad! :)

  2. Great read! Fantastic shots too!

  3. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Well Toad at least you were there to provide your autopsy on this building before the site was turned into some modern glass and metal box.They call it ” progress”

    • Thanks for your kindness, Fred, that means a lot to me. I have a hard time with this whole “progress” thing myself, my friend. I believe I want to capture all this stuff pre-progress, if you know what I mean?? LOL

  4. Chin up, Toad. These are great shots that you’ve captured for posterity! Love the texture in the wood and aluminum siding. Intense close-ups that fill the frame – more like that please :)

  5. you have to seize the moment – if you decide to take transient images as I do with urbex these places won’t be around for ever.

    Nice set and well documented, your processing is coming on very well, good progression dude!

    • Mark, your comments today mean so much. Thank you for your kindness and encouragement, coming from you this is a massive bit a praise! I am thrilled to read your words today, especially given that you sir are one of my biggest sources of inspiration.

  6. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Good stuff Toad. Sorry it didn’t work out the way you intended, but a job well done just the same!

  7. Another great series Toad! You’ve got the HDR down to an absolute science…it’s perfect!! Nice work!

  8. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    Another great set Toad. I agree with Mark, your processing is really coming along nicely. Keep up the great work!

  9. I can imagine the dismay you felt when arriving to this scene! Your heart must have sunk. I agree it’s a shame to see older architecture torn down to make way for new buildings that have no style. And I don’t think anybody could recreate things the way they used to be built. Wonderful post!

    • I totally agree with you Michael. I really personally find the older buildings to be full of character and the newer stuff just looks and feel antiseptic to me. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave these great comments, much appreciated.

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