As a photographer, every once in a while you see something that catches your eye.  You hope to return later with time permitting to shoot it, and sometimes Father Time is helpful in this regard, and other times when you return the item or subject is gone.  This is particularly true when it comes to buildings.  Many times when I see a building that catches my eye, especially the derelict ones, and by the time we get back to them they are long gone.  Thankfully, this is not always the case.

2014 Ford Escape at Derelict Industrial Site - Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

2014 Ford Escape at Derelict Industrial Site – Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

I have no idea what this site originally did, but it has been like this for years now and every time we drive by I say I want to return to photograph it.  I have been working on a light painting technique lately for cars and with summer in full swing here I decided to finally head to this old industrial site to use it as a backdrop for a car shoot.  In this shot here, I was trying to create a magazine quality shot with our very own Toad’s Truck, making it pop out of the scene.  I rather like the effect.  We’ve had our trusty steed here for a little over 2 years now, and it has over 90,000 kilometers on it and runs like it did the day we bought it.  I also think it photographs well.

Derelict Industrial Site - Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Derelict Industrial Site – Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Derelict Industrial Site - Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Derelict Industrial Site – Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Once I was complete with shooting our truck, I began to set my focus on capturing some photographs of the exterior.  We never trespass for our work, and as such I wasn’t able to get inside.  I would love to, however, so if any of our readers know who owns and manages this building, if you could get us a lead we would really appreciate it.  We really love to document old buildings with a story, especially if their days are numbered as is likely the case here.

Derelict Industrial Site - Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Derelict Industrial Site – Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Derelict Industrial Site - Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Derelict Industrial Site – Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Derelict Industrial Site - Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Derelict Industrial Site – Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

This site has been like this for many, many years now.  Graffiti artists have left their mark, and there are many signs of unwelcome guests having entered the facility.  I was unsure if I was being watched even while shooting the outside here, so I did my work quickly and left with the hopes of being able to return in the future with permission.  This is a great way to see how powerful social media truly is, as I am now watching my phone and inbox for a lead with an optimistic outlook.

Derelict Industrial Site - Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Derelict Industrial Site – Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Derelict Industrial Site - Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Derelict Industrial Site – Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Graffiti is a constant at sites like this, with almost every derelict site we’ve seen showing signs of it.  To many people this is a blight on the building, but we also see the foundation of art in these designs as they add a splash of color and texture to a place that hasn’t seen commerce in decades.  We can only imagine what the inside is like, and honestly the not knowing drives us a little crazy.  Who worked here?  What did they produce or service?  How long has it been since this building saw it’s last customer?  And where did everyone go?  These questions are unlikely to be answered by accessing the inside for a shoot, but at least the ability to do so would quench our curiosity.

One of the aspects of art we have learned about over the years has been the concept of Gestalt.  In this case, we find the principle embodied in the concept of artistic tension inasmuch as there are so many questions that images like this leave with the viewer.  Do you find this to be true with your interpretation of the world around you too?

Thanks so much for visiting us here at The Hollow today.  We love to hear from all our visitors, so please feel free to leave us any comments or thoughts you may have below.




  1. avatar Lisa Gordon says:

    I know I will probably be in a minority here, but I think the graffiti adds to old and abandoned sites such as this one.

    I just love what you did with your “truck.” Great perspective, and I like the way you posed her wheels! 🙂

    • I kinda like the graffiti too Lisa, I think it puts some art on a surface like this. But I am sure there are lots of folks who don’t appreciate it. Thankfully there isn’t anything over the top here, it’s just shapes, colors and a few tags from what I assume are the local gangs. Not a big problem here in the Cowichan Valley, really. Anyways, thanks for popping by with your nice comments and thoughts here, we really appreciate it!

  2. avatar Edith Levy says:

    To be honest graffiti is usually what attracts me to sites such as this. Excellent post Toad. BTW what happened to your Twitter button?

    • Thanks Edith, we really appreciate your kind visit and comments today, coming from you that means a lot! I think I’ve fixed our Twitter button, please don’t hesitate to let me know if the problem reappears or if something else comes up. We really strive to provide the best experience here for our visitors. 😀

  3. avatar Michael Criswell says:

    I really like the shot, the Toadmobile really pops, and dude, I love my Escape as well!

    • Hey now Mike, you’ve got awesome taste in vehicles! LOL Love your comments here, my friend, many thanks for swinging on around to see us here and for leaving these! You brought a huge smile to my face today! Cheers!!