Tag Archives: urban decay

detroit rock city, 2010

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 57mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/640 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/6400 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 32mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 40mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 38mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1000 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 45mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 38mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/640 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 32mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 54mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

| currently listening to: A house, Doves, Lost Souls 2000, | LINK

the photography:
i’ve been MIA for a bit. sorry about that. the holidays are busy with family and really busy with work. my bad. but i’m posting now, right?

i spend at least one week in detroit every year as i cover the north american international auto show as an automotive photojournalist from the floors of cobo hall. it’s always a wicked exciting time to be around for the major car releases from the big three american automotive giants with all of the pomp and circumstance that comes with the dance party that is the press days. sigh. january in detroit? sigh.

every time i enter the detroit city limits, all i want to do is spend my time photographing the world outside of the hall walls, the desolate, decrepit, weed-infested streets, and burned out house shells that make up the greater detroit metropolitan region. this year i took the plunge and i snuck out of the hotel and i explored. it was amazing. on that warm/cold/warm morning, i took the time to photograph the GMC Safari van that is jacked up with at least an 18″ lift kit complete with gigantic mudding tires affixed to it’s tiny axels making it look like the ultimate redneck salute to the A-Team. too bad it’s painted tan (or should i say faded tan). finally. i have been eyeing that bad-boy for three years.

one of the glimmering pillars of detroit’s losing battle with it’s own humanity is the Michigan Central Depot, located on Michigan Avenue in detroit, just down the street from the former Tiger Stadium. this building has been empty since Amtrak left in 1988 which means that the 17 story structure (slightly guessing since the first floor atrium has 76′ tall ceiling) has been empty for more that 22 years. the condition of the building is a national and architectural travesty that many photographers have taken a stab at capturing. so i gave it a my best shot with the time i was alloted and i feel quite good about the results. i will, mark my words, one day return and climb inside this building and i will document the horror that lies within. one day.

another stop on my way out of detroit is this great little diner/hamburger joint. two of us ate 2 eggs over easy, hashbrowns, toast, and bacon. we paid $7.47. crazy. the man behind the counter shredded the potatoes for the hashbrowns while we sat and waited. amazing.

it was a gorgeous couple of days but much of my time was spent in a conventional hall and then in a casino. don’t ask. i didn’t bet a cent. but the time i did get out and take some photographs, the light was perfect, the sky was filled with voluptuous high clouds, and the temperature was perfect while sitting right around 33 degrees. i couldn’t have asked for a better 1.5 hours. next time? i’m gonna take a couple of days and document the city of detroit as it should be documented. it’s a beautiful place. truly beautiful.

the music:
i first heard the band doves when i was working in a crappy design job laying out old-people-group-tour catalogs for an old-people-group-tour company located in boston. boring, mind-numbing, and anti-inspirational were the terms we threw around that office like oyster crackers onto a bowl campbell’s clam chowdah. an aging hipster coworker (in his 40’s who wore chucks and took care of his 15 year old daughter on the weekends) spent much of his time pulling me aside and chatting about bands in hopes of passing the rock’n’roll torch to an up-and-coming music junkie such as myself. it worked. his first lesson was to never forget the importance of punk music no matter how trite and watered down it becomes and his second was to always listen to captain beefheart. i soaked up a lot of information during my 6 month freelance stint on the third floor of that brick building just south of the five points channel. a lot.

one of the records that was passed down to me during that educational period was the doves, lost souls, the first full length from these three chaps from manchester. it’s quite a fantastic record from start to finish with the ebb and flow of songs that peaks with the epic “the cedar room” which needs the calming cool down of “the house” to bring the record back to earth. if you want to know where coldplay get much of their sound from i can tell you that it’s not all radiohead ripoffs. doves mix floating chords and keyboards with a smooth rhythm section and echoed staccato guitars to make you feel right at home in your chair with your headphones on. i went so far with my love of doves to track them down during their first couple of tours to the states. the opening band for their first tour? a little group called the strokes. the second tour? a little group called my morning jacket. not too shabby kids. not too shabby.

flynn avenue, burlington, vermont

Exposure: 1/13 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/25 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Green Doors, Lowell Thompson & Crown Pilot, s/t, 2009, | LINK

the photography:
so this thanksgiving 2009 was much like any of my previous thanksgivings, it was mobbed with nephews, 4 generations of merritts, good food, great company, talk of babies, two different sit down dinners, and 1 happy dog waiting for us at home at the end of all the hub-bub. as i look back on thanksgiving ought-9, i see it as the end of a chapter in my life as it was the last thanksgiving for both my wife and i as a couple. the 2010 thanksgiving will mark our first as a trio. as baby merritt’s due date gets closer there will be lots of chapters closing and new ones starting. it feels absolutely wonderful. lots of “firsts” on the horizon, lots of ’em.

but more about this years thanksgiving in a later post!

PHOTO WALKING WITH A FRIEND: after traveling through 4 states already in 2 days, we finally arrived home at my parents house for 72 hours of some much needed r and r. i decided to take the opportunity to sneak out on a photo jaunt with an old friend who just happens to be a great street photographer whether he is in his hometown of burlington or roaming and clicking the streets of his former hood, san francisco. trevor is known on the interwebs as @roamandclick on the twitter and his personal photo website Roam and Click is quite fantastic. trevor also is a flickr-ite and can be found here under the moniker, [ bones ] : Flickr

i reconnected with trevor via facebook after 10 or so years of not seeing each other. he was heading into chicago and wondered if i would be up for a drink. since it was st. patrick’s day, i figured, what the hell. this was four years ago and we have kept in touch ever since. we’ve had our ups and downs as individuals but the connection trevor and i share is focused (pun intended) primarily on our love of two things: photography and urban decay. AND we both grew up in the same small town with the same group of 100 kids and we’ve both since travelled the world and seen the sights. last saturday we decided to tackle photos and urban decay. it was a blast. for the record, trevor is a Nikon guy. not that there’s anything wrong with that…

the photos are from just off of flynn avenue, in burlington, vermont. locals should know this area as the first magic hat brewery was located just around the corner. as usual, the lens is the trusted 28mm f1.8 and we hit the train tracks at the perfect golden hour of dusk. it was breezy and cool but not yet winter. you could smell the wood stoves in the air but you didn’t need a scarf. perfect weather for some photo walking with old friends. salt sheds, railroads, trucks, and dirty old buildings were provided by the city of burlington and it’s inhabitants. sigh.

the music:
lowell is a guy i grew up with who is making the scene in new england as what northern country twang means. he’s a heart-on-sleeve songwriter who delivers his brand of northcountry alt rock with a voice of gold and a cracking back up band containing some of burlington’s finest musicians. it’s a recipe made in “Wilco” fan heaven. go and check them out if you can and if they come to the midwest, you’ll see me in the front row.

THREE SIDE NOTES: i once worked for lowell’s dad as a house painter, lowell and i played high school lacrosse together, and his punk band in high school once opened for my ska band in (redundantly) high school. fact.