So here are some photos and the story I wanted to tell you about my experience while shooting here at this abandoned house/mansion.
First of all, again, I placed the town as Vik, but in reality its along the highway in the middle of nowhere, many kilometers from the nearest town. Its located in Southern Iceland on the drive to the Ice Beach...for those who have been to Iceland you'll know where I'm talking about :)
My last post was of the abandoned blue truck, which was photographed at this location. There are dozens of rusted old relics on this property, in the front, in the back and all over on each side.
I noticed this large house and its winding driveway from the HWY and I felt the need to photograph it.
Its completely run-down, boarded up, falling apart, crusted and rusted, abandoned, it was spectacular!
I have recently discovered that there is actually a name for this type of photography, of old abandoned subjects...its called Urban Exploration. Look it up online and you'll see :)
After photographing many of the old trucks, the rusted VW Van, the House itself from many different angles and POV's I decided to check out the house on the INSIDE. After all, thats what Urban Exploration is all about!
So I walk up to the red door you see in this photo. I look inside that small rectangular window and I see one staircase leading UP and one staircase leading DOWN. There is garbage everywhere, drywall falling off of the walls hanging like a broken picture frame, cans of food left open, what a mess!
I wanted to get inside so badly and take some photos of the layout of the house and its deserted rooms and broken furniture. This spooky atmosphere really gets me going :)
So here I am at that red door you see in the middle, I'm yanking and pulling and pushing on the door really hard to get inside, its totally all boarded up as if its on lockdown at a prison. I cant get in. So i keep trying, keep pulling and yanking on the door...
Out of nowhere, I see an Old Man walking UP the staircase from Inside the house. He looks about 90, I'm sure he's about 70. Long long grey beard, with a very disheveled physical appearance. He creeps up slowly to the door to meet me, he does not look very happy to see me.
I get the hell out of there, shouting at Tosca to get back in the Jeep as she is also out there taking photo's of the vehicles on the property. I can hear the man unlocking and un-boarding his front door to come out.
It took a while to back the Jeep up because of how i parked it, and with a few rusted vehicles in the front driveway it wasn't easy and it took time. All the while the Old Man is now walking slowly but ever so closer and closer to us looking very angry, I'm backing up, and pulling forward, backing up and pulling forward...and just as he's at our Jeep i get down the driveway.
Our hearts were pumping a thousand beats a minute! Poor Old Man, I'm sure he is mentally ill, I know that 'look' and 'affect' of a Chronically ill person with Schizophrenia as I work in a Psych Hospital as a Psych Nurse, and he has that exact same presentation. I'm sure he has elements of paranoia, hence the totally boarded up front door from the inside.
Hard to believe that somebody was actually living here!! The sad truth is that i'm sure he will die alone, with no contact to family, and one day his body will be 'found' inside. Where he gets his food is beyond me, there is absolutely nothing around or near by.
This was one of my favorite experiences on our Iceland trip, and i'm happy to share it with you.
I'll add a couple of WS photos, including one taken from the HWY.
Critiques | Translate
snunney (90030) 2013-03-28 8:21
This dilapidated old house makes a superb photographic subject. The atmosphere is heightened by the stark upwards point of view and the saturated blue sky. Excellent rendering of the tones and textures. Very strange building with two front doors.
dta (71461) 2013-03-28 8:23
Hello Craig ,
This picture is very appealing for me , because i like a lot the theme of old abandoned houses . Do you remember a picture of a house in Madeira that I dedicated for you ? The POV is similar .
But here your story is really interesting : The life of a photographer can be dangerous ! ;)
Hansaphotos (7351) 2013-03-28 8:44
Thanks for sharing this shot and the mini novel of a note! The first thing that came to my mind viewing this picture was some of your earlier work from the haunted house in VC. Nice upwards POV with splendid abandoned atmosphere. Incredible that some of the wall not loosened and fell down when you were pulling the door. Fine work!
Sonata11 (33697) 2013-03-28 8:55
Hello dear Craig,
Wow! What a fascinating experience. I really love to reading, it is very your excitement story. Craig, I think you should write a books. I think, you have potential. Very beautiful picture and very excited story. Love it. Tfs.
jacquest (18871) 2013-03-28 8:56
Quite a story you are telling us here and also quite a picture of this house you are presenting us. It looks like this house has grown itself from the dry weed all around. I like the texture of the walls and the graphic of the large windows.
lousat (82636) 2013-03-28 9:44
Hi Craig,the old houses, as well as workshops and abandoned industries, have always had a great fascination for me.I think at the history, events and facts of people who have lived and worked and now there are no more, and at many secrets that these old walls hold.A magnificent picture, where the prospect has made a difference.Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano
Noel_Byrne (27440) 2013-03-28 10:23
You weave a wonderful tale, and that has really set the scene for this very pleasing image. I could feel my heart rate speeding up as I read that note, and thats a great thing to be able to do with an accompanying note.
As for the house, what can I say? Brilliant perspective to make its spookiness stand out really nicely and give great scale to the place. The textures of the walls and windows is perfect too.
I love these types of shots, and in fact is was my seeking out of ruined mansions and castles in Ireland that led to my fascination with photography, so this is a particularly interesting take for me. Combined with the shot of the truck, I really enjoyed this place.
All the best
siudzi (34141) 2013-03-28 10:24
You have selected a quite interesting POV to photographed this old building. The effect is really cool and original. I like it! Perfectly managed shot as always. Well done. TFS.
worldcitizen (7622) 2013-03-28 13:14
Wow! What a story!! Your daring nature has certainly gotten you some interesting stories to tell. :-) About the photo, I personally prefer the WS versions, especially the one showing a bit of the surrounding landscape. The tilt of the house is a bit strong for my liking, but hey, that's just me. :-)
holmertz (45281) 2013-03-28 13:16
What a story! For once your note is almost more exciting than your pictures :-). Not quite The Shining, but spooky enough. Actually all three pictures are great photos, really fascinating. An incredibly strange place. I really thought small Iceland had a social security network that would cover even a person like that.
Gigidusud (18065) 2013-03-28 14:46
Here is the rest of the story, what an adventure! I'll do nightmares tonight:)Thank you for taking big risks to us, the photo is superb and the WS also.I like it!
jcpix (13814) 2013-03-28 17:01
I'm sure you've heard the adage "A picture is worth a thousand words." To this one I say, the story is worth a thousand pictures! What a great description you've included. The photo alone scores big points, but coupled with the story behind it just takes it to another level of interest and appeal. Your creative perspective makes this look like the ultimate haunted house. The faded red door holds it all together with it's sweet placement within the composition. I wish you could have made it inside for a few shots, but I'm glad you were able to at least come up with a few from the exterior. Crazy story and some great memories to have forever! I think Noel said it best, "you weave a wonderful tale!" :) Thanks for sharing part of your trip with us here at TE.
emka (86535) 2013-03-28 20:29
what a story! I can imagine how scared you were! Anyway, I would be. Very strange place, like from thriller movie. Fantastic photo from below, excellent colours.
jjcordier (79054) 2013-03-28 23:39
Ce village abandonné est vraiment étrange et inquiétant (ce que confirme ta note) et t'a permis de réaliser d'étonnantes images....très différentes de ce qu'on s'attend à voir en Islande!
dkmurphys (52773) 2013-03-28 23:39
A lovely POV on this old haunted house. I wouldn't knock on that door, is good to stay away outside....
SnapRJW (31627) 2013-03-29 0:43
What a super story, no wonder this sticks out as one of your most memorable moments in Iceland... kind of a ghost story with a twist Craig! Super upward POV where the starkness and decrepit state of the building is contrasted by the modern-looking door handles! From the WS I can see that you could have spent hours in this location as it is such fertile subject matter... I can understand you running away though ;) Warm regards Rosemary
danos (90395) 2013-03-29 0:57
nice the view as the presentation of this old and abandon house.The whole construction in older times must was very nice and inviting but after dacades the impairment obvious.Excellent the light and the colour management of the scene as the clarity of it.
mirosu (15302) 2013-03-29 4:16
This is excellently captured building from very well selected viewpoint. The view from lover angle makes the buildings majestic and dominant. The light is perfect, the contrast against blue sky excellent. Thanks for explanative note. have a nice weekend.
Sergiom (67502) 2013-03-29 5:30
Le bonheur d'avoir cette belle lentille en voyage qui nous permet très peu de recul dans les endroits étroits.La contre plongée est fantastique et le ciel bien polarisé.
marabu61 (9503) 2013-03-29 6:02
Wow, what a story, I didn't expected this. My first thought on this house and your title was: Is it really safe to knock on that door or would the whole house crumble down when you open that door. Then I read your story and the further down I read, the more my heart started pounding as well. Your narration is so good, it felt as if being there with you.
Your low POV just enhances the derelict and creepy feeling of the place. The house is towering over the viewer like a menance.
timecapturer (49288) 2013-03-29 6:03
love this shot and the tale you tell is both amazing and adds to the atmosphere of this place. Like you I love exploring old ruined buildings, they hold something in the very plaster and brickwork that just seems to ooze out when you get inside them and our imagination can then run wild. I went inside a ruined sanatorium in Rhodes and got really spooked when taking pictures as I could hear footsteps but nobody else was there.
I posted a shot from the roof on TE in my early days, and you can see it here:
Love this shot Craig, the place looks fascinating and the workshop images are wonderful too!
Silvio1953 (130430) 2013-03-29 7:14
Ciao Craig, great POV on fashinating abandoned house, wonderful colors, excellent clarity and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
krzychu30 (15510) 2013-03-29 8:18
I think You and Noel have already posted some pictures of old,abandoned asylum and this one has the same,kind of scary and gloomy mood when I look at it.Even your low POV looking up intensify this feeling.
Great picture with really interesting story standing behind!
Haha,the same feeling I had also in Hong Kong after entering my Hostel:)I think I´ll have post a photo from New Lucky House:)
Have a nice Easter weekend
fabbs99 (16817) 2013-03-29 23:58
Great shot with excellent sharpness and clarity.very well done.
CLODO (32198) 2013-03-30 2:56
very very interesting note about your "adventure". The house looks like the one in the Hitchcock films, and I am not surprised that you wake up a real ghost! But again, you are far from the Iceland visitors, and don't dare to look and take pictures of the unbeleivable landscapes of waterfalls, sceneries of volcanoes,....
Spend a good Easter week end
artesia (959) 2013-04-01 8:54
Haha. wow what a story!!! Remind me of the Jeepers Creepers movie... somehow, I know it's not the same scene. But you sure he's alive? hahaha
But dude.. wow!! I would scream my heart out!! You must be really scared haha... great photo with great story :-)
Interesting POV, you made the house even scarier :-)
tyro (22164) 2013-04-05 1:22
What a wonderful trio of photographs - but what a brilliant note too! Geez, if I had ventured into that old house and that had happened - I think I would have messed myself! Scary or what? But things are often not quite what they seem and it does seem awful that that old boy lives in such dreadful lonely conditions and will probably die alone without any friends or relatives around.
Still, I love these three pictures and the main one must, of course, be my favourite. Your favourite "city" lens has come up trumps and given you some amazingly strong perespective and depth of field. The building stands out beautifully against the deep blue sky and I like the soft and subtle reflections on the windows.
Come to think of it, that sky looks almost as though you have used a polarising filter but I guess you haven't because that ultra-wide lens has such a big front element that I don't think that it will take one, will it?
adores (41054) 2013-04-05 16:31
You got some really nice and different photos there! The place looks amazing, but exploring places like this is always a risk, here also:))!
I really like the pov here and the details and colours! The photos in Ws are excellent, they deserved to be main posts also.
delpeoples (55094) 2013-04-11 8:52
Ahh this made me laugh. I'm trying to picture the look on your face - and the look on the old guy's face - when you saw each other. Hehehe lucky this wasn't America and the guy wasn't wielding a high powered assault rifle or you might've been shipped back to Canuckland in a pine box :)
Wow what an adventure, one that you'll be able to laugh about now, even if you probably needed a new set of undies at he time it was happening!
The photo is sensational, great perspective, colours and depth. And what I'm most surprised about is that it's sharp, cos I would've been shaking like a leaf. Anyway, time to cue up the Benny Hill chase scene music for Craig and Tosca. Thanks for sharing, between you and John Tyro you've given me my dose of entertainment for the week hahahaha!
PS: I'll get to your shipwreck when I get the energy to write more critiques, but this will be my only one for today
unclehotshot (3254) 2014-11-20 23:15
Great shot. I can see why you felt the need to photograph this.
Super POV and a very moody shot. The building seems hostile
- Copyright: craig macintosh (macjake) (61504)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-03-18
- Categories: Daily Life, Humorous, Architecture, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Pentax K7, SIGMA 8-16mm
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/500 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2013-03-28 8:07