Wednesday, 27 July 2011


The Waiting, photo manipulation 2011

I have an addiction to photographing the abandoned building I find all around this beautiful island.  I am completely drawn to them, despite the insects, mold, and scratchy plant life that inevitably await me within and around these structures.  Because of this recent obsession, I have an abundance of photos of these vacant homes.  Some homes have had parts of their roofs collapsed from the 1980s earthquake, and debris covers the floor; some are already mostly dilapidated and overgrown with plant life.  Others have rooms which have remained moderately intact, framed photos still adorning the water stained walls, furniture sets and empty cabinets covered with layers of dust, mold and often damaged my insects.  These are the rooms that most intrigue me.  Forgotten books, papers and monochrome family photos littering shelves, reminds me other humans once lived here.  Those people had their own passions, struggles and memories. 

What he wrote... photo manipulation, 2011
In reality, I don’t think any of these places are haunted.  However, the concept of these places having been deeply personal spaces, now quietly deserted causes me to contemplate the unique histories of these rooms.  This contemplation combined with the appealing aesthetic of antique photos and early photographic attempts to provide evidence of ghosts is the inspiration for my most recent Haunted series of digital photo manipulations.

Who's the Fairest? photo manipulation, 2011
In these works, I used my own original photos from abandoned buildings and homes to set the scene for each piece. I then found an appropriate black and white antique image that seemed to best fit the setting.  The images I used were from a Dover clip art publication, Great Photographs from Daguerre to the Great Depression.  This helps me to avoid any copyright infringement issues. 

Sepia photo filters (or a layer of black and white), rendering fibers and adjusting curves on different versions of the same background image was the main way I altered the original photo to create an aged aesthetic.  Once I had these varying layers, I would erase portions of the each (and/or adjust opacity), removing the top layers allowed the lower layers to become subtly visible adding a depth to the background.

It's Raining, It's Pouring... photo manipulation, 2011
The ghosting effects were created with a free photoshop dreamy filter plugin, downloaded from  Through the use of several layers, varying opacity, and erasing different areas on the figure, I achieved this eerie ghostly effect.

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