My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

” Last Stop- Home of Castaways”


"Shattered Past"

“Shattered Past”

All aboard for a blast to the past, a “Trolley Graveyard”. Before embarking on this workshop shoot I had preconceived ideas of what I would encounter, as I had shot old trains in Connecticut about a year back. The venue in CT provided wide open spaces that showcased the trains, along with overgrowth that reached over 6 feet high in many places. After my initial eye-opener to the area, I slowly made my way to the back of the property. You might say it was literally the end of the line, in so many ways, as the tracks ended and the overgrowth was even harder to get through.

I approached this place in a backwards type of planning, for when hiking in and past the trolleys, I would take mental notes on what to shoot on my way back. This proved very rewarding as most of the group started in the front. I could line up wide and distant shots without human ‘ghosts’ walking in and out of my long exposures. The trolleys gave up their past, through patterns of decay and framed windowless panels of the fall, throughout the day. Exploring and creating, while trying not to trip on stumps, played out like a game of where not to step. The overcast day provided the perfect flat light I needed to expose the colors and decomposition found all around me.

When the time came to process these relics of a time well past, I was torn between color and black and white. The colors found at this time of year spotlighted and gave the trolleys an almost peaceful place to rest their rusting bones. When the right image was flipped to B/W, the past came alive… you could hear the sound of bells and metal screeching on tracks… the area seemed to come to life again. When turning back after my trek, I could truly feel that this was their last stop… castaways in the woods but comfortably paired with each other as if to say “we are home… just out of service.“

30 responses

  1. Really fine tributes to the ghosts that inevitably haunt such derelicts; they surely must appreciate your respectful representations. What an opportunity! Wish you a great New Year, Mike!


    December 27, 2014 at 12:46 am

    • Thanks Gary for the NY’s wish… as you know , I am never quite sure what that will bring. Love that you are keeping up with your blog… all my best to you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 19, 2015 at 2:31 pm

  2. Love every one of these images. Your processing really brought out the wonderful colors and textures. And your compositions prove (once again) that you have a great eye for the overall as well as details many would pass by! Your walk through approach makes a lot of sense … I will have to try that.


    December 17, 2014 at 10:11 am

    • LOL… that walk through was kind of forced because of me wanting to be alone or at the very least not have to many walk-through ghosts. My attention to details has been influenced by those SJCC peeps around me!!!! … thanks ‘D’.


      January 19, 2015 at 2:35 pm

  3. Caerlynn Nash

    These are fabulous, Mike. The colors are wonderful (what is it about old rusted things?) and having taken the photos in the fall really adds to the atmosphere/theme. I have three or four favorites, but they’re all terrific. Keep up the great work, and thanks for sharing!


    December 16, 2014 at 10:15 am

    • Big thanks Caerlynn… at first I was not sure how the fall colors would play out with all that decay… so glad you felt the same way.


      January 19, 2015 at 2:36 pm

  4. Reblogged this on COURTNEYmDESIGN.


    December 16, 2014 at 5:13 am

    • always thankful for a reblog!!!


      January 19, 2015 at 2:37 pm

  5. Great photos!… Im from CT!


    December 16, 2014 at 2:47 am

    • back at ya from Jersey!!!


      January 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm

  6. Pat

    These are wonderful photos.


    December 15, 2014 at 8:55 pm

  7. Great shoot! I would prefer to start at the end and work my way up as well- great planning (although I do get side tracked at times) I do live the colors and the life it brings but also agree that the image does come alive in the B/W rendition.


    December 15, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    • Thanks for keeping in touch Cynthia.. I know how old places speak to you and Dan also… always nice to hear from you. Oh … congrats to new addition to your family 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      January 19, 2015 at 2:40 pm

  8. You are a lycky guy, Mike. Absolutely stunning photos – this spot is a goldmine for photographing!


    December 15, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    • Hey Truels… thanks… hope winter over there is treating you nice!!!


      January 19, 2015 at 2:42 pm

  9. anita gooden

    OMG!!! You are amazing,these are all jaw dropping shots.


    December 15, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    • Big thanks Anita always nice to hear from you and to see what you are up to on FB.


      January 19, 2015 at 2:43 pm

  10. pettinato49

    Reblogged this on A Great Capacity to Dream and commented:
    Couldn’t get enough of these photographs!


    December 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    • Thanks for the reblog and comment Pettina.


      January 19, 2015 at 2:43 pm

  11. pettinato49

    These are absolutely beautiful shots!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm

  12. Bonnie

    Wonderful color and composition. I could see how you would be torn between the color and B&W.


    December 15, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    • Thanks Bonnie… it is a constant ying and yang for me…sure does keep one’s mind going though!!!


      January 19, 2015 at 2:45 pm

  13. Another great set of images Mike. The one thing that sets photographs of this subject matter a part form each other is thoughtful composition. Any one can point a camera at a rusty piece of metal and get an interesting image. However taking the time to actually compose the image makes the resulting photograph and subject beautiful. I mean, they are rusty eyesores right? It’s the little things like the way you placed the star, the leaf hanging on to the rusty metal and the two trees between the two green cars that makes a big difference, more so then the HDR effect.


    December 15, 2014 at 9:48 am

    • Thanks Rich… really glad you picked up on those purposeful tweeks!!!


      January 19, 2015 at 2:47 pm

  14. Excellent series of photos. So much character and texture.


    December 15, 2014 at 9:25 am

    • Hi Dan… I know how old things and places speak to you and Cynthia also… thanks.
      Congrats on the new addition to your furry family!!!


      January 19, 2015 at 2:48 pm

  15. This looks like a very interesting place to photograph. I like the interior shots the best.


    December 15, 2014 at 1:22 am

    • Thanks Allen for the visit and especially taking the time to comment.


      January 19, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Hey...let me know what you think!!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s