The Peaceful Atmosphere of Abandonment

The theme of our latest photo contest, “Deserted Places,” was ideal for 29-year-old French photographer Romain Thiery whose image “Villa Romantica” was awarded third place.

Romain Thiery Photographer

 

“South West France in a region full of history,” says Romain. “I started photographing my region’s forgotten legacy following the photography work of my mother. Since 2009 I became professional and specialized in abandoned heritage photography all over Europe. I started exploring abandoned places with my camera and soon became fascinated by those unusual places, forgotten by all, empty and out of time. My main art purpose is to capture the peaceful atmosphere of abandonment and perfectly show the mood, the texture and the light of places people are no longer attracted to. I dive into these spaces that everyone believes are empty and I will stroll for hours, trying to offer a universal and forgotten vision which is majestically renewed. Currently living in Montpellier, South East France, I am now exploring the rest of the world and still looking for abandoned places. My images are now exhibited in France and America and they have also been published in many magazines.”

 “Romain entered a number of impressive images,” comments Roger Driscoll, owner of the Alverton Gallery and joint host of the contest. “However the twisted tree forming the central focus of ‘Villa Romantica’ made the image a standout top three choice.”

“Villa Romantica is an abandoned villa in Italy,” Romain explains “It has been  abandoned for a very long time and nature reclaimed its space inside the building. The villa is very close to a small village, lost in the fields and totally surrounded by high trees and plants growing under the walls. It was quite hard to find it. I really like the way nature reclaimed here and how the tree has grown. Unfortunately I can’t find out anything about the villa and to recover traces of the history. I can imagine it was a large farmer’s family because this villa retains traces of a past grandeur (large rooms and stairs), even though most of the frescoes and paintings have been stolen in the past few years.”

For “Villa Romantica” Romain used a Sony A6000 with a 10-18mm wide-angle Sony lens. This is his preferred combination when  capturing the peaceful atmosphere of abandoned buildings. 

A framed and mounted print of Villa Romantica will be exhibited at the Alverton Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall UK during October 2017 along with the first and second prizes in the gallery’s “Deserted Places” competition.

For further examples of Romain’s work please check out his website and social media:

Website: www.romainthiery.fr 


Pushing the Boundaries

Finnish photographer Janne Kahila always strives to push the boundaries when discovering that perfect landscape shot. Janne’s determined approach earned him much praise from the judges of the Alverton Penzance Photographic Competition as well as second prize in their recent “Deserted Places” contest for his image “Tilted in Time.”

Janne Kahila Photographer

 

“By day I work as a solution consultant in a cool software company,” says Janne. “But I’m also a keen traveller and passionate photographer. I spend most of my holidays searching for new fascinating locations to travel to and my spare time is spent editing the photos I have taken from these trips. Lately I’ve been mostly exploring the northern Europe like Scotland, Faroe Islands and especially Norway, which is my favorite due to its great mountains and proximity to Finland.

“My technical day-job and photography go surprisingly well together as my analytical mindset and meticulous touch come handy in both fields. I’m self-taught and over the years I have developed my own techniques both in the field and in post-processing that have carved my style into what it is today. Characterised by the attention to details and technical variety, I really enjoy discovering new challenging methods that help me in achieving my vision. Another side of photography that drives my passion forward are the great vistas and memorable travels that inspire me to push my skills and vision further. I love wandering outdoors and climbing the mountains to reach for even better landscapes. I’m constantly trying to improve my skills by exploring new tricks and techniques in search for the perfect photograph.”

Janne Kahila Photography

“It’s difficult to imagine a more compelling subject for abandoned places photography,” comments Roger Driscoll, owner of the Alverton Gallery and joint host of the contest. “Janne tells me that the photo features  an old abandoned sauna building, that was built on top of a small rock. Now the sauna is severely tilted and worn over time and looks quite forlorn. If anyone were to try to enter, it would probably fall over.”

Janne Kahila Photography

 

“I shoot with Canon gear ,” Janne explains. “My camera being the old but trustworthy 6D that has seen many places and performed well. Other essentials in my kit are a sturdy (but light) Velbon tripod and a good set of ND and GND filters. I have a special interest in ultra-wide angle images, which is why my go-to lens that I use 90% of the time is the 16-35mm f/2.8 II from Canon. But I often want to go even wider so I have started taking panoramas extensively which is currently my main niche I try to master. Going ultra-wide opens up new photographic possibilities and I also like the challenge in it – it’s not easy producing a natural looking perspective when going above 180 degrees’ field of view while simultaneously combining exposures to keep the dynamic range in order. The greater the challenge the greater the reward!”

A framed and mounted print of Tilted in Time will be exhibited at the Alverton Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall UK during October 2017 along with the first and third prizes in the gallery’s “Deserted Places” competition.

For further examples of Janne’s work please check out his website and social media:

Website: www.jkahilaphotography.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jkahilaphotography

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jkahilaphotography

 


“Only the Stars Live Here” by Sigfrido Corradi

Congratulations to Sigfrido Corradi whose image “Only the Stars Live Here” received an Honourable Mention in our recent “Deserted Places” Photographic Competition.  

Sigfrido Corradi Photographer

This superb example of night time photography was taken at San Vitale, Verona, Italy (GPS: 45.585271, 11.073973)


“Estate Penitentiary” by Manuel Goncalves

Congratulations to Manuel Goncalves whose image “Estate Penitentiary” received an Honourable Mention in our recent “Month of May” Photographic Competition.  

Manuel Goncalves Photographer

This enigmatic photo was taken on 24 May 2017 in Eastern Estate Penitentiary, Philadelphia, USA. The prison was closed in 1971 and had famous inmates such as Al Capone.


“Waterslide” by Haim Blumenblat

Congratulations to Haim Blumenblat whose image “Waterslide” received an Honourable Mention in our recent “Deserted Places” Photographic Competition.  

Haim Blumenblat Photographer

This evocative photo was taken at a derelict theme park in Israel, June 2017.


“Beelitz Heilstatten” by Rowan Ibbeken

Congratulations to Rowan Ibbeken whose image “Beelitz Heilstatten” received an Honourable Mention in our recent “Deserted Places” Photographic Competition.  

Rowan Ibbeken Photographer

Beelitz-Heilstätten (52°15′37″N 12°55′30″E), a district of the town, is home to a large hospital complex of about 60 buildings including a cogeneration plant erected from 1898 on according to plans of architect Heino Schmieden. Originally designed as a sanatorium by the Berlin workers’ health insurance corporation, the complex from the beginning of World War I on was a military hospital of the Imperial German Army. During October and November 1916, Adolf Hitler recuperated at Beelitz-Heilstätten after being wounded in the leg at the Battle of the Somme.

In 1945, Beelitz-Heilstätten was occupied by Red Army forces, and the complex remained a Soviet military hospital until 1995, well after the German reunification. In December 1990, Erich Honecker was admitted to Beelitz-Heilstätten after being forced to resign as the head of the East German government.

Following the Soviet withdrawal, attempts were made to privatize the complex, but they were not entirely successful. Some sections of the hospital remain in operation as a neurological rehabilitation center and as a center for research and care for victims of Parkinson’s disease. The remainder of the complex, including the surgery, the psychiatric ward, and a rifle range, was abandoned in 1994. As of 2007, none of the abandoned hospital buildings or the surrounding area were secured, giving the area the feel of a ghost town. This has made Beelitz-Heilstätten a destination for curious visitors and a film set for movies like The Pianist in 2002, the Rammstein music video[6] Mein Herz brennt,, Valkyrie in 2008, and A Cure for Wellness in 2016.


“Pontiac Silverdome” by Christophe Martin

Congratulations to Christophe Martin whose image “Pontiac Silverdome” received an Honourable Mention in our recent “Deserted Places” Photographic Competition.  

Christophe Martin Photographer

Pontiac Silverdome is a disused sports stadium near Detroit, USA, photo taken May 2016. The judges were very impressed by this fine example of aerial photography.


“Tzuba Hotel” by Doron Talmi

Congratulations to Doron Talmi whose image “Tzuba Hotel” received an Honourable Mention in our recent “Deserted Places” Photographic Competition.  

Doron Talmi Photographer

The judges were particularly impressed by this image of a hotel which was deserted before completion, located near Tzuba, Jerusalem mountains, Israel, photo taken 30 September 2016.


“Spooky” by Brandon Yoshizawa

Congratulations to Brandon Yoshizawa whose image “Spooky” received an Honourable Mention in our recent “Deserted Places” Photographic Competition.  

Brandon Yoshizawa Photographer

This wonderful Milky Way shot was taken at Eastern Sierras, California, USA in October 2016