jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Fragments (Side))
I haven't forgotten about this site or abandoned it. Life has been keeping me too occupied to post much.

Here's a preview of an exploration taken this summer. Many more to follow!
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The little shack on the cliff
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Fragments (Side))
Out of the images pulled from the old drive, I also have photos from a second site we visited on that cold February afternoon - a former filling station. It wasn't much. The neighborhood was sketchy which probably contributed to the demise of this former Raceway gas station (petrol station). With the cold, the locals didn't choose to come see what I was doing, so a few photos were had.

Abandoned 052FCa
We're sorry but this number is no longer in service...

Rollin down the highway )
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Fragments (Side))
While recovering data and photos from a dead external drive I found a few sets needing to be re-edited and uploaded.

Winter 2011 - Decatur, AL

Driving the back roads between Huntsville and Florence, my wife and I saw this 1950's era farm house. Despite the storms and tornadoes that frequent the region, this little brick house seemed to have been much loved. It sat forlorn on the side of a busy highway in the February chill. Road improvements cut off the driveway and raised the roadbed nearly 2 feet (.6 meters), so I had to park my vehicle a little ways from it and walk in.

Abandoned 003FCa

Over the fields and into the past.. )
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Let's test out this "new" version of LJ. It might be worth staying for if so.

DSC04027FCHDa
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Headshot)
I've now edited 4 nature sets, 3 abandoned site sets (3 more to go) will start posting pics again this week. Yes, the new computer is helping.
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Headshot)
Just a quick message. Due to work schedules, we will not be going to DragonCon at the end of the month. Add that to several other recent issues and I'm frustrated beyond words.

Speaking of work, I was nominated for an Agency wide honor / recognition. 30 contractors out of a workforce of over 7000 were nominated. I wasn't selected but wow. I think that's why I'm covering the projects they've been assigning me to.

Photo wise, I'm nearly caught up on photo work. I have a wedding to edit but I'm waiting on their selections. I have a shoot this weekend and next. This weekend has been in the works for 6 months and there was drama getting to it. The following weekend is a paid gig. After that, I'm putting down the camera for a while. First off, it needs to go in for repairs. Second, I have projects around the house I need to work on.

Speaking of unnecessary drama, the house in Lancaster is finally empty of tenants. We have to clean it up and make some minor repairs and I will sign the closing papers. This will free me from the place.
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Sorry folks, I would have posted these photos almost two weeks ago, but I got called away on a very short notice business trip. That also why several moderated posts didn’t get approved till this morning.

Location #3 – The Swift Meat Packing Complex
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It was hard to find a wall or surface that didn’t have a fresh coat of paint. If anything, as discouraged as it should be, the paint sealed walls were actually better preserved and wear was limited in those areas. That said tagging is a felony in some areas.

Read more... )
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Abandoned Places – Fort Worth, TX (Dec 12) – part 3

By the 1960’s, the Swift Fort Worth plant had already suffered through several major strikes and the site was in need of major modernization. The former Armour Meat Plant to the north of this complex was already closed as ranchers increasingly moved their herds to smaller markets by truck and smaller local railheads. The Swift Company had also diversified substantially into soap, transportation (they owned Greyhound Bus Company) and even insurance. In 1963-4, Swift began the process of shutting down the plant. As has been said, now the former complex is like a small ghost town tucked into the heart of Fort Worth.

Location #3 – The Swift Meat Packing Complex

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Read more... )
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Abandoned Places – Fort Worth, TX (Dec 12) – part 3

There are limited advantages to going on an abandoned site hunt on a weekday. People are at work, traffic is greater and the risk of being seen at some sites is much higher. Going to a location adjacent to one of Fort Worth’s biggest entertainment and tourist draws on a weekday worked beautifully. Being the dead of winter helped too but as mentioned, it really wasn’t cold.

Ft Worth was built as a cattle town. The stockyards and slaughterhouses processed millions of cattle and was on of the primary point that ranchers and cowboys would bring their products to market for the southwest. There were over 20 slaughterhouses and meat packing plants in and around the stockyards, but by the 1920’s Armour Meats and Swift Meat Company were the biggest and most influential.

Location #3 – The Swift Meat Packing Complex
Swift Sigh Sign photo DSC06266FCa.jpg

In it’s heyday, the Ft Worth Swift plant was the company’s second largest operation (Chicago was the largest). To the north of the complex was it’s biggest rival, Armour and Company. In the 1950’s that dramatically changed when Swift bought Armour’s meat business.

Read more... )
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On that warmer than expected afternoon progressed, my companion and I started wandering north through downtown Fort Worth. Warmer than average was probably a misnomer; because it was in the upper-60’s and pleasant… in mid December. The next place we found was unexpected but worth a quick walk around. The Ellis Bros Pecan Company was one of Texas’ premiere nut vendors. Their warehouse was along the same train sidings and spurs that handled cargo, cattle and such heading ‘back east.’

Location #2 – Ellis Pecan Co
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This building has a remarkable history I never would have imagined:
http://www.fortwortharchitecture.com/north/ellispecan.htm . For me it’s a rare thing to give out a location, but this site is scheduled to be renovated and it was also VERY securely locked up. This is a Texas historical site and situated amidst a number of very active businesses.

Read more... )
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Last winter, I went to Ft. Worth to visit a dear friend and do an extended modeling shoot with her. While I was visiting this amazing lady, she indulged my passion for abandoned sites. Given Ft. Worth’s history as a gateway to the old west and its slow change from a blue collar meat packing town to a technology and manufacturing center; I knew there had to be some cool site. I researched a few places, on-line, checked several community & photo blogs and asked her for ideas of things she’d seen. The results for a day’s wander were exceptional.

Location #1 – Downtown
Fort Worth grew for up as a cow town and the rail hub. Cattle were shipped east to a hungry nation and goods were shipped west to build the growing communities on the frontier. Times change and the transportation hub shifted away from downtown leaving this monument to those days.

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Texas Express Company AKA The Texas and Pacific Freight Terminal

Read more... )
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Wow it's been a while. Not intended either... Life has that habit of sneaking up on me and running off with my spare hours and days.

Let's make this a quick update as I try to play catch up (and let the anti-virus scans catch up to the computer).

If you didn't catch the news, the Lancaster house is finally up for sale. We've had a few hits in the last week or so, but the offers fell through. I expect to have a solid offer within the next month if things keep going this way. Why sell it? I never intended to be an absentee landlord when I had to move away from SoCal in 2008 (OMG it's been THAT long?!). I didn't have the choice in the matter. It was rent it or lose it entirely. I've struggled hard to keep making payments and lost thousands of dollars on the place due to bad renters. Another reason I'm selling it is the memories. Some are very bad, some are good, but many are too intense for me to ever move back into it. When that day comes again, I'd rather have a place where I have a bit more quiet and privacy.

The kids are doing well. Brenna has decided that she wants to work on pottery and ceramics as her degree emphasis at college. I swear I haven't seen her this happy and upbeat about doing something with herself and her future since she was 9. The work she's done is pretty incredible so far. Chris is having mild issues with classes. This was the first report card in which he's gotten C's or lower in several classes. I wonder if all the games and on-line distractions are affecting things or whether the after school activities are instead. What after school activities you ask? Track. My little boy who nearly died of asthma and pneumonia is running track (sprints mainly) very competitively for his middle school. He's also learning to play bass. The boy's got some serious skillz there too.

Work has been going well, though this constant Federal budget crap is getting seriously old. As a Federal contractor (day job), I'm constantly tired of wondering whether we're going to lose or keep our contracts. That being said, I must be doing something right. I was recommended for a 4.5% pay raise when most people only were recommended for 3.0 to 3.5%. HR cut everyone's recommendation down by 1% across the board so I got 3.5%. I also got a bonus from the prime contractor for the many compliments. The other benefit is I've been moved into a job where I will be working with industry executives for high level test reviews. Without going into details, I'm working my tail off.

Photo stuff has gone well. I just did a shoot with a teenage model for a second shoot. Her parents were there and were happy with how I'm working with her and the manner in which the shoots are drawing her out of her shell. We're planning a very creative special effects set with her and my regular make-up artist in May. I've also had a number of local and regional business opportunities for shooting. Another local body painter (former photog) also approached me about hosting a workshop to display his work with my photos. That's next weekend.

Frolicon was also this weekend. The adult/fantasy/educational convention for debauchery was a blast. Once again, I shot as a staff photographer and presented two classes on abandoned site photography. Unfortunately I went solo. I gave my wife the choice between this event and a quilt show in April. She took the quilt show. I contented myself chatting with many old friends and making some cook new ones. Showed a few rope tricks and made some new contacts. I also worked my ass off. I shot approximately 2000 images in 4 days. I have already deleted 400+ images and expect to drop more. I have to give the Con my top 100 photos by next Sunday. Given how much I worked, I did bruise/torque a knee. I'll heal.

I'm going to start a new workout routine by the end of the week. I don't like the shape my body's gotten into and I want to be more trim and fit by this summer. I have the feeling that I'll need to be in better shape by then no matter what.
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Viewing the front side of the buildings on Main Street, Louisville, put it into perspective for me. Many of the businesses invested heavily in the appearance to impress potential customers. On much of Main Street, these frontages contain a surprise. They aren’t the original entrances.

1
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Read more... )
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Here’s another gem from the past I’d forgotten about. Several years ago, while visiting family in the area, I took my daughter to explore a series of buildings in downtown Louisville I was surprised to see derelict. They were only a few blocks away from the YUM Center (Basketball arena) and in an area that had been full of clubs.

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Walking down the alley behind these buildings we spied an unusual sight

Read more... )
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Yeah, just when you probably thought I was going to disappear again for a month or so, I'm posting a few more pictures.

In this case, the images are from this past September ('12) of friend and model Brittany. These were taken on a warm afternoon in the Moss Rock Preserve south of Birmingham. What is amusing about this, is about a month ago, we offered Brittany sanctuary at the house and she moved in with us. That said, I expect that we're probably going to shoot together more in the near future.

 photo DSC05304FCHDb_zpsc89366b2.jpg

Read more... )
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Finishing the exploration.

As the city employees who were my escort took me deeper and deeper into the former high school, the dust and age of the ‘left-overs’ gave the impression that these areas had been largely untouched even by the swatters and metals thieves. There were several areas that disturbingly colder than the surroundings. Before it’s asked, no, I didn’t notice any permanent residents.

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Boys and Girls Club photo School095FCa_zps0014f40f.jpg

Read more... )
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Continuing the exploration...

As mentioned in several replies, WCHS was finally shuttered in the 1990-1 timeframe. The main cause was water. Much of the downtown and surrounding community around old Huntsville is undermined by natural springs and underground streams. By the time the Councill Community Center had closed, the building had been settling for over 60 years. Water was seeping into the foundation and the walls causing structural and electrical damage. The roof was last replaced in the 1970’s and given the warm, humid southern environment, it could only last so long.

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Failing the grade photo School070FCa_zps59bc4adc.jpg
Failure was just a matter of time

Read more... )
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I was researching a photo article I wanted to offer to several publications including Alabama A&M (University). The article focused on a little known abandoned gem lying in the heart of downtown Huntsville. In the winter of 2011, I managed to get a guided tour of Huntsville’s former segregated African American high school. William H. Councill was the founder and first president of what became Alabama A&M (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alabama_Agricultural_and_Mechanical_University) in 1890. Councill, a former slave, rose to become a lawyer, newspaper editor, legislator and Alabama Supreme Court Justice. He was without doubt one of the rare cases of success in the Jim Crow era.

Exterior photo School022FCa_zps278978a6.jpg
It seems appropriate then that the US Martin Luther King Jr holiday (and several days after), I offer some images of the high school building named in his honor.

Read more... )
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Quiet home and time to write a bit.

Well been trying to sit down and write for the past week but it's been chaotic at best. When I last left off, I mentioned I'd done a grand tour of northern Alabama. I ended up needing to drive back to Birmingham on the following Tuesday right after work. I got a call from one of my friends who's modeled for me in the past. Brittany is a new age gypsy, sweet natured, a bit hyper and searching for direction. She's literally wandered the country for the past few years since I first met and shot with her but never stayed long. When she went to San Diego last summer, she had a spiritual awakening that was remarkable. Upon her return to B'ham, we shot a set at the Moss Rock Preserve and talked about her changes in attitude, in character and how much happier she was with her new found spirituality. It was wonderful to behold.

When she contacted me following a visit to Kansas City to meet a boy she'd been corresponding with, she was hurt and heartbroken by him. He'd not been the person he'd seemed and she decided to come back to Birmingham. The only problem is she's lost the place she'd been staying at there. Yes, we took her in. She's been with us for a little over a week and a half now. She's cooking for us 3 nights a week. Brittany is a vegetarian so those meals have been pretty healthy and tasty. She helps clean, do the dishes and cleans her room regularly. Tammy been teaching her to sew and so far Brittany has completed two pairs of pants and a sash in less than a week. She also got a job the first day she was here. I don't know how long she'll be with us, but so far, she's been wonderful.

While the house remains quiet and I still have the mind to write, I'll speak of two more things. Yesterday Tammy and I road tripped to Knoxville. We went to visit with and pick up some goodies from Sandra Jacqua. She was trying to find a good home for Scott's / Don Njall's old 1931 Stromberg Carlson (shortwave/am) radio set and it looks like a project worth working on. Much to my surprise, she also handed me Njall's old marshalling staff and asked if I wanted it. Both items are in the garage and I'll be accessing what needs to done to bring them up to speed. If the radio can't be restored, I'll set about retrofitting an AM/FM digital set inside.

Tomorrow, I'll have a whole series of abandoned site images. I've been a bit inspired lately to edit more shots. I'm also a bit disgusted with myself to not posting some of these much sooner. I've still been exploring and shooting, but the editing process has been the glitch and the hold up to me.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
I know I keep saying I'll update more but this month has been insane on multiple counts.

Work
At my day job, I've been leading a major review of engineering deficiencies agency wide. Out working group has made little progress over the years till now. Something I wrote and presented on was noticed by several very high level people and they agreed. That said, a log-jam of ten years worth of materials, issues and political roadblocks just broke down. I'm rushing to keep ahead of and direct the flow. That being said, my customer just told me I was indispensable and they're moving me (immediately) from a remote office building, miles off-site, to the main building and right down the hall. I also found myself as the only representative from my engineering team remaining after a major internal personnel reorganization. This is all on top of my administrative and test support duties. O_O

Store
We're keeping our heads above water, but only barely. Tammy is away at tech training so she'll be certified to work on the Bernina sewing machines we sell. Amy's been running the store while Tammy's in Chicago. This is a repeat of sorts. Two weeks ago, Tammy was at a company sponsored trade and education forum in Washington DC. We've paid for both of these trips out of pocket versus using store funds. The benefit is we get discounts and benefits for attending the conference and the tech training for the store. Right now, we need investors or working capitol though.

Photos
Networking and commercial shooting are paying off finally. I wish I could afford the time to post here more. For those who haven't seen, the Nature Photo of the Day Feature, has returned over at my Facebook page. I discontinued it here last year because of burn out and frustration over the image hosting at Photofuckit. As I get more confidence in LiveJournal's new photo hosting, I may start bringing it back here too. If you haven't friended or watch me on Facebook, I'm here: http://www.facebook.com/jj.maccrimmon

Off to work

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