February 18th, 2008

Me - Shooting Profile

Abandoned places - Cautionary notes

Moderator notes
Earlier this year, I wrote about how the US housing situation is affecting the increased number of abandoned and boarded up buildings. While this is a sad boon to exploration and photography efforts, is also illustrates an increased danger level. The homeless are also taking note of this situation and are showing increased willingness to break into and use these places. According to MSNBC and CNN, the increase in foreclosed homes is leading to more squatters and salvagers sneaking into boarded up sites. Ref: [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23213246/]

Why mention this? Safety! Always scout the outside of a building before you enter it. Listen for noises inside and observe signs of activity outside before ever entering a site. While I've found that 70% of (homeless) folks one might find in abandoned sites are harmless and just want to be left alone, the 30% can be dangerous. Be careful out there.

On an additional follow-up note regarding the Helendale Bunker (Hawes Radio Relay Site) murders, the two suspects have been arraigned and charged with 'capital murder.' To refresh memories, what had been one of my favorite sites to photograph was the scene of a horrendous double murder last month. After a desert party at the site, a teenage couple was shot execution style by one of the two youths arrested. The other young man is cooperating with authorities and has been providing details on what happened. The authorities noted that catching these individuals was the result of hundreds of leads generated on-line (possibly even from this community). While I know that some folks do not agree with it, the death penalty may be very appropriate for the shooter in this instance. As for the site, officials at nearby Edwards Air Force Base confirm that they will proceed with plans to block entrance and subsequently demolish this bunker in the near future (as funding permits).

I have been taking a brief sabbatical from posting new material for a number of reasons. I have about 7 sets of photos from various locations waiting to be worked on; however, I have been trying to catch up on posting performance & burlesque photos from various shows I’ve attended over the last 6 months too. I will post another batch of exploration photos soon.