Abandoned Farmhouse, Durham, ME

Garry Winogrand is famous for saying that pictures DO NOT tell stories, but I wonder what his thinking was behind that stance. Look at this image—isn’t there a story here? We of course don’t know exactly what the story is unless we met the current or former owner and asked them, but in true “Sherlockian” (is that a word?) fashion, we can make some pretty good guesses from what we see here. I see a house in serious disrepair (not seen in this image is the fact that the foreground floor is totally rotted out), but also with modern insulation indicating that someone was thinking of doing some work on the house, and also modern cleaning products as if someone was set to clean the house. The fact that this room is not really functional, means that there’s probably other sections of the house that are in better condition—maybe those are the rooms the cleaning products were meant for. Perhaps this room was used as storage? What to make of all the keys on the wall? Somone went to the trouble of bracing the door too, which tells me they cared to get into this room relatively often. So I see a house that has likely been lived in recently, and that someone set out to repair, but for some reason has not done so. Why?

The photo brings up more questions than it answers, but there clearly is a story here, and my desire to understand the story behind abandoned houses like this is what makes these rural stuctures so intriguing to me.

This picture was about 1 second, handheld at f/11, made possible because the lens shade on my 50 mm f/1.4 lens allowed me to brace it up to the window which served to steady the camera and remove unwanted reflections on a bright sunny day.