A couple summers ago, I shared some black and white photos of the ruin of a seminary in the minuscule town of Wasioja, Minnesota. This is the town I lived in until I was about five years old and, back in those days, the ruin was completely open and you could walk around the rubble. These days, it has been protected behind a chain-link fence and has a very un-photogenic "No Trespassing" sign across the chained and locked gate.
Under The Fence]()
Last weekend, I had driven to Rochester to help my parents cut, haul, split, and stack firewood for the upcoming frigid hell that is a Minnesota winter and, on the way back to Mankato, decided to stop at the ruin for a few more photos. It was getting late in the morning, so the light was harsh. I usually avoid these conditions, but it made for an interesting challenge.
Windows: Not Software]()
The sky was spectacular, with an assortment of clouds to work with. The above photo was taken from the front of the structure, so the wall was back-lit. I brought some of the stone's texture back when I got the image into Lightroom.
The Roof Was On Fire]()
Many years ago, the seminary caught fire. With all the storms and harsh winters that have come since, it's amazing that anything is left standing at all. As you can see in the next photo, someone put wooden beams in some of the windows to keep them from collapsing. They look like they've been there awhile, too!
Weathered In Minnesota]()
Here's another window that really worked with the sky. Shooting up toward the second story avoided getting that pesky fence in the shots. The previous one was through ground-level windows, so I needed to find an angle that hid unwanted objects.
This next one isn't my favorite photo of the bunch, but it illustrates some of the challenges with working in this area. I shot this over the fence, since someone was nice enough to leave a large plastic bucket (aka stool) for me to stand on. The fence is visible through the window on the far side and, even after adjusting in Lightroom, the contrast makes it a little difficult to see what you're looking at upon first glance.
Here is a great view of the roof! It almost looks like the crenellations atop a castle battlement, if you had a really flimsy castle with thin walls. An article about the seminary is available here.
Back in Mankato, I am continuing the brutal task of looking for work. So far, I've had little success in this task. I am also going to attempt to set up an Etsy store in the next month or so, to sell prints of some of my better photographs. We'll see if anything comes of it.
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