I was so fortunate to have been able to photograph this picture the same day that I discovered it. On the first morning of the shoot I found the old classic Mercedes in a shed, the light was poor and coming in from the wrong direction. It was somewhat like going fishing and getting a bite on the first cast. Following the path of the sun, using an amazing app called "Photo pills" I realised that if the cloud cover lifted, the sun would be in a perfect position later that afternoon to light up the front of the shed through the shade netting, almost like a "make-shift" soft box. (See picture below)


In preparation, I cleaned both west facing windows to let more light in and then opened the back door of the shed to help bring a little bit of detail to the background. Later that afternoon, I set up the composition from the outside of the shed and waited for the light. There was an old fig tree hanging over the shed and a large mountain on the western side blocking out the light, so I was concerned that the sun would not be able to shine though the cloud cover, meaning I would have had to come back another day. But, as if meant to be, on cue that afternoon the sun moved into place and lit up the shade netting. The show was on the road. Besides the lighting, what I really like about this shot is that even though the shed is visually chaotic, I was able to bring some simplicity to the composition.


On day two, I noticed two beautiful old buildings on the opposite side of the river. There was nowhere to cross, so I decided to take a drive all the way around to try and access them. Following a number of gravel roads, I eventually ended up on another farmer's land. When I drove in the farmer looked at me and said, "You are obviously lost? ”No," I replied, "I have an appointment.”, “an appointment with whom?" She said puzzled. "With those two old houses down in the valley." I explained that I was a photographer and showed her a few of the abandoned pictures on my phone. "It's fine," she said, "but watch out for snakes," she warned.




That morning the light was on the wrong side to photograph the houses and there was not enough cloud cover, so I would need to go back in the late afternoon. At about four o'clock on the afternoon of day three, the weather moved in and I knew the shot was on. What I didn't expect, was to get two shots at the same time. This is the first time that I have ever been able to shoot two Abandoned pictures in close proximity to one another. To create a slightly different feel, I changed the orientation and processed this one a little bit more blue than the first one. Funny, although I like them both, this one is my favourite.



Having spoken to the farmer about the Mercedes in the shed (Abandoned #32), I found out that he was a "hobbyist" vintage car restorer and by his own admission, a car hoarder. He invited me to look around the farm and said that we would find a number of his "want to do" projects scattered around, and he was certainly right. On day two, with the help of my children, we found this location of four abandoned cars at the top end of the farm.




Again I had to wait for the cloud cover to shoot it. This was a morning shot and the funny thing about the weather in this valley, is that cloud cover normally only moves in later in the afternoon.Fortunately, late morning on the day we were leaving, just enough cloud moved in early enough for me to shoot the picture. Using the early light, all four cars lit up beautifully. I chose a vantage point where all four cars linked rhythmically and decided to include the broken fence in the foreground. Abandoned #34, signed sealed and delivered.....homeward bound.


With regards to displaying the Abandoned prints, it is very important to understand that they are Limited Edition prints which are very special, collectors pieces. Therefore, it is recommended that if they are going to be displayed in an interior, the framing must be done properly. Always ensure that acid free materials are used and that the frame is not hung in direct sunlight. In this example (see above) the backing board used is a dark grey which helps to offset the print and as well as to compliment the earthy colours in the bedroom. This method is very effective when used in a modern decor setting. Further advice on the framing and installation is with regards to prints installed near the ocean, where humidity is naturally high. In order to prevent moisture build up in the frame, install small (3mm) cork spacers on all four corners. This allows for natural airflow behind the frame as well as the prevention of mould buildup.


Hope you enjoy...


Martin Osner



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