Beauty can be seen in all things.
Seeing and composing the beauty is what separates
the photograph from the snapshot.
-- Matt Hardy
Though it might seem unlikely, junkyards are great places for photography. The challenge, as Matt Hardy notes in the epigraph to this post, is to find the beauty and get it in the frame.
For me, finding beauty in a junkyard is primarily an exercise in close-up (or "macro") photography. Details, rather than full depictions, are where I find visual interest and, yes, beauty. Multi-colored -- and multi-textured -- rust and peeling paint on the exteriors; headlights, hubcaps, and door handles; busted grills and broken glass . . . all of these are prime candidates for my eye in search of beauty.
A few days ago I went with my photo buddy Barry to the Broadway Truck Salvage yard on the south side of Albuquerque.
We were greeted by Ali, the ebullient office manager, and granted free run of the yard.
For this shoot, I decided to use only a 50mm "macro" lens, which is best for close-ups and details, but works well as a prime lens -- it just doesn't zoom, so I have to "zoom" with my feet.
For this post I'll start with the large scale images, then move to smaller elements, and finally the more abstract close-ups.
Along the way I discovered one derelict car inhabited by an arachnid:
Ultimately, my primary target was cool-looking rust and paint on fenders, doors, and hoods. The closer you look, the more beautiful the subject becomes.
Sometimes the patterns and textures worked both horizontally . . .
. . . and vertically:
Most fun was looking for faces in the rust. These two are the same rust patch, but viewed from different directions and framed just right:
I found E.T. . . .
. . . and a fish.
My favorite face appeared on this old (1970s era) Cadillac. Do you see it?
I call it the Junkyard Scream (homage to Edvard Munch):
If you would like to see these images -- and more -- in a larger format, visit my photography website, Todos Juntos Photography, by clicking here.