Metal on the Side of the Road: A Photo Essay

I just wanted to share a link to a photo essay I have published in PRIVATE, an online photography magazine. The piece is entitled Metal on the Side of the Road.

And here are two additional photos from the project that were not included in the essay.

Metal debris on the side of the road in Otsego County, New York. Photos by Francis DiClemente

Metal debris on the side of the road in Otsego County, New York. Photos by Francis DiClemente.

 

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I wanted to share some images I’ve edited as part of a photography project called Structures in Decline. Over the past few years, whenever I found time, I would explore my neighborhood and the surrounding area, discovering buildings and structures in various states of disrepair or decay.

I found myself drawn to the buildings because they seemed to haunt the landscape in Syracuse and Central New York, expressing a feeling of loneliness. And although they have deteriorated and been forgotten, most of the buildings once served a purpose in the community and became part of the region’s history.

A major part of this project was capturing the demolition of the former Kennedy Square public housing project near downtown Syracuse. I photographed the site at various stages of the demolition process and was particularly drawn to the winter scenes, punctuated by shimmering piles of construction debris covered with snow.

I also photographed the Interstate 81 viaduct/overpass running through downtown Syracuse. I feel I must also mention that this was my first attempt at shooting with DSLR cameras, after having made the transition from my beloved Pentax K1000 35mm camera (which still resides comfortably in my storage closet and can be pulled out when needed for a dose of photo nostalgia).

Here’s a Flickr album where you can see some of the images from the Structures in Decline project.

And I’ve added some others here.

Interstate 81 with Crowne Plaza (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Interstate 81 with Crowne Plaza (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Interstate 81 Structure. Photo by Francis DiClemente.

Interstate 81 Structure (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Irving Avenue Apartment Building (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Irving Avenue Apartment Building (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Townsend Street Building  (photos by Francis DiClemente)

Townsend Street Building Front (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Fayetteville Auto Garage (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Fayetteville Auto Garage (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Empty Gas Station (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Empty Gas Station (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Westcott Street House Side (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Westcott Street House: Side View (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Westcott Street House Porch (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Westcott Street House Porch (photo by Francis DiClemente)

Structures in Decline: A Photo Project

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I broke down and bought an iPhone 5c last summer after the back plastic to my antiquated flip phone broke. And while this is no endorsement for Apple products, I soon discovered I was carrying a high-quality camera in my pocket.

I began using the iPhone to take pictures in my city of Syracuse, in particular while walking back and forth to my job at Syracuse University. These were mundane images of parking garages, old buildings and backlit trees—objects no one else seemed to notice.

The Space Between Crouse Hospital and Golisano Children’s Hospital (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

I realized that if I did not capture the photos, the pictures would be lost, gone with the shift of the clouds or the onset of night. And it became a game for me to snatch images that would otherwise be unseen.

Buildings in Alley (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Recording these moments allowed me to examine life more closely, to pay attention to my surroundings and to seek beauty in the everyday environment.

And I did not take any selfies. Instead, I was inspired by Humphrey Bogart’s POV in the classic film noir movie Dark Passage. My goal was to use the camera to look out, beyond myself, to explore the world around me in search of something memorable.

Dining Room Sunlight (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Dining Room Sunlight (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Working on the project also helped me to rediscover my love of photography. It made me recall my youth when I would walk around my neighborhood in Rome, New York, taking pictures with my Pentax K1000 camera.

Institute for Human Performance (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Institute for Human Performance (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

I also realized that in this age of technology, the best camera is the one you have with you when you need it. Here are more selections from the iPhone Ephemera series:

Crouse College (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Crouse College (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Crouse College Door (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Crouse College Door (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Hall of Languages Window (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Hall of Languages Window (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Hall of Languages Window Frame (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Hall of Languages Window Frame (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Hall of Languages Facade (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Hall of Languages Facade (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Church Windows (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Church Windows (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Apartment Stairwell and Window (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Apartment Stairwell and Window (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Apartment Window with Sunlight (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Apartment Window with Sunlight (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Elbow Tree Branch (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Elbow Tree Branch (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Fake Flowers in Medical Office (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Fake Flowers in Medical Office (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Hotel Hallway (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Hotel Hallway (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Hotel Party Lights (Inspired by Rothko)

Hotel Party Lights (Inspired by Rothko)

Parking Garage Sunlight (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Parking Garage Sunlight (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Behind the Nursing Home (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Behind the Nursing Home (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Brush and Branches Behind the Nursing Home (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Brush and Branches Behind the Nursing Home (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Behind the Nursing Home, Looking East (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Behind the Nursing Home, Looking East (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Syracuse University Steps (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Syracuse University Steps (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Bird Library, Syracuse University (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Bird Library, Syracuse University (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Church Doors (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Church Doors (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Salina Street (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Salina Street (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Genesee Grande Hotel (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Genesee Grande Hotel (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Carpet and Flooring Store (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Carpet and Flooring Store (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Parking Garage (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Parking Garage (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Banister Sunlight (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Banister Sunlight (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Sunlight Against Newhouse School Facade (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Sunlight Against Newhouse School Facade (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Staircase in Alley (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Staircase in Alley (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

 

Pay Phone (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

 

Sheraton Hotel Wall (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Skaneateles Lake (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Skaneateles Lake (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Upstate University Hospital (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Upstate University Hospital (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Morning on Madison Street (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Morning on Madison Street (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Mall Ceiling (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Mall Ceiling (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Saint Francis in Sunlight (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

Saint Francis in Sunlight (Photo by Francis DiClemente)

iPhone Ephemera

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