Union Burying Ground

The location is available to the public. Not open to the public exactly, but not closed at any time either.

I did not go inside the old brick wall. Partly because it was tumbling down in places and I did not want to cause any more damage to it, not one brick more of it. Mostly because it looked so undisturbed over the wall. I just didn’t want to put my footsteps in there.

The grass over the fence was golden swirls. I was using the smaller camera and I don’t think it ever quite caught the colour of the grass. It was very golden, like something you would draw for a fantasy scene.

It was called the Union Burying Ground. Built in 1848 for the United Empire Loyalists in Ontario.

I’m working on uploading my photos into my own gallery. (Not part of WordPress). I’ve started with the photos I took from the cemetery we found in Burlington last week.  I will add a link to the other photographs once I get the software working the way I want. At the moment I’m having a battle with it over file sizes.

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Urban Explorer or Thrill Seeker?

Are you an urban explorer or a thrill seeker? I think it comes down to the camera you use and why you take photographs.

Are your photos more about proving you were there or getting a better look at what you’ve seen?

I pick my camera for the zoom up feature. I want to get a closer view of things I can’t access (due to distance, obstacles, ethics, etc.). I’m not hanging, one-armed, from a crane taking photos of my feet in mid-air. I like a camera which picks up colours, has a sharp focus and can handle being out in the rain on occasion. But, zoom comes first.

Why did you pick your camera? Does the camera really matter as long as it’s easy to carry and pull out for a quick photo?

Another way to tell if you’re an explorer is how you handle questions about what you’re doing.

If someone approaches you at the location do you run away or have a conversation with them? Even the police and security will chat and often leave you alone if you explain you’re just taking photographs and being careful not to cause damage or get hurt. If you hide and run away – there’s a reason for that. Either you want the thrill of escaping “the law” or you were there for the thrill and don’t want to get caught vandalizing or doing something else you shouldn’t have been doing.

Someone asked me why I explore and I’ve never found a good, single, solid reason. But, I know I don’t explore for the thrill. The element of danger, knowing I’m on private property, those are the things I don’t like about exploring. Those are the things which keep me from getting closer when I’d like to see more of a place.

For me the thrill is finding the old place, looking at the weathered buildings, the details in stonework, and trying to show what I’m feeling in a photograph. I don’t want to prove I was there but I do want to share what I have seen. I want to preserve it so others can see the places as I found them.

This House is Long Gone Now (2006)

I’m beginning to upload my photos from Flickr. Trying to sort them by location. This is the first abandoned house I visited on my own. These are from 2006. At some point I lost track of my original full sized photos for the first three of these. I will have them burned to a disk if I find it.

The house is long ago demolished. I didn’t get back for more photos in time. But, that was early on, when I thought it would be around a long time.houseonhill 236926880

I had to crawl under the gate to get up to the house. There was a big space underneath so it wasn’t hard. I still don’t go to places past the point I can easily get in. But, it is sometimes hard to resist a closer look. I love the old buildings themselves. Going inside is less interesting than seeing the outside details. Too often the inside doesn’t have much left to see, except a lot of trash (or trashed by vandals).

When I explored here I was using my first digital camera. I didn’t know about memory – how much I would need. I didn’t have a memory card because I assumed the memory in the camera would be plenty. It was pretty close… I ran out of memory just at the point I would have taken a look at the back of the house. I still walked around, just didn’t get photos.

After my adventure I was feeling pretty happy and thought I’d come back again to finish getting photos. I crawled back under the gate, got to my car… no keys. I had put them in my pocket but they fell out somewhere along the way. Luckily for me they were just at the gate. Likely fell out when I was leaving.

I learned quite a lot about urban exploring from my first time. Most of all, I learned not to count on any place still being there the next time around. doorway 236926868chair 236926847Just More Broken Windows 294950629 More from the Big House 294951708 Side View of the Hill House 294950921 Side View of the Hill House 294951287

10 safety tips when photographing abandoned buildings

I wrote one like this before. Probably for HubPages. This one has more points about being prepared and bringing stuff with you. I don't really do either of those. I wear totally the wrong shoes and I only bring the map book and my camera. 

 Probably not a great example to follow. 

10 safety tips when photographing abandoned buildings :: Photographs inQuinte by Geary LeBell

Film Making Women Arrive Tomorrow

The film making women arrive tomorrow and I’m kind of shy, nervous and excited. Elizabeth noticed my rural ruins photos on Flickr and emailed me about going out with her and a location manager to see some of the houses. She wants to use a crumbling old farm house in a film.

Tonight she sent four photos which I have taken as sites she has picked out to see more of.

I wish there was a perfect pill or at least a skinny pill I could take tonight. They are both from Toronto, likely skinny and well dressed types. I’m the blobby potato who made apple pie with her Mother yesterday. Sometimes I just get tired of looking like me. Though I do like my hair, even though I’ve come to the stage of having to colour away the greys.

Anyway, tomorrow I will meet Elizabeth and we will go out touring around. I must remember to charge up the battery on my camera. It should be fine but will not hurt to make sure it is fully charged rather than wish I had done it when it starts to get low tomorrow.

So, no, I won’t be a star but maybe one of the houses I have visited will be in a great Canadian film. Coming soon to a theatre near you…

Abundant Weedery

For the update, I failed the road test. I had a feeling I would as soon as I met the tester. He was one of those narky, pricky types who always wanted to be a cop but didn’t get there for some reason. Now they feel it is their mission in life to police everyone to death, to be so anally nit picky that no one is ever ok about anything. Anyway, that’s $75 I won’t see again.

Uploading some photos from the new camera. Still kind of in amazement at the excessive file size for each photo. Still trying to find a good way to deal with it. I went to an abandoned house in Holland Landing, one of those black dirt fields still full of carrots. No carrots were harmed in the making of these photos. I carefully only stepped on the dirt (very coal black and soft) and abundant weeds. Photos to come. Likely on Flickr later today.

Beaches Firehouse in Detail




My camera had trouble. It kept shutting down on it’s own. So I didn’t get more pictures than these. I was thinking to go down to Lake Ontario. I could see it from where I caught the Woodbine bus. The waves were throwing themselves ashore. It looked really dramatic and COLD! Another day I will try it. Makes me wish I had the car though. I could park close and run back into the warm car instead of walking back to wait for the bus.