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"The Art of Abandonment": Why does Walter Arnold spend so much time in dark dirty places?

6/23/2013 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

Guerilla photography may be the best way to describe Walter Arnold's passion for recording little known, often abandoned, and sometimes downright dangerous subjects.-saids

Ascending - The Tennessee Brewery
Ascending - The Tennessee Brewery ( Images via Flickr )

About the Artist 

Walter Arnold is a self taught fine art photographer born in Tallahassee, Florida in 1981. Walter grew up in a creative and artistic family and spent most of his childhood in Elmira, New York. After living for years in Florida he settled in Hendersonville, North Carolina and now calls the mountains home.

Bold Life Magazine Shoot
Walter Arnold | Image taken by Rimis Zailskas of Bold Life

After picking up his first digital SLR camera in 2006, Walter used the beauty of Western North Carolina to help train his creative eye, and hone his photographic skills. In 2009, he stumbled on an abandoned airplane graveyard in St. Augustine, Florida. Shooting the abandoned planes, he discovered his passion for abandonment photography. Since then he has focused on developing his own personal style of photography that he calls “The Art of Abandonment”.

The Forest For The Trees
"The World's Tallest Tree House": Tennessee, near the town of Crossville

I enjoy searching for beauty in uncommon places. I’m particularly drawn to locations that have been abandoned, where I strive to create collections of images that tell stories.

The Barber
Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia PA
Walter’s vision draws him to capture unusual and artistic scenes in places that others often pass by. He employs an artistic technique called High Dynamic Range photography with many of his images.

Marine Hospital-34
The old Marine Hospital in the French Fort area of Memphis
By capturing multiple exposures ranging from dark to bright, his technique allows him to reveal a greater range of light and detail in a scene than could be captured with a single image. This, coupled with Walter’s creative interpretation of a scene, allows him to create non-traditional and sometimes surreal scenes that bring to life the forgotten locations that he explores.

Grossinger's Pool
Grossinger's abandoned resort in the Catskills of upstate New York

Walter’s photography has received national and international recognition. Most notably, Hollywood movie director Ron Howard selected one of his images to inspire a short film When You Find Me. Howard chose the photograph out of almost 100,000 other entries to craft the setting of the movie. Walter has also worked with camera manufacturer Sigma, creating an image that was used in their AD campaign published in 25 international magazines.

Airplane Graveyard St. Augustine FL
Airplane Graveyard St. Augustine FL | 60 Image HDR panorama
Artist’s Statement

“I strive to create nontraditional images and scenes in locations that most people will never have the pleasure to see. I explore locations that have been abandoned and create collections of images that tell a story to the viewer, both as singular pictures and as a whole experience. These abandoned buildings and locations speak volumes when you enter them, even in their abandoned and decaying state. Every room you look into tells a story and every artifact from a bygone era holds years of meaning and lost purpose. I enjoy searching for beauty in uncommon places and by doing so, help to preserve the history, memory and spirit that still shines ever so faintly in the dust and decay of these modern ruins.”

Walter Arnold Explores the Valley Courts Motel:

Video via and boldlifers

 More inspiration and behind the scenes: