My Largest Photographic Discovery Began With “The Guarding Gate”

Mark / North Dakota / / 0 Comments

I can’t tell you about this photograph without telling you about the largest discovery I made in my hunt for abandoned and interesting places to photograph. Up to this point I did alot of driving around the back roads searching, and would occasionally find a barn here or a nice landscape shot there, with some beautiful sunrise or sunset photos for icing on the cake. Don’t get me wrong, they were wonderful to see and capture, but nothing that really intrigued me, until I stumbled upon this “Guarding Gate.”

When I first pulled up to the front of the drive way, the blast of deep greens contrasted the brown fields like a flare. The gate, as you see here, was all that was left of the front of the driveway which now was nothing more than an overgrown path. In the field to the right was an Allis-Chalmers tractor, which I later learned was a valuable antique. Behind the entrance stood 3 full size houses, 2 large barns (1 metal), sheds, chicken coops, and fences which I assumed served to coral livestock…all abandoned, the whole place, empty. Hauntingly empty. I felt like an archeologist discovering a tomb, and I suppose I was to a degree. The active life that was once here was now long past, and the only signs that remained were the objects and buildings left behind.

Over the next 6 years I would return to this place countless times, to photograph, to explore, and sometimes just to appreciate the life that was once here and how it must have looked in its hay day. This abandoned farm is where I truly transitioned from just documenting what I was finding into capturing these discoveries in creative ways to share the beauty in this forgotten place. In the coming weeks and months I’ll continue to share my photographs from this amazing place and tell the story of my exploration of this Ransom County farm.

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