I mentioned in my last post that there was clear evidence of periods of economic hardship on the island of Fuerteventura over generations. This building I think is evidence of the latest.
Sitting on a roundabout just outside Correlejo in the north of the island just a couple of hundred yards from the sea, I found this abandoned apartment complex. I imagine the project was abandoned post the 2008 financial crisis but I can’t be sure.
No doubt in the UK, and I expect in many other countries, such a building would be surrounded by security fencing with ‘Warning Keep Out’ signs and probably a picture of a German Shepherd dog or two about the place. But, luckily for me, the graffiti artists and the Ashram Yoga people, this building isn’t. Nor incidentally are the many others I have spotted around the island for future photography.
I mention the Ashram Yoga people as they appear to be squatting in the building. I’m glad to see that it’s being used at least on some level. The people there have built a little ‘garden’ and with the toys scattered around it, there are clearly children here. Whether they are just using the building during the day or living there, I couldn’t ascertain. I didn’t want to go prying and left that part of the building largely unexplored.
Perhaps if I go back, I’ll ask some questions. I’m sure I heard hens clucking away in one of the rooms in this part of the building, cut off to prying eyes with makeshift hessian sheets. Perhaps if I go back, I’ll make a documentary photographer yet.
One thing to note about taking these types of photographs, one needs a wide angle lens. I’ve been using my Sony A7R with a 24-70mm lens. Although at 24mm, this isn’t as wide as my Nikon 14-24mm can give, one still gets distortion that cannot be corrected with lens correction in Lightroom alone.
The answer is to take the photograph into photoshop, select it and then under the Edit tab, select ‘Distort’ You can then pull out the handles from the selection and correct the wonky pillars and the buildings appearing to head uphill where no hill exists. I did do a tutorial on this some time back. This is the link to a post entitled ‘Converging Verticals’. https://cornwallphotographic.com/2014/04/07/converging-verticals/
I hope you enjoy this particular set of images. These were tricky images to take, the interior ones at least. I didn’t have a tripod and even with the very light Sony, these days I need a shutter speed of 200 at least to get a sharp image and in low light, that’s not easy, but they came out OK.
Buildings photographed within this wonderful landscape (I am predominantly a landscape photographer after all) will follow. This particular building though just kept on giving. It’s difficult to take in the waste. Who lost money? Pension funds that invested? Pension funds funded by people like you and me? I can’t say but I can take a pretty good guess.. :-)
Oh, well spotted, Adrian! My kind of thing….desolation and decay. This one has shades of the Wild West!
September 15, 2017 at 9:05 pm
Thank you Sue! There was a definite desert feel to the place although just across the roundabout was a thriving restaurant with mock traditional windmill. These buildings certainly provide plenty of scope for some interesting photography.
September 16, 2017 at 2:04 pm
Very special and like you say,not easy to make pictures .But you are an expert.Magnificent Photo’s
September 15, 2017 at 9:08 pm
That’s very kind of you to say Lou! Thank you very much! :-)
September 16, 2017 at 2:05 pm
Thanks for the tour. Abandoned but a useful shelter for the displaced. I’m glad it wasn’t cordoned off.
On google and youtube there are accounts of photographers, including a Pulitzer Prize winner, using a small table tripod held against their chest or a wall to steady a camera, gaining a stop or two of exposure. A useful trick.
September 16, 2017 at 12:56 am
Me too Mr Dragon. Lots of scope for photography. Thank you for the tip. I will Google and see what I can come up with.
September 16, 2017 at 2:06 pm
Wow! Are those buildings seriously abandoned….we sure live in a crazy world! Great images!
September 16, 2017 at 4:12 am
They are Trees and yes, we live in a crazy world. Thank you! :-)
September 16, 2017 at 2:07 pm
Oh Wow, what marvellous photos these deserted buildings make but how sad when you think of the human cost.
September 16, 2017 at 9:54 am
It is indeed very sad Paula. Thank you for your comment. I certainly enjoyed a good hour clicking away! :-)
September 16, 2017 at 2:08 pm
Really terrific images. Post title should be Abandoned?
September 16, 2017 at 11:53 am
Thank you very much! Certainly abandoned by the developers but good to see some people making use of the building. :-)
September 16, 2017 at 2:09 pm
Indeed. But ‘abandoned’ rather than ‘abandonded’,as in the title. :-)
September 17, 2017 at 9:53 am
I quite like abandonded but thanks for pointing out the typo..
September 17, 2017 at 4:18 pm
nice clean sky…
September 17, 2017 at 2:35 pm
It is indeed Shimon. Thanks for your comment. Good to hear from you. I hope you are keeping well!
September 17, 2017 at 4:19 pm
What a find. Terrific images Adrian.
September 17, 2017 at 10:23 pm
Thank you very much Edith. It was a fun place to photograph!
September 18, 2017 at 3:47 pm
I’d call it intriguing… though abandonded gave me a chuckle! :) If possible it would sure be interesting to learn what the story is. Looks like there was good bits of money invested, but hints of its current use seem a step in the right direction. Hard to say or guess.
September 18, 2017 at 7:12 pm
I rather liked abandonded, the sort of word a child might come up with. An honest typo that has now been corrected. :-D
There are so many buildings like this dotted around this island Gunta. Clearly the economic downturn in the Spanish economy, worse than most in Europe post 2008 and barely better than Greece, has had a huge impact. Youth unemployment is off the scale which is just so sad. It’s incredible to see so many concrete shells of apartment buildings and hotels just waiting for the day I guess.. Not sure it’s going to be coming anytime soon though. Thanks as ever for your comment! :-)
September 20, 2017 at 4:21 pm
Fascinating…the building looks like it was so far along, too, but there’s certainly a lot we don’t know. The yoga people are civilizing the place, and making good use of it – why not? I’m impressed that you’re challenging yourself with this project, maybe skirting a fuzzy edge between something more documentary/journalistic and something more fine art oriented. I particularly liked the first photo that shows the view through empty windows to that bleached out, sunny island landscape in the distant background, and the one above it with the graffiti. Looking forward to seeing more of anything you do! (And the technical info is interesting to read, because I’ve used LR to straighten a few buildings out – the transform tool – but I assume the PS tool works a lot better? I’ve only had success with the LR tool when things aren’t too far out of line in the first place.)
September 19, 2017 at 2:01 am
Thank you so much for your comment Lynn. I have been immersed in processing and reprocessing old material from Iceland over the last year I really needed to set myself a new challenge. When I started spotting these buildings around the island I thought ‘why not, lets give this a try’. I’ve just spent the afternoon photographing an abandoned village called El Florida in the middle of the island. Abandoned long ago as the buildings, made of natural local stone, not concrete, are in serious decay. It was quite eerie walking around imagining this as a once vibrant community now reduced to rubble. I’ve a bit of processing to do but will post those pictures soon. It’s been interesting to see buildings that have fallen victim to economic hardship over decades. The level of decay ever more obvious.
I too am glad that this particular building is being utilised. As it should be. I think in the UK, even if the developers had run out of money, there’s no way they’d allow others to use what, for many people, perhaps those sleeping on the streets, would be somewhere of shelter and a considerable step up to sleeping in shop doorways which is all too prevalent on the streets of our major cities. Capitalism really is failing so many people. We know Socialism doesn’t work. Clearly we have room for a new ism. I hope a charismatic leader with vision that can demonstrate to the world there is a fair way to make economies work for all will come along soon. Sadly I’m not holding my breath. The power of the global corporations that now dominate our world outweigh the power of entire countries. The fact that a corporation would have the audacity to try and sue, in the American courts, a central American country that refused to grant the right to mine the nations mineral wealth is a measure of where we’re at.
September 20, 2017 at 4:38 pm
PS Glad the technical tip was helpful. The distort tool in PS really is a very powerful tool. I must say I haven’t tried the same in Lightroom but generally I just use Lightroom to view my pictures and export RAW to Tif for further processing in Photoshop.
September 20, 2017 at 4:41 pm
You sum it up well – the current economic systems have failed people, except for those few in the upper, upper percent of the population. A few of them do give away large amounts to worthy causes but most don’t, the gap widens, and yes, wouldn’t it be revolutionary for someone with a successful new idea to have enough power to put it into practice. I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know about the suit you’re talking about and I have the same reaction….and don’t get me started on mining!
September 23, 2017 at 3:10 pm
When I was studying business, economics and politics at university in the mid 1980’s, it was clear that something was going very wrong. We had the ‘Big Bang’ in financial services here in London and greed became God. Corporations have no morality as every board member is judged by the company’s share price so anything goes to maximise profitability at the expense of any morality.
Needless to say, I didn’t go into business or politics. I wouldn’t have made it in the business world because I care about people and our environment and I wouldn’t have made it in politics because I would have been eternally frustrated.
Thank you for you comment Lynn. I think we would have an awful lot to talk about were we ever to get the chance to meet. Wouldn’t that be nice. :-)
September 24, 2017 at 3:56 pm
It would be so nice to meet – you never know…we are trying to get to your part of the world sometimes. Joe’s Irish, I am 1/4 Welsh, and there are plenty of other good reasons. ;-)
I get by on LR and Color Efex/Silver Efex. I have PS but never took a serious class so am intimidated by the initial learning curve, especially as the other tools improve. But for landscapes and nature, I know there are things in PS that can’t be beat so I may still get there.
September 25, 2017 at 8:48 pm
It would indeed. I hope you make it to the UK at some point. I started with Photoshop way way back, before I even started taking photographs. I used it for various graphic projects. It’s come a very long way since it’s first incarnation and I guess I’ve just developed with it. I can indeed imagine that the prospect of that initial learning curve would indeed be intimidating. There’s still a lot I don’t know. I feel a little like that about Lightroom and just use it to review my photos before exporting them to Photoshop though I do use chromatic aberration correction and a few other very useful tools routinely. :-)
September 26, 2017 at 5:31 am
There is always something very fascinating about abandoned and decaying buildings that still are in some kind of use. As these photo so poignantly show. These are gorgeous images.
September 21, 2017 at 2:16 pm
Thank you so much Otto. It’s been a departure for me but one that I’m enjoying very much. :-)
September 21, 2017 at 4:11 pm
Awesome photography again, dear Adrian. Thanks for the info! :-) This must be a haven for challenging photography, you are doing very well!
September 23, 2017 at 9:29 am
Thank you again dear Hanne. It’s a departure from my usual work and I’m really enjoying the challenge. :-)
September 24, 2017 at 3:46 pm
The developer went bust is all we can say, I suspect. I find buildings like this fascinating to explore. You turn a corner, and there’s a new composition to discover. The blue sky is a wonderful backdrop too. A lovely photo essay, Adrian.
September 26, 2017 at 5:18 pm
Thank you very much Andy. As you can imagine, there were very many more photographs taken than I was able to post. This was an interesting building to explore.
September 27, 2017 at 6:46 am