Photo by Steven Thomas


They’re called modern ruins. I’m fascinated with them. I’ve seen stunning photo essays of old abandoned buildings across the US. We go passed them every day, but when viewed in a collective, these forgotten structures paint a more powerful picture of how easy it is sometimes for us to leave our past behind.

Steve started posting these images on his Facebook page a while back. Together, they paint a kudzu-covered portrait of abandoned decay in the U.S. South.

iPhoneographer Steve Thomas tells us the story his abandoned America after the jump. >>>

“I travel a lot, mostly through Georgia, and long ago got tired of being on the highway. I began to travel the back roads. Most of these roads would be considered rural countryside and feature many long-abandoned structures, such as barns, factories and poultry houses. I started thinking about a photo series in which nature is taking back abandoned structures.

“However, with the economic downturn, it seemed that everywhere I looked there were abandoned structures. This series began with an afternoon drive through Macon, Georgia — a mid-size city in central Georgia surrounded by rural farmland. Smack in the middle of Macon was a 1950’s-era gas station that appeared to have closed in the last five years. Right down the street was a warehouse that closed around the same time. A walk around the downtown business district showed that almost one-third of that historic area featured vacant buildings.

“There is a small, slow movement to repurpose old structures, mostly taking place in urban areas, but I’ve seen entire small towns that have closed down their storefronts, and I even have a house across the street from me that has been vacant for over 5 years. Recently, I began seeing abandoned vehicles in the woods along roads, including the cab of an 18-wheeler.

“I decided to document a one-year series and call it Abandoned America. Abandoned houses, stores, buildings and warehouses; cars and trucks; and unfortunately, abandoned people, too. Sadly, it is very easy in my day-to-day travels to find material.” — Steven Thomas

Apps Used: “My go-to app for shooting is Hipstamatic, because it allows filter choices that match the feel of particular photos. Usually I’m just stopping on the side of the road and hopping out of the car, so speed is necessary. Recently, I’ve started using 645 Pro and 6X6 if I have time to set up a shot. On some of the photos I use Perfectly Clear to bring out the dark areas; Dynamic Light to bring out a faded sky; and Auto Stitch for the panoramas.”

Steven Thomas is a graphic designer, almost-amateur photographer, website designer and videographer during his slave job, and an iPhoneographer of everything around him in his real life. He donates his time photographing events for non-profit organizations – especially those that produce concerts – and spends his spare time running a farmers market.



All photos © Steven Thomas.

This is Life In LoFi’s weekly feature, Outside The Frame. It’s the story of one photograph (or a series) of an iPhoneographer in their own words. It’s less of a how-to and more of a why. It’s the stories of the iPhoneography we see, told by the artist who created it.