Weekly Photo Challenge -Abandoned

“If you have abandoned one faith, do not abandon all faith. There is always an alternative to the faith we lose.”

Graham Greene



Our challenge this week is to illustrate the concept of “abandoned”.  Most photographers are somehow drawn to buildings that have been deserted and left to return to the elements, so the challenge presents a number of interesting opportunities.  Above, the Chateau de Lacoste, former home of the notorious Marquis de Sade in beautiful Provence, France.  Built in the 11th century, it was destroyed during the French Revolution and in 2001 was purchased by fashion designer Pierre Cardin who partially renovated it.  One can only imagine the stories we would hear if the walls could talk!



“Old books that have ceased to be of service should no more be abandoned than should old friends who have ceased to give pleasure.”

Bernard Baruch

At a much more basic level, I captured this neglected boathouse along the shoreline of one of the many small lakes of Northern Michigan while visiting friends outside of Traverse City.  On that same visit, we did an impromptu shoot of the long-abandoned Traverse City State Hospital (see my post here). As the photo below illustrates, one need not show an entire building to demonstrate abandonment; many times smaller elements are just as interesting as the big picture.



“The road to positivity is strewn with the abandoned vehicles of the faint-hearted. ”

Peter McWilliams

There are times when the interiors of abandoned buildings are accessible and we are gifted with a view of life in a different era.  Below, a former sheep-shearing building long-deserted but much more interesting to my eye than the structure’s exterior.



“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

Leonardo daVinci

Abandoned buildings often provide us with a bridge to a better understanding of times past. In Patagonia, where the shearing building was located, we were offered not only a metaphorical bridge, but as shown in the capture below, a physical one as well.



“Basic human contact is to the psyche what oxygen is to the brain. If you’re feeling abandoned by the world, interact with anyone you can.”

Martha Beck

As Cheri notes in her challenge, there are times when abandonment refers to things other than buildings or bridges.  For example, in the famous Recoleta Cemetery of Buenos Aires many of the graves and crypts have been neglected and abandoned. Sadly, their only visitors are the feral cats who make their homes there.



“Let me feel your love one more time before I abandon it.”

Bob Dylan

Perhaps our visit to abandoned people and places should serve as a reminder to live life to its fullest. After all, is it not fairly obvious that the time to make our mark on the world around us is only the here and now?

Thanks to Cheri for sending us in such an interesting direction. To see how other bloggers were moved by abandonment, click here.

103 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge -Abandoned

    • Thanks Colline! Interesting how different two photos can be and yet fit the same theme! I often think of that as I look at others’ entries in the challenges. Appreciate your stopping by!

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned | Through the Eye of Bastet

  2. The Chateau de Lacoste says so much…”if the walls could speak…” is usually the first though I have when I see such a place as well. The sepia tones adds to the mood, and the Bridge to the Past I would love to hang on the wall here in Seattle, it reminds me of the West…beautiful in both memory/history as well as sitting there in today’s sun and think about the people who were once there. Great series Tina.

  3. wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

    I really enjoyed this – and the boat house was my favorite (although all were great and fit so well together for the word). But that Baruch quote and your words and that boat house pic were my fav –
    and then the ending – “should serve as a reminder to live life to its fullest.” – whew – 🙂

    • Thank you Yvette! Honestly, I’m not sure the boathouse was quite “abandoned” but it served my purpose for the post LOL. Appreciate your visit and lovely comment!

    • Thanks Madhu – yes it’s amazing indeed that so much abandonment creates such compelling stories – and I mean all of the responses, not just mine. Thanks for visiting!!

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  6. Wonderful images, Tina! Photos in sepia have a special mood to them. Great rendition of the subject!

    On a different note, thank you for your comments on my “abandoned” pictures. I especially appreciate when you point which one you like (this may sound silly, but I don’t always understand that myself 😦 ).

    I’m going to take a two-week break from blogging, so I’ll “see” you later! 🙂

    • Hi Svetlana, thanks for stopping by and for your lovely comment! Re your photos – you are really putting together some lovely captures and I know you think seriously about your posts, which I love about you. It’s always interesting to me when people mention which shots they favor and why. Sometimes they agree with my personal assessment and sometimes not – different strokes for different folks as they say 🙂 Anyway, hope your blogging break is for some very fun reason! Hope to “see” you soon

  7. As ever Tina a lovely gallery ! The superb light of Provence makes an impact through your black and white image . I totally agree with your sentiments

    • Thanks PT – great to hear from you. Yes, Provence is amazing – really a photographer’s dream. And the chateau had such an incredible aura you could absolutely feel those who had been there before. It was intense!!

  8. Great shots, Tina! There is something about old abandoned buildings that evokes such strong emotions. But you are right, a lot of times it’s the smaller elements have more impact than the big picture.The ‘garden gate’ is simple but such a powerful photograph. A classic example of how perspective can make or break a photo.

  9. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Abandoned | Joe's Musings

  10. A wonderful post Tina, with great photos to express abandonment. You have such a good eye. The photo of the bridge in Patagonia is stunning, oh so beautiful ! 🙂

  11. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned | Pilot Fish

  12. Excellent photos and quotes as ever, Tina. I like the term reckless abandon and I think you did good on this post, with reckless abandon. 😛

  13. All excellent choices and the black and white processing works well with the theme. My favourite is the garden gate. There is just something that draws me to peeling paintwork and rusty iron.
    Jude xx

  14. I love your thoughts on abandonment…and your images capture so many differing facets of that. I can only imagine what the walls of the Chateau de Lacoste would whisper should it decide to share its secrets. And I love that gate.

    • Thanks Jane – a labor of love for me 🙂 The challenges always make me revisit what I shoot and why – a very nice side benefit of the fun of blogging, don’t you think?!

      • Yes. I’m really enjoying blogging. It’s a treat to see how others see the world. I think of this genre as the philosophic, deep-thinking side of social media. So much more refined than tweeting, texting, and e-mail.

        I especially like comment conversations. I’m hoping to experience more of these occurring on my blog as time goes by.

  15. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned (By his Subject) | What's (in) the picture?

  16. this is such a beautiful post, i find myself scrolling over it again and again. i love the abandoned provencal estate and will have to investigate it next time i am down there.

  17. Are we voting for faves? If so, the dock is high up on my list. A close runner-up is your last image. I love how an interesting life provides great photography.

  18. Love the use of black and white for these pictures — makes them seem even more desolate. Also, the first one shot in Provence makes me realize that even in lovely France there are abandoned buildings. Great pictures!

  19. Great shots, Tina, on a number of aspects of abandonment. I liked your use of sepia. And of particular interest was the Chateau at Lacoste…never knew anyone had bought the place and started renovations – I saw it in the late 80s when it was just a ruin.

    • Hi Sue, thanks for stopping by! Appreciate your lovely comment and yes, I thought sepia was the way to go for this one 🙂 As for Lacoste, an amazing place don’t you think. I was kind of sad that Cardin bought it (as were the townpeople where it is located) but fortunately he did very little to change the ruins – he simply made a small apartment for himself inside. One has to wonder………

  20. Tina – I enjoyed the varietey of images you gathered here. Loved the garden gate detail and your philosophical summary. all we have is this moment and, yet, we think we have a lifetime left, whatever we imagine that to be!

    • Many thanks Annette – yes, the abandoned challenge did set me thinking about how impermanent things are – including us 😦 Appreciate your visit and comment.

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