“I began my current project of photographing old, neglected buildings and aging industrial machinery in 1998 when a friend arranged to get me into the Hyperion Theatre, a magnificent old structure, slated for demolition. I was instantly hooked. Construction sites had always fascinated me, and I found that this crumbling building offered much of the visual excitement of a construction site plus rich new layers of texture, history, and even mystery and intrigue. I am also curious about how nature invariably encroaches on the manmade, and my subject contained ample documentation of that process. Sunlight bursting through the recently formed ‘skylights’ in the collapsing roof, birds and other animals that had found homes and playgrounds in the building, moss and small plants growing in the piles of damp plaster that had washed from the walls – all reminders of how insignificant the human imprint can be.
My photographs are also about beauty. In structures which most of us agree are ugly, I see the opposite: surfaces rich in texture and patterns, bold forms molded by light. The grace of carefully crafted brick walls; surfaces which still gleam after decades of disuse; the meandering curves of a corroded machinery joint; diffuse light filtered through years of accumulated dirt and soot on factory windows.
After twenty years of working as a commercial and event photographer, I am returning to what drew me to this craft in the first place: responding instinctively with my camera to the vast visual world around me. At this level, photography is a means of exploring, organizing, and finding logic in the world.”
-excerpt (and images) courtesy of David Ottenstein Photography, by way of the Internet Archive, August 3, 2002